The Portuguese were the first Europeans who set foot on Java in the 16th century in the search for the legendary Spice Islands. Although the Portuguese did not dominate on Java, yet their heritage from the short period here can still be seen in two Portuguese churches and in the still popular “keroncong” music.
Keroncong is the Indonesian musical fusion from the original Portuguese music known as “fado” introduced by sailors and slave trade ships in the 16th century. The music travelled from Goa in India to Malacca and finally to Tugu.
Keroncong accompanies the Moresco, a dance of Spanish influence that resembles the polka but danced at a slower pace.
In the process of acculturation Keroncong which was originally played on stringed instruments added the flute and gamelan instruments. In the 1960s Keroncong was again popularized by Police General Hugeng, through his well-known band The Hawaiian Seniors, which again added elements from the Moluccas and Hawaii.
The British, who reigned for a short period during the time of Governor General Sir Stamford Raffles, (1811-1815) also left behind the Anglican church which is still in use in the Menteng area.