Kudus is known as the City of Kretek. Of course, apart from this district, there are more than 100 cigarette factories producing various types of cigarettes, from klobot cigarettes, hand clove cigarettes, machine cigarettes (filter), to cigars. Various factories large, small, and cottage industries are scattered in various parts of the city. Kudus Regency is one of the smallest districts in Central Java Province, with an area of ​​425.16 km2 / 42,516 ha. Administratively, Kudus Regency consists of 9 sub-districts, 125 villages and 7 sub-districts. The economy of Kudus Regency is supported by various sectors with the mainstay sector in the industrial sector, especially the cigarette industry which provides the largest contribution, so that the City of Kudus is known as the City of Kretek.

This is because the kretek culture in Kudus has an important history for the economy of the Holy people. It is marked by the development of the kretek cigarette industry, from small to large industries. Based on population survey data from the city government of Kudus, it is stated that the gross regional domestic product of the industrial sector in Kudus is 62%, trade is 25%, and agriculture is less than 5%, where the largest industrial sector is the cigarette industry which contributes Rp. 15.1 trillion of total excise revenue. Rp 60 trillion.

Kretek is considered as one of the cultures of the Holy City, which the people cannot forget. Besides being the livelihood of most of the Kudus community, kretek cigarettes can also be applied as an icon of the city of Kudus.

The indigenous Javanese habit of chewing tobacco with betel nut which has become an archipelago tradition has begun to be abandoned by aesthetic preferences and modern cultural imperatives from outside. This is of course because people have started to recognize kretek and machine cigarettes which are sold due to the influence of foreign trade to Java.

One of the pioneers of the cigarette company that has been able to survive today is the Sukun Kudus cigarette company founded by Mr. Mc. Wartono in 1947 in the village of Gondosari, Gebog sub-district, about 10 km from the town of Kudus. When it was founded the company only produced Klobot cigarettes and hand-rolled kretek cigarettes, with 10 employees. Initially, Sukun cigarettes were only marketed in the city of Kudus and its surroundings, which in its development has expanded. To cope with the ever increasing demand, the company has added capacity for raw materials, labor and production tools. Currently, Sukun Kudus cigarette company is one of the top 5 cigarette companies in Kudus Regency.

Mc Wartono died February 20, 1974, leaving his wife, six children and no less than 10,000 employees. The business that he had started was then continued by his four sons who later became Directors of the Sukun cigarette factory until now. They are H Tas’an Wartono, H Rindho Wartono, H Yusuf Wartono, and H Edy Wartono. Meanwhile, her two daughters followed her husband and founded a cigarette company as well. They are Hj Sri Fatimah Wartono late. (established a Siyem cigarette factory in Semarang) and Hj Ani Wartono (founded a Langsep cigarette factory in Kudus).

This history of Sukun kretek fulfills what Mark Hanusz, the author of the book Kretek: The Culture and Heritage of Indonesia’s Clove Cigarettes, said, “Kretek does not exist in the US, does not exist in Europe, or other countries. It’s only here, typical of Indonesia. “

In Cirebon, the kretek cigarette handicraft located in Astanalanggar Village, Losari District can also be a potential source locally-generated revenue if handled properly.

In the 1960s, the clove cigarette handicraft industry in Astanalanggar Village entered its golden era. Every house in this village which is directly adjacent to the Cisanggarung river almost makes kretek cigarettes. However, over time this labor-intensive industry has experienced a setback. Currently there are only about 5 home cigarette factories that still survive. It does not operate all the time, depending on the existence of capital and market orders.

Even though it is experiencing a fluctuating development, it turns out that the cigarette business expansion has reached Rengasdengklok, Karawang and even Pemalang, Central Java.

Many written inscriptions have told about it. In fact, it is recorded in the story of Roro Mendut, which describes a daughter from Pati who was made a wife by Tumenggung Wiroguno, one of Sultan Agung’s trusted warlords selling “klobot” cigarettes (kretek cigarettes wrapped in dry corn leaves) which are favored by buyers, especially men. because the cigarette was glued together with saliva.

Serat Subasita written by Ki Padmasusastra in 1914 explained that the culture of processing tobacco into kretek cigarettes is a reflection of Javanese politeness behavior.

It is stated in the fiber, if you want to smoke or enjoy tobacco look right and left, do not be close to pregnant women and children. If you visit someone else’s house, don’t smoke as much as possible. If there is an ashtray on the host’s table, it means that the owner of the house is allowing his guests to smoke. But if there isn’t, ideally don’t smoke.

Meanwhile, the older fiber, Centhini which was written in 1814, refers to processed tobacco with the word “ses” or “eses”. Until now, most of the smokers in Java call it that name.

J.W. Winter 1824 also tells about the life of Javanese people which is peaceful and peaceful but contains its own uniqueness. In the 18th century the need for tobacco as kretek had taken 25 percent of the salary of Javanese farmers. Understandably, kretek is not only enjoyed privately, but is a mandatory treat for visiting guests. It’s better without food or drink, as long as there is kretek on the table.

The word cigarette itself began to appear when the Dutch colonialism took place in Indonesia, especially in Java. Adopted from the Dutch ro’ken which means pipe.

Source : radarcirebon

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