North Sumatra is one of Indonesia's last surfing
frontiers. "North Sumatra" consists of 5 islands or island
groups: Hinako Islands, Nias, Telos and 2 other obscure island groups
to the north. North Sumatra receives similar swell to Mentawais
and enjoys its peak swell season from May to September. Despite
Indonesia's reputation for hollow lefts, in North Sumatra right-handers
are slightly more prevalent. While Lagundri Bay at Nias has been
surfed for decades, it is the more obscure rights like Bawa (a Sunset-like
right bowl that holds up to 15 feet) and Treasure Island (a long,
hollow, mechanical right peeling for 200 meters) that have attracted
the attention of late. Throw a mix of hollow and bowl lefthanders
into the picture like Asu, Afulu, the Machine, and many more obscure
rights and lefts.
In contrast to the small island of Bali, North
Sumatra province is large with one of the biggest lakes in the world,
Toba Lake, at its navel. The continuous mountain of Bukit Barisan,
which extends from Aceh at the tip of Sumatra island to Lampung
at the bottom of the island, guards the province on the west side,
providing home for thick, tropical jungles and lush vegetations.
As you go down the western mountains towards the beaches of the
east, mountain streams, strong rivers, and gorgeous waterfalls will
Along the length of this province crosses Bukit
Barisan Mountains with peaks of numerous volcanoes. The land has
thick virgin forests, lush vegetation, rice fields, mountain streams,
rivers, waterfalls and sandy beaches. It has a rich flora and fauna.
An abundance of birds, butterflies, buffaloes, deer, mouse deer,
orangutans and many other export commodities make North Sumatra
one of the richest provinces in Indonesia, as it produces more than
30 % of Indonesia's exports. The province offers the visitors, especially
nature lovers, beautiful tropical panoramas, terraced rice fields,
blue mountains, jungle covered hills, white sandy beaches, music,
dance and folk arts.
Relative to Bali, North Sumatra has very heterogeneous
ethnic groups, and thus, cultures. The people of the eastern coasts,
also known as the Malays (Melayu) have markedly different traditions
and culture from Batak highlanders who live around Toba Lake and
Samosir Island. Further south, the Mandailings and Angkolas, and
Nias Island, have yet more flavors of traditions and culture. Besides
them, there are several ethnic groups who live in Medan and other
towns of North Sumatra. Its largest groups are Chinese and Indian,
who being naturalized Indonesian citizens. Other Indonesian tribes
like Acehnese, Minangkabau, Javanese, etc also live in many parts
here. Each of the mentioned tribes as well as the ethnic groups
has its own dialect, religion, beliefs, traditional customs, etc.
Arts and cultures make this region, a paradise for social scientists.
Among the ancient Indonesian cultures, which can be seen at Samosir
Island, are the centuries old tombs of Batak Toba kings and a stone-table
with its benches, where the Siallagan chiefs formerly held meetings.
North Sumatra province has 70,787 sq km width. Geographically, it
is located between 1o and 4o North Latitude and between 98o and
100o East Longitude. The area is Borders with:
- North side: the special territory of Aceh
- South side: West Sumatra Province and
- West side: Indian Ocean
- East side: Malacca Strait
North Sumatra Province is divided among 11 regencies, 6 municipals,
and 3 administrative towns with Medan as its capital city.
Composed of coastal areas, lowlands, plateaus, and mountains.
Humidity: Varies between 79% and 96%.
As one of Indonesia islands, North Sumatra has rainfall of 1,100-3,400
mm per year. It temperature is range between 18o C and 34o C.
Historically, North Sumatra Province has a migration flow of population
either from other provinces because of the existence of heavy plantation
in this province or migration to other areas for studying and expanding
business. Since population mobility is high, there are multi ethnics
on the community. In 1994, the population density of North Sumatra
Province reached 157 people per Km2. Compared to the average national
population growth (2.144% per year), this province was on the lower
level with 1.53% per year. The projection population composition
in 1997 can be seen on the following table.