Medan has a myriad of old buildings that are steeped in historical value. One of them is a house which in the past was inhabited by famous merchant Tjong A Fie (1860-1921). The two-story building is located on Jalan Ahmad Yani No. 105.
Tjong A Fie is a nomad from Guangdong Province. The journey then ends in Medan. And now, the peningalan house is one of the old buildings that are often visited by travelers. The gate of the house is open for tourist visits between 09.00-17.00.
The gate is equipped with a small roof typical of houses in China. With an entrance ticket for Rp. 35 thousand per person, tourists are also free to explore the Tjong A Fie residence which was founded in 1900.
The right walls were filled with photographs of Tjong A Fie in the past. There it was seen, among others, when he was with his three wives and children. There is also a picture of it with the Dutch rulers.
The photo of the Kesawan Bank building that he founded and the currency at that time was displayed. Family tree is also exposed. Historical lessons about the city of Medan began.
From room to room, I continued to listen to everything installed on the wall. There are also neatly arranged furniture. Until arriving in the open space in the center, and from there you can see the second floor and the back side of the house. “That back is still inhabited by his grandson Tjong A Fie,” said the guide who drove me. As a result, this part cannot be seen by visitors.
I climbed the stairs to the second floor, found a spacious room. “Here, first, Tjong A Fie held a party, including a dance party with Dutch people,” said the guide.
All spaces are neatly arranged and maintained. Not all are typical of China, some parts are raised in Malay or European architectural styles. There are four guest rooms on the second floor, namely a special room to receive the Sultan Deli, there is also room for Dutch, Chinese and one guest for general guests.
Actually in China, Tjong A Fie is married. Then when in Sumatra, he married a woman from Penang, Malaysia and got three children, but his wife did not live long.
Finally, Tjong A Fie married a woman from Binjai, North Sumatra and got five children.
Tjong A Fie came to Deli port when he was 18 years old with very minimal provisions. He migrated to the Indies following his brother who had first moved to Sumatra.
When he arrived at the port, he worked odd jobs. Starting from the grocery shop waiter then works on the plantation. Hard work, wide association and kindness make him stand out.
Finally, one day he succeeded in owning a large plantation. Tjong A Fie was the first Chinese to own such land, Then he expanded his plantation business to West Sumatra. This place become a tourist attraction that created in Medan tour package by local travel agency in Medan.
He became a multicultural figure who could reduce all circles. Known close to Malays, Arabs, Indians and Dutch, besides Chinese. Tjong A Fie is also known to be generous.
He not only established good relations with the Netherlands but was also familiar with Sultan Deli. Tjong A Fie also contributed a third of the cost of building the Medan Grand Mosque, and also a mosque in the Crooked Gang.
In addition, he also founded temples, bridges, and others. Medan grows along with Tjong A Fie’s work. In 1913, he founded Bank Kesawan.
He also sponsors children from the poor, without choosing fur. Interestingly in his will, Tjong A Fie asked his descendants to carry out these principles and continue to do good, including by continuing to support poor children.