Gambang Kromong: Cultural Acculturation in Traditional Betawi Music

A merging of a Javanese and Sundanese gamelan orchestra, Gambang Kromong has a unique sound and distinct timbre. This comes from the various music instruments originating from the acculturation of Indonesian and Chinese traditional music. A synergistic relationship between ethnicities will produce a beautiful harmony in life. That’s the moral that can be taken from

An Ocean of Discovery at the Jakarta Aquarium and Safari

Whoever said learning was dull clearly hasn’t explored the awesome spots in Jakarta! There’s a great collection of fun and educational attractions just waiting to be visited in this city, including the immersive Jakarta Aquarium and Safari. Tucked in the heart of Central Park, the Jakarta Aquarium and Safari (JAQS) is a treasure trove of

Pekojan: Jakarta’s Historic Arab Village

Pekojan is a historic district or kecamatan in West Jakarta. Considered the city’s original Arab village, it is a prime example of the rich ethnic diversity found in Jakarta and how different communities created their own landmarks and cultural treasures over time. Back when Jakarta was still under Dutch colonial rule, known at the time

Barbershops in Jakarta: Where to Get Your Next Cut

“Finding a good barbershop is like finding a good lawyer – you gotta go to the same guy.” In Jakarta, this is especially true when there are hundreds of options in just your local area alone. To help you on your journey to find “the one” (barber, not soulmate), we’ve curated a list of nine

Things to do in Jakarta (2024): Experiences & Activities

Discover the vibrant heart of Indonesia with our guide on the top things to do in Jakarta. As the bustling capital city continues to evolve, so do the myriad of experiences and activities it offers to locals and visitors alike. From cultural gems and historical landmarks to modern attractions and culinary delights, Jakarta promises a

Condet: A Surviving Betawi Village Amidst Changing Times

Exploring Condet in East Jakarta will allow you to see the roots of some important history. Condet today is, like other parts of Jakarta, experiencing the erosion of its Betawi identity, while being dense and chaotic, congested, and sadly also prone to flooding. Whereas in the 18th century, Condet was referred to by the Dutch,

Urban Forest Cipete: A Haven of Green in the City

With its tree-lined pathways and picnic-ready grounds, Urban Forest Cipete offers an experience of park life one may expect in the likes of Singapore, Japan, Australia or Europe. With cafés and restaurants intermingled into meandering gardens, this verdurous complex in South Jakarta has become a popular reprieve from the concrete jungle. Jakarta has long held

Bir Pletok: Betawi’s Distinctive Herbal Drink

Despite the name bir (pronounced: beer), this drink contains no alcohol at all. It’s made from a mixture of spices and the Betawi people consider it a wellness drink, even though it was created under the influence of the Dutch culture of drinking alcohol during the colonial era. Bir Pletok is the star of Betawi

Rode Winkel: The Transformation of Toko Merah

After a long period of closure, Toko Merah is now open with its new name Rode Winkel, providing a vibrant way to stroll through its rich history while savouring good drinks and sumptuous food. Since its construction in 1730, the historic building named Toko Merah has changed ownership several times, from the VOC, Chinese civilians,

Kampung Tugu: Portuguese Traces in North Jakarta

Jakarta is widely known as a multi-ethnic city. Yet, not many people know that on the east of Tanjung Priok harbour lies a village inhabited by people of Portuguese descent who still preserve their culture and heritage. It is from this old village where keroncong music and gado-gado originated. On my way to Rumah Tugu

Lenong Betawi: Jakarta’s Vibrant Art Performance

From Jakarta, a captivating and lively form of traditional theatre called Lenong Betawi thrives. This age-old performing art combines the elements of theatre, music and folk traditions. Lenong Betawi has been enchanting audiences for centuries, even in the age where entertainment can be easily accessed through internet and television, it remains popular amongst local. Lenong

Belanda Depok: The History of the ‘Depok Dutch’ 

‘Belanda Depok’ was once a pejorative, or mocking name, given to the old communities of Depok, a region found between Jakarta and Bogor, now best known as the home of The University of Indonesia. The origin of this term, meaning ‘Depok Dutch’, spans back to the early days of the Dutch colonisation of Indonesia and is an

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