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

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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

Unique Stories Behind Indonesia’s Independence Day

The Proclamation of Indonesia’s Independence was read directly by Soekarno, accompanied by Mohammad Hatta, on 17 August 1945 at Jalan Pegangsaan Timur Number 56, Jakarta, at exactly 10am during the month of Ramadan 1366 H. While that moment itself is considered almost sacred by the Indonesian population, it was in many ways just the culmination

Historical Sites of Indonesia’s Independence in Jakarta

17 August 1945 was a sacred day for Indonesians: a declaration of independence, a rejection of colonialism. It was a long journey for the nation to achieve independence and in fact it continued to 1949, when the Dutch finally ‘accepted’ the nation’s sovereignty. Here are the historical sites of Indonesia’s Independence in Jakarta, the landmarks

Tumpeng Philosophy (and why we’ve been doing it all wrong)

Nasi tumpeng is iconic when it comes to Indonesia’s traditional celebratory cuisine. It has come to represent Indonesian culture and way of life through its variety of ingredients, colours, shape and its ‘serving’ tradition. Seen at birthdays, anniversaries, business openings, weddings, it is ubiquitous with celebration, but despite how commonplace it is, it turns out

Sunda Kelapa and the Birth of Jakarta

All data and history point to the area of Kota, on the west bank of the Ciliwung River approximately eight hundred meters south of the Pasar Ikan. There, the seeds were planted that developed into the metropolitan city of Jakarta Raya, one might say the birth of Jakarta, a city which is now home to

Betawi Culture, in a Nutshell

In light of the 494th Anniversary of Jakarta, it seems only fitting that we explore the very essence of what makes the capital ‘Jakarta’, with its plethora of cultures merging, and its history that’s rich with pride and struggle, the Betawi culture carries centuries of continuous amalgamation and union, birthing traditions and costumes that are

Bird Watching in Jakarta

City parks and forests play vital roles in urban communities, they are actually a haven for wildlife that residents can also witness. Now, it may seem unlikely, but one can in fact experience bird watching in Jakarta. One Indonesian birdwatcher and wildlife photographer, Ady Kristanto, has taken to the city’s green zones to spot the

The Jakarta-Bogor Railroad: 150 Years of History

Railway development in Jakarta has a long history. One such historical railroad is the route between Jakarta and Bogor, originally used to transport plantation commodities from Priangan, West Java, to the city. Today the rail route is still one of the busiest, but its cargo has changed, shuttling commuters and those looking for opportunity in


Jakarta’s Ondel-Ondel, Explained

Though their bright and festive appearance seems to have degraded over the years — with (somewhat frightening) street-side buskers cheapening the city’s mascot for a little extra change — no one can deny how iconic and recognisable Jakarta’s ‘ondel-ondel’ are. But what are ondel-ondel, and where did they originate? The History of Ondel-Ondel These large

The Aesthetic Jakarta Library

The Jakarta Library with modern and aesthetically pleasing looks, aims to build a new ecosystem and becomes a friendly facilitator for the people of Jakarta in learning, working and growing together. The Jakarta Library and the HB Jassin Literary Documentation Center, which is present as a new look for Taman Ismail Marzuki was born as

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