A cultural procession marked the peaceful relocation of Yogyakarta’s popular Ngasem Bird Market to a new location on Thursday.
Hundreds of traders in the market made the incident-free move to the new market.
The market, where birds and various other animals are sold, was moved from its previous location in Taman Sari complex at the Yogyakarta Palace to a new site called Yogyakarta’s Animal and Decorative Plants Market.
Public order officers on horseback escorted the 287 traders on horse- and ox-driven carriages while bystanders lined the 2-kilometer procession.
Yogyakarta Mayor Herry Zudianto, who also took part in the event, rode on a horse-drawn carriage with market officials.
The Yogyakarta municipality’s success in relocating the market was attributed to the traders’ involvement in finding an ideal location that was not dirty, crowded and muddy. They were invited to engage in discussions and asked for input on the layout and design of the new market.
The traders from the old market were also involved in the procession and wore the traditional attire of a cultural carnival.
Herry attributed the relocation’s success to trust among officials and traders as well as the private and banking sectors.
“I will continue to monitor the progress of the new market so it will become better and be visited by many people,” Herry said.
The new market is located on the outskirts of Yogyakarta, close to Bantul regency.
The 5,500-square-meter building sits on a 15,605-square-meter plot, larger than the former market, which covered 2,136 square meters with a building space of 1,690 square meters.
The old location will be developed for the expansion of the Taman Sari cultural complex.
The new market is equipped with 16 kiosks measuring 12 square meters each, and 37 spaces divided into 764 stalls measuring 2.4 square meters each.
The new market also has 22 toilets, a small mosque, six security posts, a complaint and information center, three bird domes, a playing area for children and a 590-square-meter parking lot.
Yogyakarta provincial secretary Tri Harjun Ismaji, who stood in for Governor Sri Sultan Hamengku Buwono X at the relocation procession, said the Ngasem market had been a tourism icon and part of the community in Yogyakarta.
The relocation, he said, was made for the sake of city development and there was no need for traders to worry that customers would disappear.
“The relocation provides a better, bigger and cleaner place for traders and visitors.”