While some people chose to lazily browse through shopping malls during the last days of the long weekend holiday, others decided to visit museums, such as the Fatahillah Museum in the Old Town area of West Jakarta.
Dina Handayani, 20, and Ahmad Hidayatullah, 23, for example, woke up early on Saturday to chase a train from their hometown in Serang, Banten, to get to Jakarta. The couple had planned to visit the Fatahillah Museum during their long weekend holiday.
“I love visiting museums. I have been doing it in my spare time since I was a senior in high school,” Dina said.
Dina was excited when she discovered that the Fatahillah Museum compound hosted the Jakarta Festival Museum Day 2012.
The Jakarta Tourism and Culture Agency has annually held the festival since 2010 to commemorate the International Museum Day which falls on May 18.
“We expect this year that more than 5,000 visitors will visit,” organizing committee member Nana, 23, said on the sidelines of the festival, which took place from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
At least 43 of more than 50 museums in Jakarta joined Saturday’s festival. Among the participating museums were the Fatahillah Museum, the Textile Museum, the Indonesian Kite Museum, Bugs Museum, the Fine Arts and Ceramics Museum and the May 12 Tragedy Museum. All museums brought along their best collections to be displayed at the festival.
Dina and Ahmad spent more than 20 minutes at the tent for the May 12 Tragedy at Saturday’s festival, looking at pictures and watching videos of the heroes that fell during the 1998 student movement that toppled the Soeharto regime after 32 years in power.
“The museum is interesting because people seem to have forgotten about the events that really turned our history,” Dina said, adding that people should visit museums more often than malls and shopping centers.
Others, including Sarman, 45, visited the festival after discovering that such events occurred.
Sarman decided to take his family members to visit the festival during his long weekend holiday, hoping to educate his children about the nation’s history.
“The displays were good, but my son could not find anything new in them. My hopes might have been too high,” the father of two said, disappointed, after the festival.
Sarman is one of the few faithful people who have always visited the festival since its inception in 2010. He was therefore saddened after realizing that this year’s festival was very much the same as that which was presented last year.
“Even the landscape for the festival was also the same as last year,” he said, adding that the organizing committee should provide shady spots for visitors to read brochures provided by each participating museum. (riz)