Decorated ‘andong’ enliven city’s streets
JAKARTA: Seventy-three decorated andong (horse-drawn carriages) paraded through Jakarta’s streets on Sunday as part of the Jakarta Great Sale Festival, which is just one of the events being held to mark the city’s 485th anniversary.
“We want to show that the Jakarta Great Sale Festival is not only about consumerism. We also want to preserve our national heritage,” said the festival’s chairman, Handaka Santosa, on Sunday.
The carriages represented shopping malls participating in the festival. Each carriage was decorated to show different aspects of Indonesia’s rich culture.
One carriage, for example, displayed batik clothes, while another was adorned with Balinese handicrafts. Many of the carriages displayed items depicting Betawi culture.
The parade commenced from Senayan City shopping center in South Jakarta at around 8 a.m. It then headed to Jl. Sudirman, captivating onlookers taking advantage of the weekly car-free Sunday along the road.
On Jl. Gatot Subroto, dozens of car drivers and motorcyclists stopped to watch and take pictures of the parade with their cellular phones and other gadgets.
Other people, such as Rumiyati, 30, chose to wait for the parade at the end of the line. “This year’s parade is more festive than last year’s,” she said.
To her the parade was free entertainment after a week of stressful work.
Rumiyati voiced appreciation for the organizers of the Jakarta Great Sale Festival for staging the carriage parade. “I may not be able to take part in the sale because the prices of the goods are still too high for me, but I’m still happy because they [the organizers] are not charging people to watch the parade,” she said.