The only way is Betawi: Civil servants with the Jakarta administration wear traditional Betawi clothes at City Hall on Wednesday. City officials are obliged to wear traditional attire every Wednesday. (JP/Jerry Adiguna)
Civil servants across Jakarta began their first day at work in 2013 by donning traditional Betawi attire as instructed by Governor Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, who wants to make elements of native Jakarta culture more visible in the capital city.
Sylviana Murni, the administration assistant for administrative affairs, said Jokowi had signed a new gubernatorial regulation in December regulating how civil servants dress on workdays.
“The regulation came into effect on Wednesday. However, the administration is giving civil servants time to adapt to the new regulation,” Sylviana announced at City Hall.
Under the regulation, civil servants should wear green community (linmas) uniforms on Mondays, regular khaki uniforms on Tuesdays, traditional Betawi attire on Wednesdays and batik on Thursdays and Fridays.
The new regulation added Betawi attire to the old dress code. Batik was added to the civil servant dress code a few years ago, following an increase in its popularity.
Sylviana said the administration had consulted with the Betawi Consultative Association (Bamus Betawi) and the Betawi Culture Institution (LKB) about the addition to the dress code.
In traditional dress code, male civil servants are to wear earthy pastel long-sleeved sadariah shirt, which is similar to the koko (long-sleeved, collarless shirt); black trousers; peci (cap); sarong; and black shoes, while females wear pastel Betawi kebaya krancang (blouse) with either V-neck or shanghai collars, sarong or dark trousers and
Deputy Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama, who also wore traditional Betawi attire on the administration’s first day of work this year, said the addition to the dress code was Jokowi’s idea.
“The attire represents the people, the general public. It’s a symbol of who is ruling the administration,” Ahok said.
Ida Karima, a City Hall General Bureau staff member, said she welcomed the addition to the dress code.
“I already have some kebaya in my wardrobe. I have been required to wear kebaya to a number of official events in the past,” Ida said.
The 36-year-old said, however, that she preferred wearing trousers. “It would be difficult to maneuver on buses or trains wearing a sarong,” she said.
Civil servant Taslim Rifkli did not dress traditionally on Wednesday, saying he was not sure about the new regulation.
“I had heard about the new regulation, but I have yet to read the memo so I played it safe by wearing the usual uniform,” Taslim said. The legal bureau staff member said, however, that he would obey the new regulation in the
Previously, Jokowi asked architects to start incorporating Betawi characteristics into the city’s residential and commercial property designs. The governor said that the Betawi architectural style, known as Bapang, could be applied as a signature of buildings in the city.
He wanted Jakarta to be more like Bali province, where most modern buildings incorporate Balinese architectural style in their design.
He said he was considering issuing a regulation requiring Betawi style to be used in Jakarta’s modern buildings. Jokowi is former mayor of Surakarta, which is known for its cultural attractions.
— JP/Andreas D. Arditya