Social media users take on heroic task with little fanfare
The Jakarta Post
While most people prefer to wake up late on Sunday, hundreds of young people in Jakarta were ready from early in the morning to pick up trash across the city.
Jet Fredo Reynardo, 18, left his boarding house in Cengkareng, West Jakarta, to reach a neighborhood near Jeruk Purut cemetery in South Jakarta ' nearly two hours' travel time ' by bus and join other volunteers from Bersih Nyok, a community concerned with cleanliness in the capital, to help locals turn a temporary dump into a playground.
'To me, this is just the beginning of a movement of people who love a clean city. We hope to encourage people in other areas to do the same thing,' said the native of Singkawang, West Kalimantan.
Bersih Nyok is just one of several communities that took part in Clean Up Jakarta Day, which was held for the first time this year in conjunction with National Heroes Day, which fell on Nov. 10.
Initiated by chief editor of Jakarta Expat bi-weekly, Angela Richardson, in August, the event has attracted attention in social media such as Twitter and Facebook.
The committee announced the participation of volunteers in 16 clean-up sites, including the stretch of road from the Senayan traffic circle to the Hotel Indonesia traffic circle in Central Jakarta, a section of Gelora Bung Karno stadium, Kemang and Pondok Indah in South Jakarta and the Pluit Reservoir in North Jakarta.
Besides individuals, communities and companies, schools such as Mentari International School, Sinar Mas World Academy International School and the Jakarta International School also joined forces to clean up their environment.
'The issue of rubbish and where it ends up after we have discarded it has always been something I am passionate about and seeing people throw rubbish out of their windows, on the streets and in the rivers upsets me,' Richardson said.
She said many individual groups had been doing great clean-ups in their communities and she wanted to gather as many of these communities in one joint effort to raise awareness, encourage recycling and make a change.
Australia, she said, had faced the same garbage issue 20 years ago until Clean Up Australia Day was set up by communities.
'Now Australia is immaculate and laws are in place and enforced to ensure it stays this way. Indonesia can follow in its footsteps, and starting Clean Up Jakarta Day is a big step in the right direction,' she said.
As the clean-up finished, the celebration of National Heroes Day continued in the heart of the city in the afternoon.
Tens of thousands of students across the capital city dressed up in traditional attire as they joined the cultural parade to commemorate National Heroes Day and Youth Pledge Day on Oct. 28.
Staged by the Jakarta administration and the Kirab Budaya Foundation, the one-hour parade proceeded from City Hall on Jl. Medan Merdeka Selatan, along the intersection of Jl. MH Thamrin and Jl. Kebon Sirih and ended at the National Monument (Monas) square. The police closed some roads in the area and diverted traffic until 4 p.m.
Governor Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo waved off the parade of 20,000 participants led by Youth and Sports Minister Roy Suryo riding a white stallion and wearing black and gold Javanese noble attire. Men dressed in traditional Javanese soldier's costumes trailed behind on foot under the broiling sun.
Students from state senior high school SMA 102 in East Jakarta stood out in their carnival costumes and beautiful headdresses made of rattan. Neither the lack of spectators nor the heat deterred the students from performing in the event.
'I am glad we have such a parade to celebrate our culture. Last year, we only wore batik to commemorate National Heroes Day. I am tired, but I am happy because I have got to know students from other schools,' said Diana Sayekti, 15, of junior high school SMP 100 in West Jakarta.