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Beting Village: Haven for drug users, hell for non-users

Reno Surya

The Jakarta Post

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Pontianak  /  Mon, February 1, 2021  /  03:00 pm
Beting Village: Haven for drug users, hell for non-users

Sunlight streaks through the clouds above Kampung Beting, a floating settlement in Pontianak, West Kalimantan. (JP/Reza Darwin)

Part 1: The village that never sleeps While most denizens of Pontianak indulge in their nightly slumber, a village called Beting is still awake. This floating settlement on the borders of the Kapuas and Landak rivers is known as a narcotics paradise among the local residents of West Kalimantan’s provincial capital. A mix of dangdut and funkot (city funk) music rises from nearly every house from sundown to early morning. Wooden canoes ferry partygoers from all over the city who have come to join in the festivities. The village’s “Wild West” image is such that it's often referred to as the "Texas of Pontianak". Trapped by stigma Randy (not his real name) is in his late teens and, until recently, lived in Beting all his life. While he made his living as a canoe steersman, Randy's father and brother are both small-time drug dealers. Meanwhil...