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Jakarta's 'sad clowns': Resilience and fortitude during COVID-19

Adi Renaldi

The Jakarta Post

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Jakarta  /  Tue, February 9, 2021  /  03:24 pm
Jakarta's 'sad clowns': Resilience and fortitude during COVID-19

Daryanto lost his baby daughter, his wife and his job last year. But he is still smiling as he tries to make ends meet as a 'badut jalanan' (street clown), donning a bright green frog costume to earn some change on the streets of South Jakarta. (JP/Adi Renaldi)

Part 1: Trying to keep smiling In some ways, Daryanto resembles DC Comics’ the Joker, albeit without the violence. His life may seem a tragedy, but for him, it's a comedy. At least, that’s how it came across in the way he smiled while speaking with me. I met the 25-year-old on the first Sunday of this February at a busy intersection in Cilandak, South Jakarta. It was 3 p.m. and the rainy season, but the sun still shone relentlessly. He was standing on the roadside under a traffic light, in a frog costume with a bobbling head, like a life-size localized Kermit the Frog. Clasped in his right hand was a small green basket. The bright green costume made him stand out amid the monochrome sea of vehicles that passed the street before him. When the light turned red, he started performing, waving to motorcyclists, dancing and making silly gestures. All eyes were on hi...