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Jakarta Post

A smile behind Kangen Market

Thu, August 9, 2018   /   02:52 pm
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    Black hats with catchy phrases attract buyers. JP/Tarko Sudiarno

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    A seller shows his promotional board saying “Juwal kawos ndak jual kopi”, which means he sells T-shirts instead of coffee. JP/Tarko Sudiarno

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    The sign for a fried tempeh seller named “Tempe Galak”, literally translating to fierce tempeh. JP/Tarko Sudiarno

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    People line up to buy traditional snacks that are rarely made today. JP/Tarko Sudiarno

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    Catchy phrases on boards are on display at one of the stores. JP/Tarko Sudiarno

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    One of the stalls sells food with interesting names such as “es teh istri galak” (fierce wife iced tea, in reference to a popular dangdut song called “Bojo galak”, or fierce spouse). JP/Tarko Sudiarno

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    Young people enjoy Kangen Market in Yogyakarta. JP/Tarko Sudiarno

Tarko Sudiarno

If you have visited Yogyakarta and bought a T-shirt from Dagadu store, you are familiar with the jokes printed on the shirts that will make anyone smile.

Yogyakartans love to create memes and jokes. During the week-long Kangen (literally translated as "missing") Market once a year, those jokes are worth the wait.

The market is held at the Yogyakarta Cultural Park. It is open every afternoon and sells old-fashioned snacks, which are rarely found these days. Visitors can also meet Klitikan traders who usually sell affordable old items.

These traders often create catchy phrases that make visitors take selfies. For example, at the central gate there is a board with the writing “Awas Kecopet Hatimu” (Beware of Heart Stealer); a lemongrass tea seller has a sign saying “Es Serah Karepmu” (It’s up to you); a fried tofu seller says “Tahu Skripsi Dulu Biar Cepat Lulus” (Undergraduate thesis first, graduation later); and an iced sugarcane seller has “Cintamu tak semanis tebuku” (Your love is not as sweet as my sugarcane). [yan]