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Jakarta Post

Betawi: Between tradition and modernity

  • Dina Indrasafitri

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, April 26 2012   /  01:32 pm

Mixed culture: Instruments used in Betawi music, such as gambang kromong are on display. JP/Dina IndrasafitriIn this day and age, for some it might be hard not to view Betawi culture as a victim —closed, fragile and pure but constantly ravaged by modern culture in its own land, the country’s capital of Jakarta.

But an exhibition of Betawi culture that currently being held in Bentara Budaya Jakarta, in Central Jakarta, is striving to put forward a different image of Betawi culture; one that is open, flexible and persistently present in the metropolitan area.

“Betawi Punye Gaye”, which is held from April 20-29 in the venue, features a number of Betawi artifacts such as jewelry, traditional attire, paintings and even household utensils, all in the form of a Betawi house, which even includes a replica of the colorful Betawi house terrace.

Highlights of the exh...