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Jakarta Post

Betawi house hunt

  • Indah Setiawati

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Sun, June 24 2012   /  12:26 pm

It is quite a treat to get a glimpse of a traditional Betawi style house.

Rapid development has left little room for nostalgia for how the Betawi, the natives of Jakarta, lived in the past.

Setu Babakan, Jagakarsa, South Jakarta, is among the last frontiers of Betawi culture. There, a mix of traditional Betawi houses and those of a more modern design are preserved for public display.

Setu Babakan was set up as the Betawi Cultural Village in 2000 under Gubernatorial Decree No 92. The area comprises shady trees, a stage for performing arts as well as two man-made-lakes and houses with distinctive Betawi signature accessories on the roofs and the terraces.

Some residents in the village receive incentives from the city administration to renovate their houses in a Betawi style, but others simply fashion their houses by themselves.

A few hundred meters do...