The Jakarta Post
Many tourist attractions await the thousands of visitors flocking to Jakarta's Kota Tua (old town) area during these Idul Fitri holidays. Not only do the visitors get to go to museums, they can also have their photograph taken with street artists acting and dressing up as well-known figures.
Among the costume artists entertaining visitors is a lookalike of Indonesia’s first president Sukarno, who finds himself in good company with national hero General Sudirman, and another national hero, Fatahillah, whose name is used for the most famous museum and square in the Kota Tua area. There is also an artist portraying Princess Ong Tien, the wife of Sunan Gunung Jati, one of the nine propagators of Islam in Java, who spread the religion in the 15th century. There are also artists pretending to be statues.
Heni, 16, who acted as Princess Ong Tien complete with red Chinese royal attire, enthusiastically welcomed visitors wanting to take their pictures taken with her, especially children.
"On normal days, we are not allowed to show up at the Kota Tua square like today. We could only perform near the Jasindo building. I hope today there will be more visitors taking photos with me," she said adding that she did not charge a specific fee for people to take photos with her.
Another artist named Diah, 23, who dressed up as Eva Ment, the wife of the Governor-General of the Dutch East India company, Jan Pieterszoon Coen, also had high hopes to see thousands of visitors during the Idul Fitri holidays.
"On holidays like this I can earn about Rp 300,000 [US$23] per day. I hope I can reach that amount today and entertain the visitors," Diah said, adding that she usually took home Rp 50,000 on regular days.
The artists at Kota Tua come from the Jakarta Go Art Community, the Stone Man Community (Kombat), and the Creative Art Community. The Kota Tua management allows them to perform in the area by also engaging them to help clean the area every Saturday, Sunday and Monday. (rin)
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