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Jakarta Post

Saving Betawi art in multicultural Jakarta

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, October 17, 2017   /  11:46 am
The Jakarta Post Image
People decorate a polling station in Gambir, Central Jakarta, with Betawi ondel-ondel figures, in April.(JP/Jerry Adiguna)

Local band Si Madurasa kept belting out Betawi songs to accompany other local music and reggae rhythms. The occasional drizzle failed to dampen the celebratory mood of hundreds of people in Kemayoran, Central Jakarta, on Sunday. Betawi tradition was all around at the cultural event on Jl. H. Benyamin Sueb, a road named after the 1970s artist who became a cultural icon of the Betawi, the native people of Jakarta. Organized by the Kemayoran Children’s Community, Kendoeri Kampung Kamayoran showcased numerous elements of Betawi culture. Ahmad Bahruddin, 42, enjoyed the live music in a tent in front of the stage. By his side, his wife was busy feeding their 3-year-old son, Fadlan Mirza Ukail, kerak telor — a Betawi-style omelet. “I really support this kind of event, because I want the next generation, like my son, to cherish their indigenous culture,” Ahmad sa...