December 5, 2009

INDONESIA: Dancing in the streets for the good old days

. JAKARTA, Indonesia / The Jakarta Post / December 5, 2009 By Indah Setiawati, The Jakarta Post The rain Saturday did not dampen the spirits of Menteng residents, who turned out in droves for the first-ever celebration of the elite historical area. Semarak Menteng, a two-day festival organized by Sahabat Menteng and the Central Jakarta Municipality, featured a bazaar, Brazilian martial art form Capoeira, dancing, including breakdance, and a photo exhibition depicting the old and new Menteng. For many senior citizens who lived in Menteng in their youth, the event was an opportunity for a reunion. At the reunion, former residents shared memories of Menteng as a friendly neighborhood. “Menteng has changed,” resident Bandji Asaari, 64, told The Jakarta Post. “It used to be Menteng. Now it is Benteng [a fort].” He said during his childhood, houses in Menteng were not surrounded by high walls and gates. Rather, the beautiful architecture of houses was visible. “When children passed these beautiful houses, they were inspired to have the same,” he said. Bandji said he mostly missed having warm, friendly neighbors, saying the current situation greatly differed from the past when residents knew each other. The bazaar continues on Sunday and a parade of Betawi, India and Japanese culture, kung fu, a percussion band and decorative bicycles. Left: Emil Salim and Right: Rosihan Anwar There will also be presentation of Menteng Senior Awards for residents who have made a contribution to the country, including Emil Salim and Rosihan Anwar. [rc] Copyright © 2008 The Jakarta Post - PT Bina Media Tenggara.