Men and women with Betawi costumes — koko shirts for men and kebaya encim blouses for women — mingled around stands decorated with ondel ondel traditional Betawi effigies at the annual Lebaran Betawi festival at National Monument (Monas) park in Central Jakarta on Saturday afternoon.
Visitors tried traditional delicacies like selendang mayang, a dessert made from rice flour and palm sugar, while others enjoyed Melayu dangdut performances.
Representatives from Jakarta’s five municipalities and Thousand Islands regency showed off their traditional specialties while some small and medium enterprises used the event to generate extra cash.
The festival runs until Sunday evening.
Putri Prajasari, a 26-year-old visitor, said the festival had given her an opportunity to know Betawi
“I am Minang, so I only know common things about Betawi culture, like its dishes such as kerak telor [a traditional omelet made of duck eggs and rice] and soto Betawi [beef soup],” she said.
Putri, who lives in Condet, East Jakarta, said she had never tried the iconic Condet snake fruit.
“I will visit East Jakarta’s Kramat Jati district booth. Some say the fruit is sold there,” she said.
We have various entertainments for visitors, including outdoor film screenings of Betawi legend Benyamin Sueb’s films like Biang Kerok [The Instigator] and Koboy Tengik [Spiteful Cowboy],” he said, adding that the screenings were scheduled for Saturday evening.
Other Betawi traditional performances included lenong (comedy theater), gambang kromong (music ensemble), palang pintu (a door-bolting tradition) and qasidah (traditional Islamic music).