When it comes to Jakarta, it is hard to describe or define somehow one culture. As there live about 9,5 millions people speaking more than 200 languages and 300 different ethnic groups, it is hard to unify the culture. Nevertheless, and this is for what Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia, is famous for, they do have something like the “Betawi” culture.
Needless to say, the diversity of origins and languages leads to differences in regard to religion, traditions and linguistic and all in all culture.
What I mentioned before is the “Betawi” culture. First of all, the Betawi people can be called somehow the natural inhabitants of the city. Their culture is known to be a very colorful one, so their clothes are always a mixture of strong colors.
But that’s not all! You can generally say that the Betawi Culture is also a treasure of traditions, dance, songs, clothing, cuisine, language and last but not least dialect.
What can be seen as very traditional and special are weddings, but I haven’t had the chance to experience one. Anyways, one may not forget that even this culture has a history and developed throughout the centuries.
The influence of the Dutch and the Portuguese on this culture can be explained with the colonial heritage, where selected elements became part of the Betawi Culture, whereas Arab and Chinese elements were caused by immigration.
It is too much to describe several elements, but I think that it is important to know that the culture developed through adopting parts of other cultures and customs.
Jakarta is also the perfect place for food lovers, as the different influences are also remarkable in the cuisine which can be found there. Indonesian delights, but as well something I would call simply Asian, can be found next to traditional meals and Europe influence.
No worries, if your stomach can’t take Asian dishes as it’s not used to it, every Fast Food Chain like McDonald’s or Burger King or Subway or … can be found there as well. Jakarta has it all, from low-cost fast food to expensive high quality food.
The City of Jakarta has more to offer, it’s not just the economic and thus financial center of Indonesia, but also a cultural center. Whether it is a Jazz Festival or a fashion week, many other events take place on a regular basis. More examples for this are international art exhibitions or or traditional trade shows.
If you are interested in seeing something special, I would recommend to have a look at what will be shown at the specific date!