August 26, 2009


Setu Babakan is a great visage of the traditional life in Jakarta which is located in Srengseng Sawah district of South Jakarta.

A colourful kaleidoscope of tradition await every bisitor at this 66-hectare area known as Perkampungan Budaya Betawi or the Betawi Culture Preservation Village. Setu itself means a small lake used by the Betawis. As the name suggests, Setu Babakan is surrounded by an 18-hectare area of water which provides the tranquil setting for a meaningful and nuanced cultural exploration.Be prepared to get an awesome insight into the Betawi culture such as the lenong ( a traditional Betawi comedy play), topeng dance, Betawi traditional wedding and of course the iconic Ondel-ondel, a giant puppet dressed in a traditional Betawi costume with a colorful tinsel crown. In addition, explore a traditional Betawi house built back in the 1920s. Rent a duck boat to ride on the lake to complete your visit.

People here still speak the unique Betawi dialect, which is a conflation of Malay dialect influenced by the Balinese language for the grammar and Hokien Chinese for the vocabulary. Interact with the friendly Betawis and get up close and personal with their notable blend of music such as the Rebana, Keroncong and Samroh which are largely influenced by the Portuguese and Arabic.

Best time to visit is between June and July where special festivals are organised to commemorate Jakarta's anniversary.


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