Crowning Jakarta’s Tourism Ambassadors
On Tuesday, only a week before Jakartans cast
their vote for a new governor, the capital will see a young man and woman be named as
Abang – None at the Teater Besar, Taman Ismail Marzuki in Cikini, Central Jakarta.
Arie Budhiman, head of the city’s tourism and
cultural office, which organizes the annual Abang None Jakarta pageant, said
the competition is held to select the best young people to represent the
culture and traditions of the capital. This year marks the 42nd anniversary of
the event, making it one of the longest-running pageants in Indonesia.
“We’re glad that the pageant has continued consistently. And
it has a positive impact; the number of contestants keeps on increasing,” Arie
said in a press conference at the Jakarta city hall last week.
Eighteen pairs of Abang None finalists — aged 18
to 25 — have bested 1,854 other contestants after various stages of
elimination. That number shows an increase of 14.94 percent from the 1,613
applicants in 2011. The finalists represent the five municipalities — Central
Jakarta, South Jakarta, North Jakarta, West Jakarta, East Jakarta — and one
administrative district — the Thousand Islands.
Abang None Jakarta winners serve as Jakarta
tourism ambassadors, accompanying the Jakarta governor to formal events.
Since June 17, three pairs of winners from each
of the six areas of Jakarta have been staying at the Sultan Hotel, training and
preparing for the grand final on Tuesday. The
candidates have been given lessons and judged on various facets including the
city’s history and culture, fashion, governmental and general knowledge, public
relations, etiquette and personality, tourism and foreign languages, and
Rusdi Saleh, the judge on Jakarta’s history and
culture, said there were four stages of judging in the provincial level. It
started with an interview, where each contestant faced a panel of judges and was
tested on their abilities. The second stage judged the contestants’ appearances.
In the third stage, the candidates were judged during
group discussions to evaluate their general knowledge and teamwork with fellow
The fourth stage is the grand final of the event, where the
judges and the public will assess the contestants live.
The pageant final will include a question and
answer session and a fashion show. Contestants will also perform the traditional
Betawi dance nandak, accompanied by a
traditional Betawi orchestra, gambang
This year’s grand final will see music performances
by well-known singers, bands and local public figures, including Afgan, Geisha
and Mpok Nori.
Rusdi asserted that this year, the contestants were
not all of Betawi descent. “In previous years, many of the finalists were of
true Betawi descent, but this year there are only two. But I’m actually glad,
because we can see that Betawi culture is being embraced more. This is very
exciting,” he said.
The pageant will be aired live on ANTV on
Tuesday at 8:30 p.m.
[Additional reporting from BeritaSatu]