Ondel-Ondel Take to the Streets for Jakarta’s Anniversary
This weekend’s Jakarnaval, part of celebrations for Jakarta’s 486th anniversary, will feature around 1,500 participants presenting colorful artistic and cultural creations.
From 3 p.m. on Sunday, a parade of carnival floats and giant Betawi ondel-ondel effigies will travel south along Central Jakarta’s Jalan Thamrin from the National Monument (Monas) park to the Hotel Indonesia traffic circle.
Arie Budhiman, head of the Jakarta Tourism and Culture Agency, said this year’s ondel-ondel were modern versions proposed by Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo.
He said the modern ondel-ondel were created by senior high school and vocational school students following special training.
“We are using ‘The Miracles of Ondel-Ondel’ as the theme. We want to show that ondel-ondel can be created in a contemporary way,” Arie said on Friday.
Participants in the parade will come from beyond Jakarta. Contributing to the festivities are regional-owned enterprises and guests from Magelang and Banyumas in Central Java, Jember in East Java, Subang in West Java as well as Kalimantan.
The Jakarta Transportation Agency and Jakarta Police will secure the route and manage the traffic and expected large crowds. Jalan Medan Merdeka Selatan will be closed to traffic from 2 p.m. while Jalan Thamrin to the HI roundabout will shut from 3 p.m.
Police will close intersections at Jalan Budi Kemuliaan, Jalan Kebon Sirih, Jalan Wahid Hasyim and Jalan Kebon Kacang.
TransJakarta’s corridor I, which runs from Blok M to Kota, and corridor II, which runs from Harmoni to Pulogadung, will offer altered services.
The number of buses servicing corridor I will be reduced, while from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. corridor II buses will not stop at Monas, City Hall and Gambir shelters, instead heading to Pecenongan, Pasar Baru, Pejambon and Kwitang bus shelters before services continue to Pulogadung.
Jakarta Transportation Agency head Udar Pristono called on people to plan ahead to avoid being trapped in the anticipated congestion.
“These arrangements were made so that people feel comfortable when they watch the Jakarnaval,’’ he said.
The carnival caps off a busy month for the capital, which has hosted a series of events to mark the 486th anniversary of the time when Fatahillah, a Javanese general, conquered the port of Sunda Kelapa, driving out the Portuguese and naming the area Jayakarta, meaning “great victory.”
Last Saturday tens of thousands of people gathered on Jalan Thamrin and Jalan Sudirman in Central Jakarta for a series of live concerts, while the weekend before a massive craft display took place at the Monas park. The city’s malls have also joined in the fun, hosting enormous sales to keep customers happy and tills ringing.