Exploring Jakarta

By:  ZheWei, Work-Study Jakarta

I’ve been at the Jakarta centre for just over a week now and I’ve started to settle into the way of life here. The days are fairly simple – we work during the day, break fast in the evening and play games or tell stories afterwards. Other than the pesky mosquitoes, and a Sulawesifew cockroach scares here and there, life’s been pretty good here.

On my second day off since the start of my stay, I decided to visit the Taman Mini Indonesia Indah (trans: the Beautiful Mini Indonesia Park). When I arrived, I was immediately blown away by how huge the park was. There were a number of attractions within the park, including museums of all sorts, exhibits, theatres, and a big lake right at the center of it all. I rented an old, rickety bicycle, and set off to explore.

As I circled the park, I saw various life-sized models of traditional Indonesian dwellings. Each of them represented a region in Indonesia. There were structures of different shapes and sizes and they were all uniquely beautiful. My favorite was the traditional Sulawesi dwelling, with its curved roof and intricate detailing.

Another highlight was the Bird Park. Many of the birds were not kept within small enclosures and were allowed to roam freely within a large dome. I had fun walking into the various domes and following the different kinds of birds around, including the large storks, beautiful peacocks and the majestic hornbill.

Hakka

I was also pleasantly surprised that there was a Indonesian Hakka Museum in the park. Hakka is a Chinese dialect, and it is also used to refer to the people from that dialect group. Coming from a Hakka background, it was enlightening and comforting to read about the history of this group of people in Indonesia, many of who come from the same ancestral village as my ancestors – Fujian Yongding.

All in all, my visit to the park has made me more eager to visit other attractions around this area. I can’t wait to see more of Jakarta!

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