Tim and I headed out this past Sunday, yet again, for Jakarta's Car Free Day. We were pleasantly surprised to stumble upon several fun sights while biking around, including the Jakarta marathon. We were pretty incredulous that people could run a marathon while breathing Jakarta's thick and polluted dry season air, but they were doing it!
We also biked past this pretty fun sight: super tall, traditional Betawi ondel-ondel puppet performer guys:
Tim and I think the dance was staged for a tv commercial and thus not totally spontaneous, but it was pretty cool anyway. Tim says he sees ondel-ondel like these wandering around near his office a lot, busking, so the traditional dance is still alive and well, even when the tv cameras are not rolling.
Apparently ondel-ondel are traditionally 2.5 meters tall and made from woven bamboo with a wooden face. The red-faced puppet is the male version and the white is the female. Here's a link to a cool photo of ondel-ondel from 1923.
Their dance is traditionally performed to ward off evil spirits (or these days just to liven up a party or ceremony).
I'm not 100% sure what type of dance the ladies are doing... perhaps topeng? Maybe jaipongan? Check out my video below and maybe you can help me figure it out.
After watching the dance show, we biked around a bit more and then stopped by this cool bike jump contest thing (I'm sure there's an official name for it, but we'll just call it "Guys in grey t-shirts and jeans doing bike tricks.")
A pretty fun Car Free Day!