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Jakarta Culture

As the economic and political capital of Indonesia, Jakarta attracts many foreign as well as domestic immigrants. As a result, Jakarta has a decidedly cosmopolitan flavor and a diverse culture. Many of the immigrants are from the other parts of Java, bringing along a mixture of dialects of the Javanese and Sundanese languages, as well as their traditional foods and customs. The Betawi (Orang Betawi, or "people of Batavia") is a term used to describe the descendants of the people living around Batavia from around the 18th century. The Betawi people are mostly descended from various Southeast Asian ethnic groups brought or attracted to Batavia to meet labour needs, and include people from various parts of Indonesia. The language and culture of these immigrants are distinct from those of the Sundanese or Javanese.

There has also been a Chinese community in Jakarta for centuries. Officially they make up 6% of the Jakarta population, though this number may be under reported.

Jakarta has several performance centers, such as the Senayan center. Traditional music is often found at high-class hotels, including wayang and gamelan performances. As the largest Indonesian city, Jakarta has lured much regional talent to relocate in hope of finding a greater audience and more opportunities for success.

The concentration of wealth and political influence in the city means that it has much more noticeable foreign influence on its landscape and culture, an effect illustrated by the presence in the city of many major international fast-food chains, for example.


 

 

 


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