Post C: Indo Living

Jakarta is a “busy, heavily dense city that continually makes you worry” as my friend Lydia Lim describes her city. Having grown up in Jakarta and currently live there, her view of her city has change after living in Sydney and having a family. She moved to Sydney to continue her university studies in Interior Design as well as working after graduating. After 6 years in Sydney she followed her husband back to Jakarta to take over his father’s business.

Jakarta at Night [1]
Lydia is the only person I know who has continually spoken her dislike about living in Jakarta, she states “When you have a kid here you’re constantly worrying about everything that you shouldn’t, like going to the doctors, day care, mall, and banks, you don’t know what their agenda is and that’s scary”. While people may see living in Indonesia can be like royalty with your maids, drivers, and nannies, it is easy to settle in, though it can also show a distinct separation between relationships within the family. The importance of earning money and creating a safety net is what drives the people today, “it is difficult to separate work and family when needed, whereas in Sydney you the weekend is the rest days and you know that work will be put aside on those days” as Lydia explains how her husband’s work constantly interferes with rest days. The culture within Indonesia seem to be changing with current generations, the need to focus on work and business outweigh family and personal relationships. Although the need to provide for families play an important role in many of these situations, with opportunities that allow the wife to be a stay at home also in consideration.

Lydia gave insight to the changing notions within Indonesia’s culture, the aspects of distant relationship in family and safety in the city are what drives her dislike of Jakarta, constantly comparing to Sydney. Whilst there are positives in having her family like her parents and mother in law see her child grow up, there is a continual unsettling feeling living in Jakarta. The endless worry of her child growing up in Indonesia and the somewhat limited possibilities that she is open to, like great education, good doctors, government benefits, the list is never-ending. She said “living with peace of mind is what I want, and I don’t have that here in Jakarta like I did in Sydney”. She hopes to return to Sydney soon.

Lydia L. interviewed by Rachel Hansen on 12th February 2017 in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Countries and Their Cultures 2009, Indonesia, viewed on 13th February 2017, <>

Expat Arrivals 2017, Moving to Indonesia, viewed on the 14th February 2017, <>

[1] Rachel Hansen 2015.

Indonesian Culture & Parody {POST D}

“Human beings have typically produced a nested hierarchy of spatial scales within which to organise their activities and understand their world” (Harvey 2000).


The world we live in does not come with a guidebook on how to interpret its many intricacies of an anthropological nature (Boellstorf 2002). One way in which the complexities of human nature can be explored is through the use of parody. Parody, or satire, is defined by the Oxford Online Dictionary (2016) as “an imitation of the style of a particular writer, artist, or genre with deliberate exaggeration for comic effect” as in Toto’s 2012 parody of One Direction’s “What makes you Beautiful”, “JOKOWI DAN BASUKI” (with Eng Subs). This can also be extended to Sacha Stevenson’s humorous imitation of the Indonesian culture in “How to Act Indonesian” (2013). Both have used parody as a tool to comprehend, explore and make comment on the intricate nature of Indonesian society.

Toto (2012), a Jakartan local, uses parody to make comment on the state of affairs in Jakarta. For example,

“How come it’s always this trafficky?
It’s been so long, can’t the solvers be in hurry?
They said they were going to build an MRT
If I knew this
I would have moved to Bali
Instead I’m stuck in Semanggi”

In this stanza, he makes reference to the MRT. MRT refers to Jakarta’s monorail train for mass transportation; however, this is an incomplete development, as it is suspected that within the development fund there has been great corruption (Toto 2012). The pylons once intended for the MRT, now clutter the streets of Jakarta (Toto 2012). Semanggi, an area in Jakarta known for its shopping centres is notorious for its traffic jams (Toto 2012). He then goes on to exclaim, “My Jakarta, how come you are so cruel like this? (Toto 2012)” in reference to constant traffic jams, dirty streets and endless bribery.

Screen Shot 2016-04-11 at 11.03.40 am.png
Still taken from Toto’s 2012 ‘Jokowi Dan Basuki’

Sacha Stevenson (2013), a Canadian national who has lived in Indonesia for 12 years also parodies Indonesia’s nuances in short Youtube videos, touching on some of the same issues as Toto. Some examples of this are: “Be creative with your driving” (pay off the officer when you’ve done something wrong); “Indonesians are very clean – make sure you mop and clean every day and dispose of your garbage in a “proper” manner” (poor garbage disposal methods); “If your employer doesn’t pay you enough, you may need to learn to steal in a socially acceptable way” (short changing); “It’s not just Indonesian people that hire people based on factors other than their competence but Indonesians are definitely more honest about it. You will find sexism, ageism and other illegal comments printed in the job postings.” (Stevenson 2013).

Screen Shot 2016-04-11 at 11.05.34 am.png
Still taken from Sacha Stevenson’s, How to Act Indonesian, 2013

While there is no guidebook on how to interpret the world, it is interesting to see the use of parody from two different perspectives with people of two very different backgrounds, both living in and experiencing Indonesia and all its idiosyncrasies.


Boellstorff, T. 2002, ‘Ethnolocality’, The Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology, vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 24-48.

Harvey, D. 2000, Spaces of hope, Berkeley: University of California Press

Oxford Dictionary 2016, Definition of Parody in English, viewed 11th April 2016,

Stevenson, S. 2013, How to Act Indonesian 1-4, videorecording, Youtube, viewed 10th April 2016,

Toto 2012, “JOKOWI DAN BASUKI” with Eng Subs – “What Makes You Beautiful” by One Direction [Parody], video recording, Youtube, viewed 10th April 2016,

POST A- Art on the Wall: Street Art

The relation between an street artist and his or her artwork is seen as an revolt towards a higher power, this post would show this phenomena through evident similarities between the two different cities of Jakarta, Indonesia and Melbourne, Australia on the two well known cities that encourages street art in their own sense. These views are portrayed through the comparison of the lifestyle lived by the street artists to bring change in a political and lifestyle inspired artistry.

Just to clarify, ‘Graffiti’ and ‘Street Art’ are two different genres. The lateral focuses and follows the true meaning of Art, which is …”an experession or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power” (Oxford Dictionary, 2015). In this case the focus is on emotional power one which has been capsulated and has helped build Indonesia back from their harsh experience of oppressive colonialism in World War II. Although Street Art wasn’t invented then, the paintings produced by the artists at the time in the likes of “Affandi Soedjono and others — passionately striving to portray what was truly Indonesian” (Forshee 2006, p 60). This same effect of protistic image are applied today which are evident in the streets of Jakarta, portraying negativism that still lurks among the populous and their government.

Muriel painting by the Street artists Bujangan Urban
Muriel painting by the Street artists Bujangan Urban

In Jakarta and in many parts of Indonesia, street art is encouraged by the community and collaborated with the artists to focus on a specific theme which highlights a certain problem or issue being faced, this is seen as an “effect of street art communities interacting with the community”(MOCA 2013, 5:52) it is seen as an symbolism of power to make change to give sense of hope for the people. In comparison the street art interaction at Housier Lane and other similar streets in Melbourne follows the creative skill and imagination of the artist. As “David Hurlston, the curator of Australian art at the National Gallery of Victoria, says our street art — recognised internationally mainly for aerosol and stencil works — is arguably “the most distinctly identifiable cultural and contemporary artistic movement to have occurred in Australia over the past 30 years” (Sydney Morning Hereld, N. Rousseau 2012) and preserved as a National Heritage site to be viewed by tourists from in and out of the country. Some of the artworks includes that of internationally recognised street artists like that of the works of Banksy and his stencil art piece the Little Diver.

The ‘Little Diver’ by Banksy can be viewed in Cocker Alley, off Flinders Lane, Melbourne. The stencil has been protected by a clear perspex screen.
The ‘Little Diver’ by Banksy can be viewed in Cocker Alley, off Flinders Lane, Melbourne. The stencil has been protected by a clear perspex screen.

As the saying goes “a picture speaks a thousand words”, and street art can be viewed as a voice that louden the cries of the people, to express ideas, expand ones imagination, and sometimes to make you feel inspired. It is important that we hear them all and encourage preserving them.


Oxforfd Dictionary n.d., viewed 29 April 2015. <;

Forshee, J. 2006, Culture and Customs of Indonesia, Greenwood Publishing Group, United States

MOCA 2013, Global Street Art-Jakarta- Art In The Streets- MOCAv, Youtube, viewed 29 April 2015, <;

Rousseau, N 2012, Paste modernism, Sydney Morning Hereld, Website, Last Viewed 29 November 2015 <;


Santai bro,viewed 1 May 2015 <;

Anthony Lister in Hosier Lane,Paste modernism, viewed on 1 May 2015 <