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Malik Ayub Sumbal is Senior Broadcaster, Political Commentator, and Media Consultant. Malik has been associated with world-leading media outlets and news channels. He has more than 18 years of experience while working on key editorial positions. Malik was President at the Consortium for Press Freedom (CPF), a leading organization working for the Press Freedom and Free Speech around the world.
Jakarta street artists mesmerise visitors

Jakarta street artists mesmerise visitors

Tourists in Indonesia are flocking to see the roadside performers of Al Fatahillah square

As a tourist in Indonesia, you cannot afford to miss the Al Fatahillah square, old town, central Jakarta. The square is the most historic place in the city. The place is getting more popular each day due to the increasing trend of street arts and performances by roadside artists.

The amazing street performances mesmerise the tourists, especially children who express great interest in these immovable human statues.

The painted bodies, dressed up in the traditional farmer, soldier and other costumes — these artists look majestic. No one can even judge that these human beings are statues.

Common art

Rebecca, a foreigner who has visited Al Fatahillah square a couple of times briefed about this art, which is common in Indonesia.

She says, “This kind of performance is really attractive and new for the Indonesians and there are more than ten performers in just a few metres here at this square.” She added, “It is really difficult to perform because the artists have to wear a wet outfit while painting the whole body and to stand erect for several hours, a tough job.”

Its takes several hours to dress up and to paint their bodies.

The visitors and tourists drop banknotes in the baskets placed in front of each artist.

However, there is no fixed amount, which they get per month. These artists end up standing all day.

The centre of attraction among these street performances is a man dressed like Panglima Besar Jenderal, the first commander-in-chief of the Indonesian Armed Forces. He continues to be widely respected in Indonesia. So the tourists take photographs with him and along with their families.

Some appear in costumes of a farmer, soldier and Superman, while a fairy becomes a source of great attraction for the masses.

All the performers appear in front of a 200-year-old building of Batavia Cafe, which is the second oldest building in central Jakarta, after the Fatahillah Museum.

Malik Ayub Sumbal is an Award-Winning journalist, Geopolitical Analyst, Commentator & Moderator. He is the author of his newly published book Tovuz to Karabakh, A Comprehensive Analysis of War in South-Caucasus. He tweet @ayubsumbal