Jakarta, The City of Mall Cultures


As Jakarta‘s kids, what are you doing after campus? Mall!

Where are you going to have a lunch break? Mall!

Are you busy this weekend? Well, I am probably at the mall.

I bet as kids who live in Jakarta, realize it or not, we hang out a lot at the mall: Pondok Indah Mall, Cilandak Town Square, Grand Indonesia, Taman Anggrek, Gading, you name it…One of my American friend said (or complaining) that he doesn’t get very tanned even after live in Indonesia for almost a year, “It’s because you guys hang out a lot at the mall”.

Young people and brats in Jakarta, spend most of their time at big malls. Pretty boring, isn’t it? Hang out mostly in the mall, means that we mostly see artificial things and waste money. But, i can’t see this as annoying thing for most of young people in this metropolitan city. First because Jakarta has a very hot, humid, and a polluted weather which make people feel uncomfortable hanging out outside. Second, most of rich families in Jakarta do not allow their kids to hang outside, taking public transportation, or even walking on pedestrian street. Some of my friends even do not know how to get around in Jakarta by public transportation even though they were born in Jakarta (please, exempt the taxi). “It’s dangerous. My dad would’ve kill me.”

Pathetic… That they are worried because most of the things that these families fear are in fact created by themselves: they have many cars which polluted themselves, gap of economy and social unawareness that harm themselves. Consequently, malls are the best place to hang out side home. And lastly, all marketing efforts are pushed to put themselves mainly at malls; even you can find language course or college, yes university, which is located inside the mall/ plaza.

These people insanely love mall better than their natural place…sshh..

For your information, Jakarta has more than 500 malls, plaza, junction, and its alike, which make this city as the most malled city in the world. Do Jakartans really need them all? Definitely no.

p.s. this blog was originally written in June 30, 2010. Jakarta has now a new governor, Jokowi, who has passed a law to halth the construction of new malls in Jakarta.

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One thought on “Jakarta, The City of Mall Cultures

  1. I agree with you. Jakarta has too ‘much’:) mall.
    so ‘much’ that at times I miss ‘them’ too.^^ ahaa….^^
    The mall culture in Seoul is sooo different from the ones I have back home.
    sure there are the pros and cons..to this different worlds, but…
    hope Jakarta is going in the right direction, esp. under pak Jokowi…

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