Visiting Setu Babakan.

Visiting Setu Babakan.

Today was a fun day. I visited a recreational place called Setu Babakan with my mother. Setu Babakan is a Betawi village where we can see Betawi culture, foods, drinks and more about Betawi. It has been a long time since the last time I visited it back when I was in junior high school. It did not change a bit, however. It was started when my mother watched the news on TV about holiday. Setu Babakan seems a good place to visit. She invited me and I agreed to come. We set off at 10 a.m. and it took 20 minutes to get there. It was crowded with people and food sellers. There was a group of gambang kromong – a traditional music of Betawi was performing on a stage. My mother was excited. We took a stroll and found many food sellers – they sold everything from bakso to gulali. It was absolutely crowded but a rare moment for me. After walking long enough, my mother and I decided to eat bakso. We had two delicious bowls of bakso then continued the stroll. We got two seats in front row to watch the gambang kromong. The two hosts wore Betawi traditional attires and they sang some Betawi traditional songs. It gave me a blue moment when the hosts told the audience to preserve the Betawi culture. I myself is a betawi, but know nothing about it. Well, I know some but not the whole Betawi thing. It was unfortunate for me to realize that my own culture was about to extinct if we would not preserve it. I was thankful there was a group, like the gambang kromong group that is passionate to preserve it, to preserve the traditional music of Betawi and introduce it through the event like at Setu Babakan. Watching the gambang kromong made me realize where I was from and realized that Betawi was rich with cultures. The traditional music was one of the cultures. I could feel the music from the traditional instruments, I could see the traditional costumes, I could hear the traditional and unique accent of Betawi people that I myself speak it. It was kind of funny to hear the hosts spoke loudly with a distinct accent and style. It was me! I spoke that way too! Even my friends recognized it. The hosts’ message was simple, “Preserve our culture because it is beautiful and we should be proud of it.” I was proud and determined to support and preserve it in any possible ways.
After watching the gambang kromong, I took my mother to one food stall which sold kerak telor – a Betawi traditional food. That was the first time for me and my mother to taste it. It was good and tasted familiar with me. I wish I had bir pletok too. The next minutes would be about eating and relaxing in one traditional house with other people. They were eating and chatting with their families. They looked happy and excited, they were even more excited when one loud sound came out of nowhere. The sound came from a group of Tanjidor players. Tanjidor is another traditional music instruments of Betawi. The group consisted of five to six people and the sound was loud. The instrument players wore Betawi traditional costumes with the special kopiah and passed the crowd who watched them enthusiastically. I was amused with the group and also with the enthusiasm. It was a fun yet tiring day. We went home around 1 p.m. and got some guests coming. It was good to come and had a lovely experience from the place called Setu Babakan. Setu Babakan is indeed a good place to visit, especially during holiday, for its sense of Betawi (traditional houses, foods, and performers) and that is very affordable for people since its free entrance. They only have to pay for parking fees. They can bring some foods from home or eat in the food stalls available. The prices are quite cheap. I am sure Setu Babakan will be a nice place for families and others.


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