City Walks – Indonesian Festival

Indonesian crafts

New To Me

The only Indonesians I’ve encountered in my city have been a few going to a university here, so I wasn’t expecting there to be a substantial community festival in my neighborhood, but that shows what I know.

Of course Indonesia is one of the most populous countries in the world and pretty well off too, so it shouldn’t have been surprising that a healthy number of immigrants would be around. The event was held at a former church which is now a community center.

There were tons of people in both traditional and western clothes, with a steady stream of musicians performing and singing.


Like any performance today, the cell phones were out in force.


I have no idea what language people were speaking and singing. Malay is the number one language in Indonesia, but there are huge numbers of different languages spoken across the country.

I think the highlight for a lot of people was some kind of contest for kids, but again I’m not sure what was going on. You can see the usual reaction of little kids at anything like this, ranging from boredom and confusion to a lot of enjoyment.

kids winning awards
kids winning awards

The event was set up by a Indonesian women entrepreneurs fund, and there were a bunch of tables of crafts for sale.

Indonesian canes
Indonesian crafts

And then there was boatload of food. I had no idea what almost all of it was.

Indonesian menu

There might be a label here and there like Bluefish, but everything was cooked with so many other ingredients that wasn’t a lot of help to someone like me. People were happy to explain that something had chicken or something was spicy, but it seemed pointless to ask for details with so many things for sale that all had so many ingredients.

Bluefish dish

Another thing I didn’t know is that Indonesians eat a lot of baked sweets. I bought a couple of loaves of bread with some kind of sweet cheese inside.

Indonesian pastries

I ended up taking the plunge and also getting at random a couple of roast chickens for dinner and some fritters which, as best I could guess, were made of something similar to the filling for spring rolls, battered, and deep fried. Things were sauced with vinegar, hot pepper, sugar and fish sauce, and some other herbs as well. The little containers of green spice were extremely hot.

fritters and roast chickens


  1. pasar malam here at the end of the month (evening market in indonesian) (tho up here its actually a 3 day market coz we dont speak indonesian) we have 3 or 4 them a year and i love them….the smells alone make them worth visiting ….but you know…its a good thing we dont have too many of them in a year….coz i would be round now

    course we have a huge indonesian community over here…as we sorta kinda colonized them

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