Glodok - China Town

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When our guide said we would be walking around a Chinese market in Jakarta, I thought I might have seen it all before having lived in Hong Kong for many years. But this market had some surprises in store. Most of the stalls were in small dark alleys or in shadows to protect the products from the burning sun. But all the food here look fresh and tasty, the sort of stuff youd want to buy.

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The Chinese community in Indonesia has had a rather chequered history; I’d recommend this Wikipedia article as a starting point if you are interested. They have variously been in and out of favour with the ruling parties, whether Dutch or Indonesian, so have tended to live in discrete communities. As is usual, these communities have their own Chinese temples such as the two shown here:

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As seen in Surabaya, the candles in these temples are very very  large indeed.

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It is important to remember that Christian communities in Southeast Asian countries are primarily Chinese. But is was still a surprise to go into this Chinese temple and find that it was a church.

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Actually, Jakarta seemed full of surprises but it is not an easy place to get around. It has a complicated history which still affects the psyche of the place today, and one day was not enough to absorb it all.

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© Helen Gray 2020