The people!

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When we visited Borobudur Temple in Java in December 1992, we spent most of our time being photographed by local tourists. Indeed, they were queuing up to have their photo taken with us. I thought that this was because Westerners were still relatively rare in Java. So it came as quite a surprise to find that the same thing was going on today. We were frequently asked if we would be in someone’s photo, to the extent that I took to photo-bombing some groups, much to their delight!


These ladies looked like Indonesians, due to their colourful outfits and their small stature. The photographer is wearing a typical headdress, but more brightly coloured than seen on the streets.

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This is a Balinese sweetcorn vendor at Tanah Lot Temple.

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In the back streets of Surabaya, outside a small library, photo taken by the librarian.

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In the dark and cramped Pasar Pabean in Surabaya, this lady looked at me so I gestured to ask if I could take her photo. She nodded and then decided to pose by holding up a water melon. This is one of my favourite photos because she has such an expressive face.

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Now this guy in Surabaya smiled as I walked passed his egg shop, and gave me this pose; note the lady in the background hiding her face.

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As we walked along the river bank, this guy caught my eye. When I asked to photograph him, he made it clear he wanted his sacks of vegetables to be in the shot as well as himself.

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In the colourful kampung (Kampung Warna Warni Jodipan) in Malang.

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A group of film students in Yogyakarta.

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This lady sold us a refreshing chendol as we walked towards the Water Castle in Yogyakarta.

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In the Water Castle at Yogyakarta it was hard to avoid other people taking photos, so I took one of this chap while he was posing for a friend. He gave me the thumbs up afterwards!

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At the Prambanan temple I joined these young ladies for a selfie.

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Then they posed for me.

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At Borobudur, we spent some time with these school children whose teacher had taken them there to practise their English on the foreigners.

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In Bogor Botanical Gardens: the guy on the right said he was an English teacher, and we bumped into him many times in the park that morning. The other three people were film students, so I was asked to do a piece to camera on what I knew about this park.

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These young ladies were also in Bogor Botanical Gardens.

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Fishermen in Sunda Kelapa (Jakarta).

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© Helen Gray 2019