What on Earth is a Kampung?

If you have never been to Jakarta, or Indonesia, you may never have seen or heard of a kampung. Basically it’s a village community which maybe, in some places, is surrounded by rice fields or plantations of some kind, whereas in Jakarta it may be right beside a huge shopping mall, or just behind your luxury house.

In a kampung, no space is wasted, every section has a purpose and the narrow streets act like a maze, winding all over the place with no overarching plan.

The kampung grows and shrinks with the city around it and in some ways is a self sufficient community. Some people live very tough lives there. No government will pick up your waste or fix your roads, and you may not have running water, so you have to get creative. And my god, Indonesians are creative.

The kampung is a safe space for kids to run free as someone always has their eye on you, where the community hotline moves fast and where so much is shared.

When my mother-in-law comes to stay with us, it doesn’t take her long before she wants to head home, back to the kampung. She hates how quiet our house is, how empty it is; to her it is lifeless and she always feels bosan (bored). When I ride through the the kampung, I get what she means.

This is some wonky footage of our ride through a kampung near our house.

Published by lostinthealleywayscom

I am a feminist, mother of two, Australian, married to an Indonesian, lover of all things Jakarta (well apart from the pollution and rubbish and corruption and...well you get the picture). I want to share my stories of exploring Jakarta and raising my two daughters in the big city.

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