The 4th of February marks my arrival in Jakarta, Indonesia. Was quite a drastic change from -2 C when I left Stockholm, to the it’s-always-30-degree-celcius here. It’s been a year since I last visited for a quick 2-week off, where I sadly did not get a lot of time to do other things than doing my personal errands, cause it was still in the middle of the pandemic. This time, there is no quarantine enforcement anymore to enter the country, we can go places without having to “check in” with an app called PeduliLindungi, that shows whether or not you’ve been vaccinated (or if you’re currently tested positive for Covid). Hurrah, the Covid ban has been lifted! Time to celebrate with lots of amazing food!
Indonesia prides themselves for their food, and the culture tells you to share food with each other. I wouldn’t do them any justice if I don’t post any pictures of their national food. So apologies if I put some food pictures here and there – it’s just part of respecting the culture 🙂
So, I was very fortunate to get the Minor Field Studies stipendium from SIDA! I am studying Communication for Development in Malmö University, and I have always wanted to do my research about Indonesia, to contribute for more research for this country, from a local’s persective. In fact, that relates to what my thesis is going to be about – applying postcolonialism perspective into the practice of international communication practices in Jakarta and Bali. I am reaching out to some local environmental movements, organisations, sociopreneur, journalists that are communicating environmental issues here to people in Indonesia, to get their insights and perspective of doing things locally. I’ll talk more about my work in the later posts, I am not scheduling my fieldwork to start straight away because I need some time off to settle in, fixing some personal bureaucracy issues that I could only do while I’m in town, and meeting lots of familiar faces.
Remember when I say Covid ban is lifted? It means more people are not allowed to work from home anymore, so they have to go to the office in Central Jakarta. It means that more than 3,2 million people are commuting from Greater Jakarta to Central Jakarta every day. Which resulted in… pollution.
They have built a new MRT system in 2019, but it hasn’t reached the suburban areas in Greater Jakarta. Other means of public transport like the Commuter Line or TransJakarta are pretty crazy to take in the rush hour, you need a better strategy to be able to get in. Therefore, most people still resort to cars and motorcycles- the automotive industry are still very profitable here . Now you can see why the roads are always full with vehicles, and the air with pollution. But I have faith that things are going to get better, new infrastructures are going to be built in the near future and fights towards a better climate situation always exists.
Well, that’s it for this introductory post. I’ll be back with more posts, so until then, eat some good food and take care!