Located at Srengseng Sawah in the subdistrict of Jagakarsa in South Jakarta, isSetu Babakan, a man-made lake that is a water catchment area for the city of Jakarta. The lake receives its water from the Ciliwung river that flows here from the mountains of West Java. Covering an area of around 30 hectares, this peaceful lake is surrounded by clusters of shady fruit trees among which are mangoes, mangosteens, rambutans, starfruit, guava, jackfruit, durians and many other juicy tropical fruits.
As one of the last remaining, and most intact Betawi village communities in Jakarta, Setu Babakan has been stipulated as a Betawi Cultural Heritage village to showcase the life of the original Betawi people, the indigenous ethnic group of Jakarta.
Here visitors can see the original architecture and layout of the houses or stroll through thid rustic village that has retained the Betawi atmosphere, watch cultural performances by the lakeside, enjoy special Betawi food and snacks, or go fishing or boating on the lake
For, it is here at Setu Babakan where the Betawi Culture is being kept for conservation and revival for posterity. Discoveringsuch a large area of green trees and rural setting in the middle of busy Jakarta is indeed a most enjoyable surprise.
When at Setu Babakan do try and enjoy the original Betawi cuisine which include kerak telor, a thin crepe omelette, toge goreng (fried beansprouts) arum manis (candy floss) soto betawi, es duren (durian iced drink), Bir pletok (concoction of mixed fruit juices), nasi uduk (fragrant rice with side dishes) and a host more.
What to Do
After strolling through the village, watch the different Betawi music and dance performances of Lenong, or tari topeng (mask dance), or bands playing keroncong, tanjidor, or gambang kromong.
Regular cultural performances are shown here every Sunday from 2 pm to 4 pm, while dance training sessions of Betawi dances that include Sirih Kuning, Lenggang Nyai and others are held each Sunday, Friday and Wednesdays.
Every July a special Betawi Cultural Festival takes place here that includes wedding ceremonies, circumcision ceremonies, seven-months’ pregnancy rites, and other traditional ceremonies, rites and festivities.
The village now has public facilities, mosques, stages for performances, children playground, outdoor theatre, guesthouse, and souvenir shops and food stalls.
There is also a photo shop where visitors can take memorable pictures in original Betawi costumes.