Yes, this is Jakarta in the 50’s. Amazingly modern and clean.

That book that I found at a secondhand book shop –Tanah Air Kita by N.A. Douwes Dekker– I can’t seem  to get enough of it. It has so many really great photos of Indonesia in the 50’s. For today’s post, however, I only pick photos of Jakarta –or Jacarta according to the book– because based on the photos I think Jakarta as a city looked very modern, and very cultured too, just fantastic. I am not trying to be political but I think whoever wins the governor election today, he better looks at these photos. They are the reminder to all of us that Jakarta was once and can be  a fine city.

Kemayoran, the first international airport. When the sky was blue.

Street hawkers in Glodok. For a second, I thought it was Penang or Singapore.





“A philharmonic orchestra further enriches the city’s cultural life”, says the book. Cant believe it’s Jakarta.





Tanjung Priok. “Real ocean greyhounds like the “Orange” (left) and the “Willem Ruys” (right) find excellent berths in this harbor”. Beautiful and it was not a movie set. 




A modern well-to-do family having dinner. Quality family time. There was no traffic jam back then, of course.





The groom and the bride in western outfit, the rest are comfortable in kebaya.






A white student among locals at the medical college of the University of Indonesia.









A city woman in kebaya at work. Smooth operator.