Frances is currently sixteen year old, and a grade 11 high school student in Jakarta.
She published her book Ondel – Ondel Galau in April 2018 as a result of her interest and research in Betawi Culture. Her interest sparked after witnessing a pair of ondel-ondel (giant Betawi effigies) roaming around the streets of Jakarta, begging for money from passersby and motorists stuck in traffic. Upset by this unfortunate sight and curious to learn more about her native culture, Frances began doing her research which led her to the Betawi Cultural Village at Setu Babakan.
“Ondel-Ondel Galau” talks about Betawi culture from the eyes of a high school student. It discusses various aspects of Betawi Culture, ranging from its history, public figures, traditional dances, to songs and various mouth-watering culinary. With appealing illustrations by talented illustrator Muhammad Nashir Setiawan, the book is a light yet enlightening read. It is written in English so that it can also be read by non-Indonesian speakers.
Frances shares the aspirations of many Betawi public figures. With the book, she hopes that she could trigger curiosity among Indonesian youngsters to know and learn more about their own culture.
Continuing on from her book, Frances initiated the creation of this website for the Betawi Cultural Village at Setu Babakan. She dedicates this project to the Betawi people, and hopes that the website can serve as a platform to help introduce the Village to a wider audiences, both locally and internationally.
The website provides information on attractions visitors can find in the Village, things to See and Do, along with updates on upcoming activities and events. It also serves as a simple digital encyclopedia introduction to the Betawi culture. Customers can also search for information to purchase Betawi arts and handicrafts, culinary, snacks and beverages, as well as studios to hire traditional Betawi performances.
Frances would like to thank Bang Indra Sutisna and Bang Yahya Andi Saputra, two main Betawi public figures, who have given her invaluable guidances, information, input and support, during the writing of her book and the development of this website.
She hopes that Setu Babakan Betawi Cultural Village can one day become one of Jakarta’s main tourist attractions. She also hopes that young generation, including herself, would have more appreciation towards their own culture and strive to preserve it for future generations.