Jakarta is a fascinating city. Its attraction lies in the incredibly wide variety of people – Indonesians, Chinese, Indians, Arabs, and Europeans – who have arrived over the centuries, bringing with them their own habits, folklore, and culture. Their descendants have resulted in a vibrant mix of people, most of them making a living along the thousands of small lanes and alleys that criss-cross the kampungs of this enormous city. Artifacts indicate that this area was inhabited from the fifth century. Hundreds of years later, a small trading post on the coast named Kelapa was founded and eventually grew into the mega-city of Jakarta with over twenty million people. This book provides a unique look at the history of Jakarta through the eyes of individuals who have walked its streets through the ages, revealing how some of the challenges confronting the city today – congestion, poverty, floods and land subsidence – mirror the struggles the city has had to face in the past.
About the Author
Herald van der Linde is HSBC’s Chief Asian Equity Strategist, also known as “The Flying Dutchman” given his frequent travels around the region. He and his Indonesian wife are based in Hong Kong and Jakarta. Prior to his role as a strategist, he had worked for 20 years in Indonesia, South Africa and Taiwan as an analyst. Herald is trained as an economist and wrote his Master’s thesis in Jakarta. He decided to stay in the city after graduation and made it his home. This allowed him to extensively explore the Indonesian archipelago, which further nurtured his interest in the country and its history. Herald is a Certified Financial Analyst (CFA), speaks seven languages and is fluent in Bahasa Indonesia, amongst other languages. He is also an Associate of the Institute of Wine and Spirits and is a certified lecturer for the Wine & Spirit Education Trust.