16 Jun 2023

Get to know the history of Jakarta Fair

by:Muhammad Raedyan Kahfi

Editor:Ramdan Malik Batubara, Aditya Gagat Hanggara

16 Jun 2023

Hello, Smartcitizen. Have you ever heard of Pekan Raya Jakarta or Jakarta Fair? For Jakarta residents, this event may be familiar. Held every June to coincide with Jakarta’s birthday, this event is always awaited by the people of Jakarta.

There are many unique and interesting activities that can be participated in at PRJ, as this event is commonly abbreviated. Starting from various exhibitions to stage acts of famous musicians in the country, you can watch here. That’s what makes it much anticipated by the people of Jakarta and its surroundings.

Before becoming the biggest festival in Jakarta now, PRJ had an interesting story, as it went through several name changes until finally it is now known as Jakarta Fair Kemayoran or JFK. After the 1965 tragedy that caused Indonesia’s economy to plummet, a new idea was needed to boost the national economy, givingbirth to this event.

What was the history of this event like? Let’s read this article!

Inspired by Gambir Market

 

Pasar Gambir

Since the late 18th century, Gambir has been the central area of Jakarta, known as Weltevreden. It is home to numerous historical buildings that still stand today, including the Willemkerk (Immanuel Church), Cathedral Church, Indische Woohuis (National Gallery), Volksraad (Pancasila Building), and Gambir Market, which serves as a public space.

During its prime, Gambir Market was the largest night market in the Dutch East Indies. The market’s spatial layout and arrangement of various venues were designed to foster cross-ethnic and cultural interactions among the diverse groups residing in Batavia (now Jakarta). It showcased a wide range of exhibitions, featuring cultural products and local arts. The popularity of Pasar Gambir was evident, with an estimated attendance of approximately 310,000 people in 1936.

The market was originally established to coincide with the birthday of Dutch Queen Wilhelmina on August 31, 1898, and to commemorate her coronation. It took place once a year for a week between August and September. However, the night market ceased to operate during the Japanese occupation in 1942.

Djakarta Fair

 

Djakarta Fair

Following Indonesia’s independence, Jakarta Governor Ali Sadikin took the initiative to merge multiple night markets in Jakarta into a single festival with the aim of boosting domestic product marketing. In the 1960s, he instructed Syamsudin Mangan, Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin), to spearhead this effort.

Eventually, the concept of a large-scale and centralized exhibition came to fruition in 1967. The DKI Jakarta Provincial Government warmly embraced the idea and established a temporary committee under Regional Regulation Number 8 of 1968. Consequently, the Djakarta Fair was established as an annual event to be held in the capital city on every June 22, which coincides with Jakarta’s birthday.

The inaugural Djakarta Fair took place from June 5 to July 20, 1968, with President Soeharto officially opening the event by releasing a carrier pigeon. The fair was initially held in the Monas area from 1968 to 1991. It enjoyed tremendous success, attracting approximately 1.4 million visitors during its first edition.

Jakarta Fair Kemayoran

 

Poster Jakarta Fair

Subsequently, the management of Djakarta Fair was transferred to Yayasan Penyelenggara Pameran dan Pekan Raya Jakarta, leading to a change in its name to Jakarta Fair or Pekan Raya Jakarta (PRJ).

To accommodate the growing demands, the venue was relocated. Since 1992, PRJ has been held at the Jakarta International Expo (JIExpo) Kemayoran, occupying a spacious area of 44 hectares. Consequently, it adopted the name Jakarta Fair Kemayoran (JFK).

Over the years, Jakarta Fair has evolved into a consistently organized festival encompassing various aspects, including music concerts, culinary delights, exhibitions, and dazzling fireworks. This annual extravaganza is an integral part of the city’s birthday celebrations and contributes to the economic advancement of the local community.

Now, after reading this article, you have a better understanding of the history of PRJ, right? Let’s continue to support Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) products by visiting the Jakarta Fair. Also, follow Jakarta Fair and JSC social media for more interesting information.

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