Mandi-mandi, The Tradition of Applying Powder in Tugu Village

Kampung Tugu, Cilincing, North Jakarta is an area inhabited by Portuguese descent in Jakarta. Originally they were Portuguese slaves and prisoners who were brought by the Dutch from Malacca, when the area fell to the Dutch. They were taken to Batavia and then placed in an area which is now known as the Tugu village.

For centuries the Portuguese prisoners lived in the village to create a separate community and create a tradition of acculturation of Portuguese culture and local culture. There are several rituals or cultures that are the result of acculturation of Portuguese culture with Betawi culture or local culture.

For example, in Tugu village there is the Rabo-Rabo custom, which is the “halal-bihalal” of the Christian community in Tugu Village. In addition, the Portuguese descendants in Tugu village also created their own musical creation, namely the Keroncong Tugu. Apart from those two things, there is one more tradition and culture typical of the Tugu village which comes from Portuguese descent namely the tradition of Mandi – mandi.

Mandi - mandi is an activity to open the beginning of the year by forgiving each other. The symbol is by using thawed powder. Then the leader of the Mardjikers group will start by applying it to one of the participants of Portuguese descent.
"This as a culture continues as a reminder. The current generations are invited to get to know their culture," said Johan Sophaheluakan, Public Relations of Culture and Government of Kampung Tugu, quoted from

After that, all participants were allowed to put powder on each other's faces, and the Mandi – mandi began. Betawi culture is seen in the kebaya used by the Mardjikers - another name for residents of Portuguese descent in Tugu village. Not only that, the special culinary served is also so Betawi, Gado-gado flush in the style of Kampung Tugu. In addition, there is a wet cake which is also a typical food of Mardijkers, Banana Shrimp.

This tradition uses Keroncong Tugu music. Cafrinho's music made all the participants sway as they added powder.
Although keroncong is Portuguese music, there is a mixture of cultures that is clearly visible, for example from the way the musicians dress. Musicians will wear white, Betawi-style koko clothes, while pet hats and scarves are European elements.


“Manusia tanpa cita-cita adalah mati. Cita-cita tanpa kerja adalah mimpi. Idaman yang menjadi andalan adalah kebahagiaan.”
- Ali Sadikin -
Gubernur DKI Jakarta 1966 - 1977
“Emang rejeki kagak kemane, tapi kalo lo gak kemane-mane mana mau dapet rejeki.”
- H. Benyamin Sueb -
Seniman Betawi