Photographer's Note

In Indonesia particularly in the city, one aspect of life that cannot be ignored is the numerous 'pengamen' or buskers, the street musicians who roam the streets day and night trying earn some money by singing and playing musical intruments. The idea behind penagmen is, they would sing and entertain you if you enjoy the service, you pay them. They are parts of daily life who color the streets, and you would encounter this no matter where you are. Many of those 'pengamen' are migrants from the countryside with little or no musical training at all.

The common places they like to perform are restaurants, city squares, street food stalls, bus and train stations. Like it or not, they will always be there because of simple reasons, high unemployment rates and poverty and job opportunities in the big city are very hard to come by, this means that many young Indonesians have no choice but to work odd jobs in the informal sector, thus I guess being a 'pengamen' is a popular choice and the easiest way out.

Surprisingly, some of them are real great entertainers you can sometime stumble upon a select few with very good quality, with astonishing voice and several even have the unique ability to communicate with their audience. These are rare breed though and you would not hesitate to spare few thousand rupiahs(IDR1000~11cents) for these street entertainers. To hear its haunting melodies with a plate of 'nasi goreng' (fried rice) before you and a cup of Java coffee in hand is just like listening to, tasting and drinking in the soul of a nation. Indonesia better known as 'Land under the rainbow' has such a very diverse life styles and this is just a glimpse of their daily life.

Taken in Jember City East Java outside a restaurant, The percussions are made of pvc pipes and rubber sheets!

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Additional Photos by abmdsudi abmdsudi (abmdsudi) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6680 W: 150 N: 14602] (64343)
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