Kite Museum, More Than Just A Childhood Memory

My brother from Solo and cousins from Yogyakarta and Pemalang are coming to Jakarta. I’m so excited for showing them some authentic experiences in Jakarta. Therefore, I take a day leave from office on Monday to travel around the city with them. I also want to take them for experiencing public transportation here.

Since I know Monday is a close schedule for museum, I don’t plan to go there. I prefer to go to Ragunan Zoo in South Jakarta. We take commuter train, Trans Jakarta Bus, plus we still use angkot, kind of minivan for public transportation. Ya, taking a lot of time to reach the place from Bekasi train station to the zoo. Unfortunately, when we arrive there, we’re so surprised knowing that the zoo is closed. I just know that zoo is also closed on that day, just like museum’s schedule.

I quickly open my TripAdvisor app to look for recommendation which is not that far from the zoo. I find an interesting spot named Museum Layang-Layang or Kite Museum. But, wait! It’s a museum, it isn’t. So it must be closed. But the information shown on app telling it opens. I then immediately call the museum and get so excited that it really opens.

Because I see my family already look exhausted, I don’t want to force them to continue the trip by public transportation. Morever, I order Grab Car and they look relieved haha. But, I can see they’re still excited to explore. Fortunately, It also doesn’t take a long time from Ragunan Zoo to the Museum.

We’re surprised when we arrive. This 2,000-m² museum looks homey than an old and scary museum. Many trees shading its outdoor area also make us feel more comfortable. Uniquely, in outdoor area, some parts of its pavement are painted with kite ornament. It seems that it wants to emphasise its identity as kite center.

We find the museum more interesting due to its architecture. It applies Joglo design, a traditional house of Central Java which highlights spacious terrace and tall roof. It also utilizes wood as main structure of the building.

Soon we enter the museum and pay the tickets, we are helped by a guide for the tour. It begins with sitting-on-the-floor session to watch a video about kite history. It is located in a smaller building in front of Joglo.

Morever, we are guided to Joglo to see kite collections as the main attraction of the museum. We’re so amazed with the diversity and even the bizzareness. There are so many shapes, unique designs, various materials, fancy colors of kites that I haven’t seen before. As I know in my childhood memory, kite is a toy with a kind of quadrilateral shape. I’ve never seen these varieties and I learn that kite can be a representation of not only hobby but also art.

With almost 1,000 kites as collection, this museum exposes the richness of Indonesian cultures as represented in various kite style. For example, kite from Bali has its own story. In the past, kites were used by farmers to represent thankfulness to gods after harvesting. While kites were flying, those were expected to invite gods to spread fertility back toward their farmland. Meanwhile, kite from South Kalimantan is traditionally installed with a kind of flute. Thus, when it is flying, there will be whistling sound produced.

The design and pattern of kite may be alot influenced by its traditional element from its origin. Kite from Sumatera Island tends to apply Malay motives. Meanwhile, kite from Central Java may apply more wayang (Javanese traditional characters) motives.

Museum found by kites enthusiast Endang Puspoyo in 2003 not only displays Indonesian kites but also kites from various countries such as Japan, Netherlands, and China. Visitors may also see the kites with various range of size, from the miniature to the gigantic one.

Another interesting attraction of this place is it offers activities from folding, painting, to make kites. Thus, Museum Layang-Layang is so recommended for family with kids though the adults may experience them, as well.

At last Museum Layang-Layang for me is more than bringing a childhood memory. It brings another level of spirit to preserve kites. It may sound weird for country with kite as popular and affordable toy, but in fact seeing kite in Jakarta is now rare experience. So, the effort of museum to keep promoting kite is well appreciated.

Moreover, it also gives education that kite is not only toy for kids but can be a entertainment for everyone, a sport activity, and art embodiment.

Location : Haji Kamang Street No 38, Pondok Labu, South Jakarta

– February 6, 2017 –

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