A few weeks ago I made a trip to the Monas (Monumen Nasional), a monument honoring Indonesia’s struggle for independence, and which is located in the middle of Jakarta and a landmark spot for anyone who has ever visited the city.
The Monas or the National Monument of Indonesia is designed to not only symbolise gaining independence, but also masculinity and femininity through the lingga and yoni representations. The lingga is a phallic symbol that can be found throughout cultures in Asia, while the yoni represents the female counterpart of the lingga. At the Monas, the lingga is represented as the tower, while the yoni is represented as the base on which the tower stands. Furthermore, the monument also represents the old traditional Indonesian instruments of a pestle and mortar.
I went there with the idea of going up the tower and having an awesome view of Jakarta’s skyline and enjoying the park, but things turned out a bit differently then I expected.
First of, it was so hot. Really scorching hot. People trying to escape the sun occupied every bit of shade cast by trees and buildings found in the park. People held their jackets over their heads to provide some manual shade as well. And there wasn’t a cloud in sight, which was unusual because it was in the middle of the rainy season. Most surprisingly were the people who walked around the park in these giant suits of various characters such as Spongebob Squarepants and Doraemon. They weren’t even in the shade, but directly in the sun. I can’t imagine how hot it must’ve been for them.
Secondly, my hope of entering the tower of the National Monument of Indonesia was kind of crushed after seeing the very long, long, looooong queue to enter the place. To be fair, this was also on a Sunday so naturally it would be more crowded than usual, I just didn’t expect it to be that much. After some consideration we decided to not go up the tower, as it would literally take hours for us to get inside.
All in all, I might go back there on a less crowded, and perhaps rainy, weekday to give the national monument another try. As for the rest of the park… It was a very surreal place. The people in costumes were so out of place and I think the park could do with a giant renovation. Provide more grassy areas, more trashcans, more facilities and it could be a very nice place to spend a few hours.