How to build a social circle in Jakarta

Developing your social circle in Jakarta
Updated 2022-09-26 12:33

Once you have settled in Jakarta, you will seek to make friends in order to adapt to your new environment. Luckily, Jakarta has a population of about 262,787,403, so there is a real possibility of making a lot of friends. But as a foreigner, socializing may come with a bit of a challenge, especially when you've just moved in. Here's how to tackle the problem and develop your social network in Jakarta!

Start by learning the local culture

The best way to make friends is to get to understand Jakarta's culture first. As a foreigner, you will be required to abide by many unspoken social rules.

In Indonesia, there are two basic rules to observe at all times: be polite and be friendly. Greet everyone you encounter with a smile and a slight nod, especially at your place of work. Moreover, hereafter are some common greetings and helpful expressions to use in your everyday life:

  • Good morning - Selamat pagi
  • Good afternoon - Selamat siang
  • Good evening - Selamat sore / malam (Use "sore" from 5 p.m. and "malam" after 9 p.m.)
  • Good night - Selamat malam
  • Thank you - Terima Kasih
  • Sorry ' Maaf
  • Excuse me ' Permisi
  • Please ' Tolong

It is also worth pointing out that social hierarchy is enshrined in Indonesian culture. As a result, everyone has a place in every situation, and it is important to recognize each person according to his or her status.

Spend time outdoors

Don't stay at home! As an expatriate, interaction with your new environment is critical.

Whether at work, in a restaurant, in a café, or on the road, every occasion is good to further expand your social network in Jakarta. Visit the city's various museums, historical buildings and entertainment centers. Besides, as a city with a rich cultural and historical past, many parts of Jakarta are well worth a visit.

You will probably be surprised by the kindness of the Jakartans! They are very social and do not hesitate to talk to strangers. Don't be afraid if someone approaches you on the bus or in the street. Of course, keep your guard up; you never know.

Join online forums

Should you struggle to interact directly with other people, the Internet can be your ally. There is no shortage of discussion boards in Indonesia, and this includes Jakarta. Start by posting a polite message describing yourself and telling the audience that you are looking for new friends in Jakarta.

Use social media

In addition to online forums, use social networks such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Join clubs and communities

Join clubs or associations that support your hobbies and passions and start sharing good times with other members. Jakarta is home to many communities. You can find almost anything for almost anyone, like groups for polyglots, artists, photographers, literature lovers, nature lovers, car enthusiasts, etc. In that sense, the Indonesian Heritage Society is a particularly popular community among expatriates and offers its members the opportunity to learn more about Indonesian culture.

The clubs and communities you belong to may also host events. It is, therefore, worthwhile to keep up to date with any interesting announcements about these events.

Attending events and meetings in Jakarta

Jakarta is a vibrant city with events happening every now and then. From music and art festivals to socializing in local bars, you are bound to find something you like. Besides being the base of an active social life, these events are also a good way to network in Jakarta if you are looking for business contacts. Information on such happenings is usually available online.

Checking on foreign embassies' websites is also a good idea. They often organize cultural and social events for expatriates, which are, by the way, great opportunities to meet new people!

Useful links:

Meetups in Jakarta

Cool communities in Jakarta

Now Jakarta

Indonesian Heritage Society

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.