People-in-Country Profile

People Selector:
Print version:
Step 1 - Select a Country:   Send us your updates!
Step 2 - Select a People:  

Betawi in Indonesia


Send us a photo of this people.  [1]

Betawi in Indonesia map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
5,666,000 Betawi Islam 2.23 % 0.00 % No   

Betawi in Indonesia

Profile Text
Submit Profile Text:

Introduction / History
The Betawi people are the original inhabitants of Jakarta. They are often called "people of Jakarta," "people of Batavia," or "Betawi." They are descendents of the people who came to Batavia, (the historical name for Jakarta) in the 15th century. Today, the original Betawi community can be found in areas surrounding Jakarta, such as Pasar Minggu, South Jakarta, East Jakarta, Condet and Kampung Sawah in Bekasi (West Java Province).

What are their lives like?
In the city of Jakarta, Betawi people work as traders, civil servants, laborers, craftsman, or employees of private companies. In areas surrounding Jakarta, such as Jagakarsa, Ciracas and Cilangkap, most Betawi people make a living by farming rice, growing fruit and fishing. Over time, much of the land they have used for rice farming has been sold to become sites for housing complexes, factories and other facilities required for modernization. As a result, many farmers have sought work in the city, becoming traders or tukang ojek (motorcycle taxi drivers). It is difficult for the Betawi to be separated from their families. A Betawi person going through financial difficulty can ask for help from his family members and relatives. Because of this practice, outsiders often consider the Betawi lazy in comparison to people of other ethnicities who have more recently settled in Jakarta. The average level of education in the Betawi community is quite low. A possible reason for this is that the Betawi have identified schooling with the lifestyle of the ethnic Chinese or the colonial Dutch, causing them to reject education. This general resistance to schooling is strengthened by Islamic teachers who have urged the Betawi not to attend government-run schools, but instead to enroll in Islamic schools. Unique Betawi art forms include lenong (a form of folk theater), ondel-ondel (large puppets used in parades), tari topeng (a form of dance in which the performers wear masks) and wayang golek (shadow theater utilizing wooden puppets). Their traditional form of music is called tanjidor. Sadly, Betawi people themselves rarely perform their traditional art forms anymore.

What are their beliefs?
Daily life in the Betawi community is guided by Islamic teaching and ethics. This can be seen, for example, in the four principles followed by most Betawi. First, they greet one another with the Islamic salutation Assalamualaikum (Peace be to you), to which the answer is Waalaikumsalam (Peace to you too). Second, they pray five times a day. Third, girls must be married as soon as they reach the required minimum age. Fourth, a host must offer his guests hospitality as much as he is able. The Betawi philosophy for life is "Good fortune is for today; tomorrow is tomorrow's affair." They believe that Allah will give them good fortune. Although the Betawi are generally Muslims, they still believe in spirits that inhabit particular places such as trees, bridges and graveyards.

What are their needs?
The young generation of Betawi need scientific knowledge so that they can adapt to the information era and new technology. Up until now, most lower class Betawi people are still farmers. They would benefit from a wider view on life. The Betawi people will need to become more competitive in order to survive in Jakarta, a metropolitan city in which productivity and efficiency are highly valued.

View Betawi in all countries.

Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2014-04-19
  Submit Update:
Country: Indonesia
Continent: Asia
Region: Asia, Southeast
Persecution Rank:49 (Only top 50 ranked, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
10/40 Window: Yes
Location in Country:Java island, Jawa Barat Province, Bogar, Bekasi, and Karawang regencies including Depok and Bekasi cities; Banten Province, from Tangerang recency and city; dominant in Jakarta special capital territory.
(Source: Ethnologue 2016)
Submit Map:
Country Map:Political map
Ethnolinguistic Map:University of Texas or other map
Linguistic Map:Ethnologue language map
  Peoples [3]
Submit Update:
People Name in Country: Betawi
People Name General: Betawi
Alternate People Names:
BataviBetawi Asli
Jakarta Malay
ROP3 Code: 101296
Joshua Project People ID: 10815
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 5,666,000
Population all Countries: 5,666,000
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: Malay Peoples
People Cluster: Sunda-Betawi of Java
People Name General: Betawi
Ethnic Code: MSY44k
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
Submit Update:
Primary Language: Betawi (5,666,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): bew    Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
Submit Update:
Primary Religion: Islam
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.58 % 
Christianity2.23 %(Evangelical: 0.00 %)
Ethnic Religions0.00 % 
Hinduism0.02 % 
Islam97.14 % 
Non-Religious0.03 % 
Other / Small0.00 % 
Unknown0.00 % 
Christianity Segments:
Anglican0.00 %
Independent0.00 %
Protestant100.00 %
Orthodox0.00 %
Other Christian0.00 %
Roman Catholic0.00 %
(Evangelicals distributed across Christianity segments)
Progress Indicators [5]
Progress Scale[6]   Few evangelicals and few who claim to be Christians. Little, if any, history of Christianity.
Least-Reached: Yes
GSEC Status:Level 2   Less than 2% Evangelical. Initial (localized) church planting within past 2 years
Bible Translation Status
Submit Update:
Bible Portions: 2000-2003
New Testament: None Reported
Complete Bible: None Reported
Possible Bible Sources: Forum of Bible Agencies
 World Bible Finder
 World Christian Resource Directory
 Gospel Go
Ministry Resources [7]
Audio RecordingsMegaVoice Audio Bible and Stories
Audio RecordingsAudio Bible teaching (GRN)
Audio RecordingsStory of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project ...
Film / VideoJesus Film: view in Betawi
Ministry Activity
Register Ministry Activity:
Networking: Visit for networking possibilities.
Description: Register your ministry activity among this people group. Contact the Adopt-A-People Clearinghouse and Unleashed for the Unreached to learn about others that might be focused on this people group.
Data Notes
Data Sources

Betawi in Indonesia

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Sunda-Betawi of Java     Asia, Southeast    
      Betawi Indonesia    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Betawi in Indonesia          
      Religion Language  
      Islam     Betawi  
    All Religions                              

Direct link: