Dhoplang Market, a weekly old-timey market selling traditional Javanese food in Central Java’s Wonogiri, has become a new alternative destination for tourists visiting the regency.
The market is held every Sunday in a teakwood forest owned by the residents of Pandan village, Slogohimo district, about 40 kilometers from the Wonogiri town center.
In the market, visitors can buy traditional Wonogiri dishes like sega tiwul (cassava rice), cabuk (condiment made of sesame seeds) and grontol (steamed corn with grated coconuts). There are about 193 kinds of traditional foods sold in the market, with prices ranging from Rp 2,000 (14 US cents) to Rp 5,000.
“All the food here is organic. We prohibit the use of artificial flavoring, coloring and preservatives. All foods are prepared over a wood fire instead of in stoves,” Abdul Wahid Ahmadi, the head of Pandan village, told The Jakarta Post.
“We also refuse all kinds of plastic. All the food here is served on or wrapped with teak or banana leaves,” he added.
The organizer provides wooden coins as the payment currency. The coins are worth Rp 1,000, Rp 2,000, Rp 5,000, Rp 20,000 and Rp 50,000.
“When the market closes, sellers can exchange the coins for [real] rupiah,” Lilies, one of the organizers, said.
All sellers are from Pandan village. They are required to don traditional clothing and speak Javanese in the market.
The market opens every Sunday from 6 a.m. until 10.00 a.m., when everything is usually sold out. Some eager visitors often arrive 30 minutes before the market opens.
The market was initiated by the Dasawisma Family Welfare Movement of Pandan village in January 2018. At first, eight tables of foods were placed on the village’s main street to raise funds for the village’s cash deposits. After a month, buyers started to come from other towns.
The market was then moved to the teakwood forest so buyers could enjoy the food under the shade of the trees.
Ahmadi said they planned to stage traditional dances and other performances to attract more visitors in the future.
“We have hopes that Pandan village can be a tourism village one day, a village that will protect Javanese wisdom and culture,” he said. (gis/wng)
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