From the Klan to Hitler: dining out in Indonesia

Happy Halloween! There might be a weird form of logic to the image below if it was some kind of horribly misguided Halloween prank. But it’s not. It’s Indonesia.

This is the latest wall art at the Chopstix noodle restaurant in one of Indonesia’s swishest malls, Plaza Indonesia in central Jakarta. It shows Adolf Hitler sneaking behind a curtain to devour a box of noodles. The swastika isn’t depicted in full, but diners are left in no doubt what they’re looking at.

Funny isn’t it? The folks at Chopstix certainly seem to think so. Fascist extremism, genocide and race hatred really seem to tickle their funny bones. Before Hitler appeared in their restaurant, the wall was filled with a similar depiction of a Ku Klux Klan member. Hahaha!

Sadly, what the morons at Chopstix don’t understand, is that their sense of humour only illustrates the pathetic state of Indonesia’s education system. So many people in this country – 240 million people, world’s third biggest “democracy” blah blah blah – have no understanding of or interest in historical events outside Indonesia. The Enlightenment? Don’t bother us with your Western cultural imperialism! Holocaust? Who says, those evil Jews? Doubt it!

No one who understood the history of the 20th century (and the world as we know it today) would happily take their kids to eat at a restaurant illustrated with a picture of Adolf Hitler. Yet this is what was happening when I visited Chopstix the other day. None of the Indonesians, including a family with two young girls, gave the image a second glance.

What else does it say about the Indonesian mentality? Do people in this mainly Muslim country sympathise with Hitler and Nazism?

If you’d like to make a complaint here’s Chopstix’s number:  (6221) 3983 8792.


3 responses to “From the Klan to Hitler: dining out in Indonesia

  1. Lol, what a strange and fascinating thing to do. Wonder why they did it.

  2. snoringdogstudio

    Or, is it art? Or advertising? Perhaps, instead of complaining to the restaurant management, find out why it’s there and what statement the artist is making. Is it one artist’s work or that of several? If it is one artist’s work, and it looks like it, I wonder why the restaurant doesn’t show all the art as a gallery display.

    Thank you for posting this. I don’t have the money or time to travel, so I’m grateful that others give me a glimpse into life elsewhere.

  3. It’s advertising and art, I suppose. I thought about asking the management the obvious question (What were you thinking?) but I’m afraid I’d just get an embarrassed grin. I’d be surprised if any of the staff know anything about Hitler. Maybe I’ll ask them next time I’m there (which isn’t often, for obvious reasons – it’s a little weird eating lunch with that on the wall).

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