We all need to unwind and dance to the infectious beat of dangdut from time to time, but a recent party involving the uniquely Indonesian melding of folk tunes and traditional pop amid the pandemic has stirred controversy in Jakarta.
On Saturday evening, officials at the Wisma Atlet Kemayoran emergency COVID-19 hospital held a concert featuring dangdut singer Aida Saskia. Videos from the event have circulated widely online, showing healthcare workers, volunteers, and military officers dancing in a crowded outdoor space.
The concert became a topic of contention considering that the audience consists of people who are constantly in close proximity with COVID-19 patients.
Addressing the controversy, the hospital said the event was held as a farewell event for officials and healthcare workers who are moving to another facility. The hospital also said that strict health protocols were observed during the concert.
“Other than healthcare workers, no one else was allowed in. The event was short; essentially there was a farewell from some officials and healthcare workers, a little bit of music, and then it was concluded,” military doctor and Wisma Atlet official Stefanus Doni said today.
Some of the protocols, Doni said, include mandatory face masks, social distancing requirements, and the provision of hand wash stations.
“We reminded [the workers] to obey protocols, but sometimes when there’s music we can lose ourselves. The stress levels are high here, [the workers] can remain inside Wisma Atlet for months at a time. So hearing a little music made them so happy,” he said.
Aida Saskia, who was initially reluctant to perform at the hospital over infection concerns, said she was reassured that strict protocols were going to be observed during the concert. She said she eventually agreed to perform with no pay as her tribute to the healthcare workers.
Do you think officials were right to reward hard-working, dedicated healthcare workers with a dangdut show, or are there better, risk-free ways to show our appreciation towards them? Let us know in the comments.
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