Indonesia’s Lottery – A Love Affair

lottery of Indonesia

JAKARTA — Indonesia’s government has dropped plans to use a lottery to fund its National Sports Council after facing protests from Muslim groups, the Jakarta Post reported today. The Muslim groups argue that a lottery is a form of gambling, which is forbidden by both Islam and Indonesian law.

In rural Flores, a love affair with the lottery (shio) is common among people of all ages and genders. The lottery is the centre of daily conversations and often forms the basis for interpretations of dreams, omens and horoscopes. Despite the fact that winning the lottery often results in a net loss of money for villagers, people still share their wins with friends and family. In some cases, women use their shio winnings to buy sweets for the children; men often spend their winnings on alcohol and cigarettes.

In a different context, this article explores how art projects like Gudang Sarinah Ecosystem, Parasite Lottery and Serikat Sindikasi use the lottery to question and imagine modes of care and sustainability. These projects are part of a wider network of cultural platforms in urban and rural Indonesia which support local artists, craftspeople and communities. Each of these networks aims to integrate and amplify the work of individual art collectives: Gudang Sarinah Ecosystem is a collaboration between ruangrupa, Serrum and Grafis Huru Hara, each of which engages with arts as it intersects with urban social contexts. Parasite Lottery is a project by Wok the Rock, a Yogyakarta-based artist and curator.