Jakarta money sellers struggle as demand drops amid travel ban

Idul Fitri as the Eid al-Fitr holiday at the end of Ramadan is known in Indonesia, is usually a busy time for so-called small-change sellers in the capital Jakarta. In pre-pandemic years they would provide various denominations of crisp new bank notes to people who lacked the time to wait in a queue at a bank during opening hours. During the holiday, cash is often given as gifts to children, elderly relatives and acquaintances in need. And as Jakarta is mostly a city of people whose families originally come from elsewhere, the demand for this holiday cash is typically high there too. This year however, the government has banned the practice of returning to one's ancenstral hometown during the holiday, in the interests of containing the pandemic, so the money markets are quiet. With the Eid holiday an important one for many families and many parts of the economy, from transport to the culinary sector, there have been protests against the travel ban.

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