February 21, 2008


The existence of modern trade channels (hypermarket, supermarket etc.) has shifted Indonesians’ shopping habit. Traditional markets (wet markets called “Pasar”) are no longer favoured because supermarkets offer the convenience of shopping in an air-conditioned, odourless (a pasar is usually smelly) environment. However, one shopping alternative that still flourishes is the “warung”.

Warung is basically your neighbourhood store. Usually it is part of a person’s house transformed into a store that sells daily consumer products such as shampoo, soap, softdrinks, chips etc in small pack sizes/sachets. Because it is part of a house (the owner lives there), the size is usually not so big and you cannot enter a warung. All you need to do, is ask the owner for the product that you are looking for. However, there are bigger warungs that you can enter. These warungs sell a more complete range of products such as rice and other staple food.

During these hard economic times, opening a warung is an alternative to get some extra money. Therefore, it is not unusual to find 3 warungs in one street.

So remember, whenever you run out of something, don’t panic, just pop out and check, maybe you can get it at your warung!

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