Street vendor Parmin displays colorful paper trumpets on his bike which is parked on the side of the road in Kemang, South Jakarta, on Dec. 31, 2022. (JG Photo/Jayanty Nada Shofa)

Trumpets: A New Year's Eve Staple and a Business Opportunity for Many

BY :JAYANTY NADA SHOFA

DECEMBER 31, 2022

Jakarta. It is not a New Year's eve celebration without the iconic paper trumpets. 

As soon as the clock strikes 00.00 a.m, people —young and old— blow their trumpets with all their might. Its distinctive sound accompanies the loud bangs of fireworks and the crisp firecracker crackles. 

And this festivity has become a gold mine that many traders and street vendors do not want to miss out on. They don't sell paper trumpets on a day-to-day basis. But as the new year approaches, they would begin selling colorful trumpets in addition to their existing wares.

Meet Parmin, a street vendor from Wonogiri, Central Java. Every day, he would ride his bike around the Bangka, Kemang, and Cipete areas in South Jakarta, selling children's balloons. On Saturday morning, Parmin parked his bicycle just across the Kem Chicks grocery store in Kemang. He had tons of colorful paper trumpets —all in eye-catching rainbow colors and shiny fringes— displayed on his bike. Parmin would sell them for Rp 15,000 or less than a dollar each. 

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Parmin said he made the trumpets all by himself. He can do at least 25 pieces of the New Year’s Eve staple in one night. This also marked the first time Parmin sold paper trumpets since the Covid-19 pandemic dawned in Indonesia. Despite the recent removal of Covid-19 curbs, Parmin said that he decided to be careful by not making many trumpets.

"I don't dare make that many trumpets because the [pandemic] situation has only just returned to normal," Parmin told the Jakarta Globe on Saturday morning.

"I only made about 120 trumpets this time, and so far I have sold at least 27 pieces," he said.

Balloon and paper trumpet merchant Parmin poses for the Jakarta Globe in front of his wares in Kemang, South Jakarta, on Dec. 31, 2022. (JG Photo/Jayanty Nada Shofa)
Street vendor Parmin poses for the Jakarta Globe in front of his paper trumpets and dolphin-shaped balloons in Kemang, South Jakarta, on Dec. 31, 2022. (JG Photo/Jayanty Nada Shofa)

According to Parmin, 25 years have passed since he first came to Jakarta. And he has always been selling children's toys all those years. Parmin also told the Globe that it was easier to make money as a toy vendor in the past — a time when children did not have their eyes glued to their gadgets.

"It was easier back then. The business has dropped since gadgets and YouTube came around," Parmin said.

Parmin also said he hoped he could receive government support to grow his business. He added, “I did not receive any government support throughout this pandemic. Hopefully, they can give me some capital one day.”

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