A man selling new banknotes for Idul Fitri stations himself in front of the Bank Mandiri Museum in Jakarta's Old Town on Thursday. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)

Who Wants New Money?


MAY 21, 2020

Every year before Idul Fitri, you would see people standing on the side of the street in Jakarta brandishing shiny new banknotes.

They make a tidy profit selling them at slightly inflated prices to Muslims who buy them to be given away to relatives on Idul Fitri. 

This year, despite the number of coronavirus cases still soaring in the capital, the "new money" sellers are back at their stations, flailing their arms about to attract potential customers. 

Some of them can be seen in Kota Tua, Jakarta's Old Town, in North Jakarta on Thursday. Almost all of them were wearing masks but only a few wore gloves on a grey but humid day. 

Most people buy small banknotes – from Rp 1,000 (less than 1 US cent) to Rp 20,000 – that they would give to little children on Idul Fitri. You can get a selection of small banknotes worth Rp 100,000 by paying an extra Rp 5,000 "service fee" on top. 

A woman sells stashes of cash in his hands through a window car. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
A woman negotiates a price for her stash of new banknotes. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Street vendor offers new money to motocyclist in Jakartas Old Town area in North Jakarta on Thursday (21/05). (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
A "new money" seller waits for a customer. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
A woman wearing face mask sells fresh money on cash before Lebaran day. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Most of the sellers wear a mask as Jakarta remains under a large-scale social restriction. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Two street vendors offer huge stashes of cash to some cars. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Two men brandish fresh new banknotes at cars passing by in Jakarta's Old Town. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)