Tukang sate and selfies: Images from Sarinah that show Jakartans’ resilience in the face of terror

Soon after news of yesterday’s deadly terrorist in Jakarta broke, we fully expected Indonesian netizens to react on social media. What we didn’t expect was the inspiring way that so many netizens would unite behind a symbolic hashtag, #KamiTidakTakut (we’re not afraid), in declaring that they wouldn’t let the terrorists achieve their goal.

It turned out that it wasn’t merely a symbolic hashtag tweeted by observers from the relative safety of their devices, away from the actual crime scene.

Throughout yesterday afternoon, many images went viral showing people going to Thamrin with barely any apprehension or fear that their lives might still be in danger. Arguably the most famous of those images is of this sate seller nonchalantly fanning his skewers right by the crime scene soon after the attack subsided:



But the sate seller wasn’t the only one. There were also several street food sellers aiming to capitalize on the crowds that gathered around the crime scene yesterday:





Then, of course, there just had to be people taking photos and selfies at the scene:




There’s something to be admired with people going about business as usual, so soon after a series of deadly explosions and gunfire. After all, authorities and the government wants us to do exactly that in order to prevent panic from spreading in the city. If the main aim of the terrorists is to instill terror with these attacks, they must realize they failed miserably upon seeing these images.

That said, it’s important to ensure personal safety above all else in these kinds of situations, especially in a situation like yesterday’s where it wasn’t clear until several hours later in the day that all of the terrorists had been neutralized. While bravery is one thing, profit and selfies shouldn’t take precedence over safety.

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