Single Jakartans the least happy? Not really

Single Jakartans the least happy? Not really

JAKARTA - For Anggi, a single, 25-year-old woman who works in a government institute, Valentine's Day is just another ordinary, busy day, despite it being a Saturday this year.

"I have meetings the whole day," she told The Jakarta Post, adding that she was out of town for work.

Anggi said she had never really celebrated Valentine's Day, even when she happened to be seeing someone.

"I'm happy with my life. Having a boyfriend isn't a priority and being single doesn't mean I have to be miserable and lonely," she said.

According the Central Statistics Agency (BPS) Jakarta branch's Happiness Index 2014, among married couples, divorcees and widowers, singles were the least happy in the capital. The result was in contrast to the national average, which shows singles nationwide are the happiest.

Anggi said she had lots of friends to hangout with during weekends, to watch movies or try new restaurants with.

"The only disadvantage of having no boyfriend is when I'm stuck in traffic [with no one to talk to] or I need to attend a wedding reception," she said, laughing.

Twenty-five-year-old writer Ifnur Hikmah said when she was in college having a boyfriend seemed like a must, especially when Valentine's Day came around, but that changed after she started work. "Now I have many other things to pursue," she said.

Ifnur said being single allowed her to do the things she loved, like traveling and watching concerts.

"When you have a partner, you need to compromise on many things," she said.

Every year, hotels and restaurants in Jakarta offer romantic dinners for couples while chocolate producers try to woo men into buying their girlfriends sweet treats weeks before Valentine's Day.

Although the day is not a traditional celebration for many Indonesians, many young couples make an effort to make the day special.

As the day approaches, it is common to hear of anecdotes of singles who supposedly feel miserable when they see couples flaunting their happiness on the day.

Several self-deprecating memes have appeared on social media, but one group is trying to go against the grain.

Dewan Kesepian Jakarta, or the Jakarta Lonely Council (DKJ) is a Facebook fan page set up by a group of men.

The posts celebrate being single by parodying the famous quotes of well-known figures like Pramoedya Ananta Toer or Tan Malaka.

One post lampoons the song "Jingle Bells" with the line "Single all the way".

A co-founder of the fan page known as Minke, said DKJ was formed as a jocular pastime among friends who were mostly single.

The group also deems every Feb. 14 as #JombloPrideDay - with jomblo meaning single - to embrace the day. Its fan page has reached more than 6,200 likes since it was created in November.

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