What is Oleh Oleh?
We were inspired to produce our very own ajb Oleh Oleh gift list by the local Indonesian people themselves. The Bahasa Indonesia term ‘Oleh Oleh’ simply means ‘gift or souvenir’. Across the archipelago, the good-hearted practice of giving a small gift, such as food or a souvenir item for family or work friends is widespread.
We have observed this beautiful tradition first hand at Indonesian airports, and on local aircrafts. We have watched as boxes of local cakes and snacks; that might only be available in the city, town or village that the traveller visited, are carefully bundled together with string, become precious cargo, then graciously shared amongst family or work mates on the travellers return home.
Once the expectation was that Oleh Oleh would consist of such things as fresh fruit, specialty cakes and biscuits, which were not normally available locally; but we understand the practice to be evolving and for some people, art merchandise has become the new souvenir.
‘Art merchandise has become the new souvenir to bring home as a present for your friends when you travel abroad or even just out of town’
What’s on the list?
The ‘ajb Oleh Oleh Gift List’ is comprised of some of our ‘favourite Indonesian things’ to give as gifts to family and friends when returning to our home country. Our list mirrors the traditional practice of giving ‘local food treats’ as well as the evolving practice of sharing ‘art merchandise.’ Our gift roundup includes: local textiles, ceramics, leather, coffee, honey, chocolate, spices as well as organic healthy snacks. All the information you need to take advantage of this list, we have included at the bottom of the post.
Our Oleh Oleh gifts are:
- Made in Indonesia
- Sourced in Jakarta
- Easy to pack
- Price considered
- Customs standards considered
- Made by traditional artisans working in remote areas of Indonesia, regional areas and Jakarta
- Made by emerging Indonesian artisans
- A part of our Indonesian experience. Each item on the ‘Ole Ole list’ has a story that we would like to share with the people who will receive it. We may have met the artisan personally or online, admired the artisan’s craft or we have received enjoyment from the product ourselves.
Our hope is that today’s post might act as a guide to your Oleh Oleh gift giving this festive season, as well as taking some of the legwork out of your shopping. Similarly, we hope the act of giving small gifts or souvenirs to family and friends back home, might offer opportunities to share the story behind your Oleh Oleh and your Indonesia journey.
Whether you are traveling locally or abroad in the coming month, we wish you safe and happy travels,
Liz and Jo
Notebooks, Postcards and and stationery
Indonesian snacks, treats and delicacies
Do you subscribe to the Indonesian Oleh Oleh practice or an adapted form? Or partake in a similar practice where you are living? What’s your experience?
What would you add to this list?
Let’s chat in the comments section.
Suppliers and Stockists
Alun Alun Indonesia
Web: Alun Alun
Web: Anomali Coffee
Brown Tree Paperie and Wrap
Web: Brown Tree
Can be purchased in Alun Alun
Web: Dorotea Gale
Dorsata forest honey
Can be purchased in Borneo Chic Kemang
Facebook: Fika Julia Design
HEIMLO stationery sold through Mad Ants
Online Shop: Mad Ants
Web: Java Indonesia
Web: Le Souq
Meet the Makers Jakarta
Facebook: Meet the Makers
Web: Monggo Chocolate
Nita Strudwick Photography
Web: Nita Strudwick Photography
Facebook: Pedunden Pottery
Web: Pantry Magic
SCTRY Health food bar
Instagram: Semaya Clay
Suzanna chocolates Bandung
Can be purchased in Ranch Market Pondok Indah and Sogo Food Hall Senayan Plaza
The GOODS Dept
Web: The Goods Dept
Wiru handmade tie dye and batik
Wisma Cheshire (textiles from Yayasan Wisma Cheshire are made by adult men and women with mobility disabilities living in Indonesia, through their vocational training programme)
Web: Wisma Cheshire
YUM Organic Farm (Bags from YUM Farm are handmade by disadvantaged youths in the Sewing Project in the Vocational Training Centre of Yayasan Usaha Mulia)
Web: YUM farm
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (Email Yum Organic Farm to have your Dayak’s Bride & Groom bag delivered to you in Jakarta)
Words: Liz Photography: a journey bespoke