Why do Indonesians Wear Jacket and Gloves under the Sunburn?

One of the strangest things that foreigners commonly ask about behavior of Indonesians is ‘why Indonesians wear jacket and gloves under the sun?’ If you have ever been to Indonesia, you will find Indonesians wear jacket and gloves while riding motorcycle or bicycle or while walk around the city. The answer has actually discussed in a post entittled ‘Dealing with Indonesia Temperature’.

That post is actually a passage for learners of Bahasa Indonesia to train their reading skill and listening skill in Bahasa Indonesia. But the answer is there. However, let me discuss it once again here in this post to let you know the answer.

To Avoid Sunburn

By most Indonesians, good-looking person is associated with clean and fair skinned. When someone’s skin is regularly exposed by sunburn, one would lose the most important and essential criterion of a good-looking person - bright or fair skin. This makes Indonesians always equip themselves with jacket and gloves wherever they go. 


As jacket and gloves have become primary needs to be brought with, it becomes the measure of person’s style or fashion. No matter how hot the temperature is, Indonesians are still comfortable with jacket and gloves. It is different with westerner who prefer to wear thin T-shirt with shorts to get a breeze on their skin.

When Indonesians do not wear jacket and gloves while riding, they will be judged as people who do not good at taking care of themselves. In short, they are not good-looking people.

Should You be Like Indonesians?

In one of Englinesian Podcast’s transcript, literally discussed in a post entittled ‘Dealing with Indonesia Temperature’, it can be inferred that wearing jacket and gloves when going out from home is a convention - a rule which is agreed but is not written.

When you come to Indonesia, you do not have to be like Indonesians. Thing you should note that the most important thing is dress modestly. To what ‘dress nicely’ refers to is wearing closed clothes. Whatever the reason is, do not ever expose your body. This convention applies to both men and women, both young and old.

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