“With Jamban Café I just want to encourage people to become aware of the importance of a healthy lifestyle,” Budi said. “I was inspired to build this café when I visited South Korea in 2013. I saw a toilet museum [Sanitation Museum], in a building that ...
You might be surprised to see a large banner emblazoned with the words â€œCafe Jambanâ€ in front of a shophouse on Jl. Untung Suropati 445 in Semarang, Central Java. What is the relation between a cafÃ© and a jamban (toilet)?
I got the answer to this question when I stopped by the cafÃ© recently. At this cafÃ©, all food and beverages are served in a utensil closely resembling a squat toilet. The eight chairs for visitors to the cafÃ© are also designed to look like squat toilets.
Toilet CafÃ© is the daring brainchild of Budi Laksono, 53, a physician specializing in reproductive health. He said he became aware of the importance of toilets for peopleâ€™s health when he was a senior high school student. His awareness grew stronger as he pursued further study at the University of Diponegoroâ€™s School of Medicine in 1982.
â€œWith Jamban CafÃ© I just want to encourage people to become aware of the importance of a healthy lifestyle,â€ Budi said.
â€œI was inspired to build this cafÃ© when I visited South Korea in 2013. I saw a toilet museum [Sanitation Museum], in a building that looked like a closet. The main message in the creation of such a museum is to encourage people to live a healthy lifestyle,â€ he went on.
Budi further explained that in Indonesia, 94 million people still carried out open defecation, which meant that around 38 percent of population did not have toilets.
â€œIn 2013-2014, I made 3,500 toilets ordered by the Military Area Command IV/Diponegoro in Semarang, Central Java. Three months ago, I opened the Jamban CafÃ©, which aims to highlight the importance of a toilet. I want to encourage people to learn about healthy living,â€ said Budi.
At first, his idea drew strong criticism from the people. â€œSome of them accused me of being an infidel, saying my cafÃ© was najis [dirty]. It took time and patience to introduce this cafe to the people,â€ he said.
Budi said a toilet was very important, but many Indonesians still considered it the least important compared to other parts of their houses. â€œUsually, the toilet is the last part of a house people will build,â€ he said.
With the Jamban CafÃ©, Budi said, he wanted to encourage his students and society at large to learn more about proper sanitation. (ebf)
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