Home Travel Stories News Events Contact Us Faq's

Login User

Destinations in Indonesia

You have to login first to rate this destination
3.50/5 (16 votes)


Home » Jakarta » Betawi’s typical Roti Buaya: the Crocodile Bread at weddings

Betawi’s typical Roti Buaya: the Crocodile Bread at weddings

Fixed Dimensions

Images with fixed dimensions
  1. Gereja Cathedral, Jakarta/Jakarta Catholic Cathedral

  2. Kota Tua Batavia/ Old Batavia

  3. Monas, Jakarta/The National Monument, Jakarta

  4. Museum Fatahillah/ Fatahillah Museum

  5. Taman Mini Indonesia Indah, Jakarta/Taman Mini Indonesia Indah

  6. Gelora Bung Karno, Jakarta/ The Bung Karno's Sport Complex, Jakarta

  7. Dapuraya

  8. Dapuraya



A wedding party of the Betawi, - the indigenous ethnic group of Jakarta, - is not complete without the Roti Buaya or the Crocodile bread. Roti Buaya is a required gift that the bridegroom must bring to his bride as a token of eternal fidelity.


Roti buaya is simply a sweet bread made in the form of a crocodile, which can be a meter or half a meter long, that forms an important part of the collection of gifts handed by the bridegroom and family to the bride. According to tradition, these should include the Sirih Nanas Lamaran (pineapple with betel leaves), a plate of the bride’s favorite food, the dowry, the crocodile bread, a box filled with vegetables, some fruits placed in a receptacle in the shape of a boat, the wedding cake, and other gifts that may include jewelry, clothes, shoes, a handbag, and cosmetics.


These gifts are carried ceremoniously in a colorful procession by members of the bridegroom’s relatives wearing bright traditional costumes to the house of the bride where the wedding vows are to take place. The bridegroom himself, leading the bridal procession, preceded by boys carrying colourful decorations, will carry a pair of crocodile bread, one large, and one small crocodile laid on top of the larger, where the smaller is meant to be the female. This denotes that the bridegroom promises to remain faithful to his wife even until they grow old together, have children and grandchildren.


Originally made from cassava, but now made from wheat flour, the crocodile symbolises eternal faithfulness, since it is believed that crocodiles remain faithful to one mate all their life. While the bread itself symbolises economic prosperity. The Betawi, therefore, believe that the crocodile bread will not only bring good fortune and a better future for the newlyweds, but carry the hope and expectation that the pair will remain faithful to one another throughout their whole lives. This tradition still persists until today.


The crocodile bread is usually made to order, and comes in two measurements, one is 1 meter and the other is half a meter long, appropriately decorated and can be filled with either chocolate or cheese.


When you live in Jakarta, you will no doubt have come across a Betawi wedding, that are often held in front of the bride’s house, where marquees often take up part of the road. Everyone in the neighbourhood is invited. There is traditional music like the tanjidor, but nowadays also plenty of modern music that must include the popular dangdut, the typical Indonesian-Indian fusion music. The wedding party will last deep into the night, when a large screen is pitched on a field for all to enjoy a film performance. This is known as layar tancap, meaning the pitched screen. Traditionally, the main food presented to the guests is comprised of bananas that are hung in tranches along the marquee, for anyone to pluck, peanuts and tea.

Photo courtesy of Gunawan Kartapranata. 

(Source: Ensiklopedi Jakarta, www.jakarta.go.id)

Related Event


May 2015

  • 29 May 2015-5 Jul 2015

    Jakarta Fair Kemayoran 2015
  • 19 Apr 2015-21 Apr 2015

    The 24th World Economic Forum on East Asia convenes in Jakarta
  • 8 Apr 2015-12 Apr 2015

    INACRAFT 2015: "From Smart Village to Global Market"
  • 25 Oct 2015


    Jakarta Marathon 2015: Indonesia's Biggest Running Event come October
  • 22 May 2015


    Boyzone: “Back Again No Matter What Live in Jakarta”
  • 27 Apr 2015-30 Apr 2015

    The 4th Asia Golf Tourism Convention (AGTC) 2015
  • 3 Apr 2015-5 Apr 2015

    Garuda Travel Fair held simultaneously in 17 Major Cities
  • 27 Apr 2015-28 Apr 2015

    Indonesia's Sustainable Tropical Landscapes: A Global Investment Opportunity
  • View More Events

    See on The Map

    Betawi’s typical Roti Buaya: the Crocodile Bread at weddings

    Related Destinations


    Related Activity

    Meetings & Conferences

    Meetings & Conferences With state of the art business facilities there are many venues in Indonesia equipped to host large international conferences, corporate functions or...

    read more


    Sightseeing Taking a half day or a full day excursion on holiday or between conferences is always a wonderful introduction into a new destination, whether to a...

    read more