Jalan Sesama is the Indonesian co-production of Sesame Street, which debuted Trans7 on February 18, 2008. Jalan Sesama means "street for all" and was inspired by the concept of togetherness and diversity. "The name was inspired by the concept of togetherness and diversity of the program," said Putri Rahartana, senior producer of Sesame Street Indonesia. Aside from teaching letters and numbers, the program teaches about Indonesia's diversity, environmental awareness, and positive character building.
The main Muppet characters include Momon (a five year old monster) and Putri (a 3 1/2 year-old girl), along with Tantan (the wise female orangutan who settles disputes and acts as a mother figure) and baby rhinoceros Jabrik. Elmo joined the cast in the third season, while James Bond spoof Agen Rahasia 123 stars in his own segment.
Jalan Sesama features stories, songs and music in the Indonesian language. As with most co-productions, it takes place in a locale specific to the country, in this case an Indian village. "We want to raise local cultural values, which in the cities are often no longer held, such as gotong royong," said Mohammad Zuhdi, the research director of Indonesia's PSI Studio Center, initially announced as the show's co-producer along with the Sesame Workshop.
The program started filming in May 2007 and was originally contracted to run until 2010. Content came from Indonesian company Creative Indigo Productions collaborated with Sesame Workshop to produce three seasons -- or 156 half-hour episodes -- which aired throughout Indonesia.
Initial plans discussed whether the program would introduce other world cultures, such as American culture. "But it must not in the beginning of the program. We will concentrate on local content in the initial program," said Sesame Street Indonesia's research and education director Muhammad Zuhdi, who is also a lecturer at Syarif Hidayatullah State Islamic University.
Jalan Sesama, like the US Sesame Street, does not have commercial breaks in the middle of the programs. A magazine, Majalah Jalan Sesama, published by Gramedia Publishing was sold on newsstands beginning in April 2008.
An Indonesian package, called Boneka Sesame, had previously aired in the country, using the Open Sesame format of simply redubbing selected US segments (with no new Muppets or frame scenes).
In March 2006, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice announced a new U.S.-sponsored Indonesian Sesame Street program to teachers and students, then titled Sesame Indonesia. The Secretary of State made an announcement that the United States will donate US$8.5 million to help Indonesia to develop the TV program.
USAID's Sesame Street Indonesia partnership complements President Bush's broader $157 million education initiative for Indonesia, designed to improve the quality of basic education throughout the country.
“And so it's really exciting for me to be here in Indonesia. I'm very glad that the United States and Indonesia have joined in this partnership for this wonderful school. It is a part of an initiative that President Bush announced when he was in Indonesia two years ago. And today we are announcing $8.5 million for a program to bring Sesame Street to the schools of Indonesia.”
USAID Mission Director William M. Frej said: "By improving school readiness in basic literacy and numeracy, the Indonesian Sesame Street program will help millions of Indonesia's children develop the skills they need to have a successful school experience."
At a May 22 press conference on the set of "Jalan Sesama" - the new Indonesian version of Sesame Street - US Charge d'Affaires John Heffern and USAID Mission Director Bill Frej introduced 4 new Indonesian Muppets and marked the first day of production for the show.
An initial plan was also for several Muppets to wear Islamic veils as part of Dr. Rice's broader message that Western culture can co-exist peacefully with moderate Islam.
- Momon, a five-year-old boy who learns to draw letters and loves drawing and counting.
- Putri, an active 3½ year old girl who is always asking Momon for help, compared to Ernie and Elmo in some press
- Tantan, a wise female orangutan that settles every dispute on Jalan Sesama.
- Jabrik, a baby rhinoceros that is always complaining and laughing.
- Agen Rahasia 123, a James Bond caricature/spoof, made from the Pumpkin Anything Muppet pattern, whose job is to solve a problem caused by the Goat.
- Elmo, a 3½ year old furry red Muppet monster, joins the Jalan Sesama cast in Season 3.
- Tantan: Melanie Restiyanti, with Regina Stella as right hand
- Putri: Feriana Tiarnida as Putri
- Momon: Tresna Wardhana, with Tri Susatyo as right hand
- Jabrik: Wiwid Widyas Prihantoro (lead puppeteer for seasons 1, 3, second for 2) GA Razi Hassan (second billed season 1, lead for 2) and Ara Yogaswara (assistant for seasons 1, 2)
- Puppet wranglers: Ara Yogaswara, Nadia Andarini
- Martin P. Robinson trained the twelve Indonesian Muppet performers from March 13-22.
- Sesame Workshop Senior Producer for Sesame Street Indonesia: Mary Tai (was Ginger Brown)
- Local Production Company: Creative Indigo Productions
- Managing Director: Robby T. Winarka
- Senior Producer: Putri Rahartana
- Research and Education director: Dr. Muhammad Zuhdi
- Project Director: Atun Purbo
- Director: Key Mangunsong
- Senior Headwriter: Trusye Sunarto
- Screenwriter: Ratih Kumala
- Animation World Network "Indonesian Sesame Street Moves In". February 13, 2008.
- Sesame Street goes Indonesian, The Jakarta Post, Features, 24 March 2006
- “Jalan Sesama”: “Sesame Street” Versi Indonesia. Sinar Harapan. 24 Maret 2007
- 'Sesame Street' heads to Indonesia
- Sesame Street's coming to town! The Jakarta Post, 13 January 2007
- Secretary Rice Meets Elmo in Indonesia
- The U.S. Secretary of State Visits School
- U.S. Secretary of State Rice Visits Madrassah
- U.S. To Bring Sesame Street to Indonesia Schools, Rice Says
- Indonesian Children to Get Sesame Street in 2007
- Joyous Introduction for Indonesia's 'Sesame Street'
- Open Sesame on Condi's puppet diplomacy
- Adhityani Arga, ""Sesame Street" in U.S. bid to court Indonesians", Reuters, May 22, 2007.
- Third Season of USAID-supported Jalan Sesama to Focus on the Environment
- Sesame Street Indonesia Launched, Media Indonesia, 22 March 2007
- Jalan Sesama, Sesame Street ala Indonesia. Koran Sindo Sore. 24 March 2007
- Ratih Kumala's Personal Website
- Ratih Kumala's Friendster Page