For Chinese people, death is symbolized by white colour. From the costumes, candles, lanterns, table cloth to the mourning clothes, everything is dominated by white.
While for most societies in the world, death is symbolized by black. This was started when the Queen of England wears black clothes to mourn her husband’s death, and since then, it has always been part of the tradition that black symbolizes sadness.
BUT in Jakarta, YELLOW symbolizes death. Even though other cities in Indonesia such as Makassar, Papua, or Kalimantan still use white colour no matter whether they are from Moslem or Christian. It turns out that it was started in the Colonialism Era by Netherland in Indonesia. There were many yellow flags with a letter “Q” (Quarantine) which was used as signs for a deadly disease that could cause thousands of deaths.
When you see a convoy of many motorcycles bringing yellow flags and there is an ambulance or hearse behind the convoy, or a convoy of people bringing the coffin, then you have to give in and stop your car or motor even though you can continue driving. Furthermore, even traffic cops will stay silent and let the convoy with the yellow flag keep going no matter whether the traffic light is red or green. They will not get tickets for speeding or breaking other traffic rules because of the yellow flag.
So don’t get angry and emotional, you must understand that this is a usual habit in Jakarta.
(See this video to see how powerful they are)
(Credits go respectfully to the rightful owner)