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Indonesian teens banned from dating after 9pm

In the Purwakarta district, kids may soon find themselves forced to marry if they’re caught romancing three times after the watershed

If you’re from West Java then don’t bother planning some elaborate night of romance for the object of your teenage affection. From October 1, teens will be banned from dating after 9pm.

The decision was announced last week by the authorities of Purwakarta district, which lies east of Indonesia’s capital, Jakarta. It will apply to anyone under 17 and according to the head of the district, Dedi Mulyadi, it’s aimed at protecting teenagers’ morality and the honour of families, and will prevent unwanted pregnancies.

Mulyadi believes this will ensure teens are in bed early and adopt a traditional way of life. “Back in the day, you could not visit a neighbour after 9pm because villagers would be in bed, preparing to wake up at dawn to till their paddy fields,” he said, according to GlobalPost.

He’s not messing around, either. There’ll be CCTV cameras and patrols to make sure no one steps out of line. And if they do? Well, you better make sure you really liked your date. “If they break the rules three times,” Mulyadi said. “The village council may ask for the parents to marry them.”

The legal age for marriage in Indonesia is 16 years old, but underage marriage ceremonies do still occur in rural parts of Indonesia, plans that may need rethinking.

This isn’t the only interesting policy in the country aimed at preventing premarital sex. In Sumatra’s Bengkulu province earlier this year, parliament said it was drafting a bill to limit the sales of condoms and other contraceptive methods, especially to minors.

Looks like post-watershed romance is off the cards for the kids of Indonesia.