Muara Aman in Southwest Sumatra is a typical small Indonesian town. Its economy is based on a mixture of trade, civil service, and cash crop agriculture. A special feature of this market town and regional center at kecamatan-level is its glorious past as a booming gold mining town in colonial times. This paper deals with the question of how the middle class of rural areas can be characterized. Until recently, debate focused on the newly emerged middle class of the big cities with their extravagant lifestyle. Not very much attention has been paid to the emerging middle class of rural areas - which may well outnumber the middle class of the metropolises. The following case study tries to fill this gap. The rural middle class households of a farmer, a trader and a civil servant are described. The rural middle class is then characterized by discussing consumer behaviour, ceremonial values, gender roles and ideology and the attitude towards the state.