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Indonesian Culture

December 31, 2012

Basically Indonesia has many diverse cultures. but rich in natural beauty, Indonesia is also rich in culture. variety of ethnic, racial, religious as well they have. Indonesia has the form of which is a regional culture of Indonesian traditional house, dance, song, music, musical instruments, drawing, sculpture, clothing, and special food.

The Culture of Indonesia has been shaped by long interaction between original indigenous customs and multiple foreign influences. Indonesia is central along ancient trading routes between the Far East and the Middle East, resulting in many cultural practices being strongly influenced by a multitude of religions, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism and Islam, all strong in the major trading cities. The result is a complex cultural mixture very different from the original indigenous cultures.

Examples of cultural fusion include the fusion of Islam with Hindu in Javanese Abangan belief, the fusion of Hinduism, Buddhism and animism in Bodha, and the fusion of Hinduism and animism in Kaharingan; others could be cited.

Indonesian art-forms express this cultural mix. Wayang, traditional theater-performed puppet shows, were a medium in the spread of Hinduism and Islam amongst Javan villagers. Both Javanese and Balinese dances have stories about ancient Buddhist and Hindu kingdoms, while Islamic art forms and architecture are present in Sumatra, especially in the Minangkabau and Aceh regions. Traditional art, music and sport are combined in a martial art form called Pencak Silat.

Western culture has greatly influenced Indonesia in modern entertainment such as television shows, film and music, as well as political system and issues. India has notably influenced Indonesian songs and movies. A popular type of song is the Indian-rhythmical dangdut, which is often mixed with Arab and Malay folk music.

one example is the custom java. Javanese people have named joglo custom home. Consisting of two main parts namely the gazebo and deep.

Part is the front of the gazebo Joglo having a large room without partitions, typically used to receive guests or children’s playroom and a family leisure. The inside is part of a room in the house room, rooms and other spaces that are more privacy. The characteristics of the building is on the roof  towering like a mountain. then the next is a typical dance of Java, namely lumping horse dance. This dance uses a horse made ​​of wicker and bamboo which is cut like the shape of a horse. Matting horse is decorated with colorful paint and fabric. Lumping horse dance usually only show scenes horsemen, but some also presents the appearance of horses lumping attraction possessed, immunity, and magical powers, like eating glass attractions and immunity against flogging whip.

The topic of ‘culture’ is inexhaustible. Especially in a country like Indonesia, with some 300 different cultures, as diverse as the number of ethnic groups or the number of local languages spoken. 

Numerous publications are available specializing in one or more aspects of one culture (especially Balinese and Javanese culture).

Culture & Religion of Indonesia – The present day culture of Indonesia is an outcome of the interplay of age-old- traditions from the time of early migrants and the Western thought brought by Portuguese traders and Dutch colonists. The basic principles, which guide life include the concepts of mutual assistance or “gotong royong” and consultations or “musyawarah” to arrive at a consensus or “mufakat”. Derived from rural life, this system is still very much in use in community life throughout the country. Though the legal system is based on the Old Dutch penal code, social life as well as the rites of passage is founded on customary or “adat” law, which differs from area to area. ”Adat” law has been instrumental in maintaining gender equality in Indonesia.

Indonesian art forms are greatly influenced by religion. The famous dance dramas of Java and Bali are derived from Hindu mythology and often feature fragments from the Hindu epics such as Ramayana and Mahabharata. The crafts of Indonesia vary in both medium and art form. As a whole the people are artistic by nature and express themselves on canvas, wood, metals, clay and stone. The batik process of waxing and dyeing originated in Java centuries ago and classic designs have been modified with modern trends in both pattern and technology. There are several centres of Batik in Java, the major ones being Yogyakarta, Surakarta, Pekalongan and Cirebon.

Indonesia is rich in handicrafts. Various forms of handicrafts practiced are: woodcarvings for ornamentation and furniture, silverwork and engraving from Yogyakarta and Sumatra; filgree from South Sulawesi and Bali with different styles of clay, sandstone and wood sculptures. These are but a few of the handicrafts found in Indonesia.

Religion in Indonesia: The majority (about 88%) of the population follows Islam. In fact Indonesia is the nation with largest Muslim population. However, freedom of religion is provided by the Indonesian Constitution, which is defined in the First Principle of the State Philosophy’ “Pancasila”, which upholds a “Belief in One Supreme God”. Others religions followed in Indonesia are Christianity, Hinduism and Buddhism.

Wanty Zahara

3 SA 03

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