No Indonesian Culture

fastpitch17

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Thinking about cultures and hearing people reference Indonesian culture I ask, what is Indonesian culture. To me, there is none for the identifyer of, Indonesian. Indonesia has many cultures be they Javanese, Sundanese, Balinese, Batak, etc, etc. Even some of these groups differ in their cultural practices. The Karo Batak have different cultual practices than the Toba Batak. Balinese living on Bali have diffenced with many Balinese living outside there.
There are some cultures of Islamist that have brought Hindu and or Budist cultural practices. Some are large groups, some just families.
I just don't feel that anyone can say Indonesian Culture when speaking of Indonesian.
 
Everything is artificial; the division between British and Dutch parts of the Malayu region, the separation with Papua New Guinea, the inclusion of Molucca and Flores, etc etc.
That’s the biggest effort they have made in the last 70 years; to create an Indonesian identity. And they’re still working on it; see how often you hear the word Indonesia, even in Ads for milk powder or kopi susu
 
At least all of them can speak bahasa Indonesia ... one language beside their own (indigenous) language. And all of them (still) effected by 350 years dutch colonialism: approx 10.000 Dutch words in bahasa Indonesia (like wastafel, kulkas, gorden, ...).
 
Don’t forget they put in quite a lot of effort to bring the language closer to Malaysian. That was -besides a move from Dutch to English- a major driver to go from RSS to Ejaan yang Disempurnakan (EYD) in the spelling reform of 1972.

There are other signs of forced nationalization and standardization of course. Think about transmigration where people are moved to other islands of the archipelago. Or the removal of all Chinese signs and symbols in public. And even the replacement of sweet potatoes by rice as staple food in the eastern part of the country. (To make the country self sufficient on rice was an overly ambitious plan of Soeharto.)
 
At least all of them can speak bahasa Indonesia ... one language beside their own (indigenous) language. And all of them (still) effected by 350 years dutch colonialism: approx 10.000 Dutch words in bahasa Indonesia (like wastafel, kulkas, gorden, ...).
To be highly proficient in a foreign language you need 2000 words of vocabulary. How is there 10.000 Dutch words?
 
Don’t forget they put in quite a lot of effort to bring the language closer to Malaysian. That was -besides a move from Dutch to English- a major driver to go from RSS to Ejaan yang Disempurnakan (EYD) in the spelling reform of 1972.

There are other signs of forced nationalization and standardization of course. Think about transmigration where people are moved to other islands of the archipelago. Or the removal of all Chinese signs and symbols in public. And even the replacement of sweet potatoes by rice as staple food in the eastern part of the country. (To make the country self sufficient on rice was an overly ambitious plan of Soeharto.)
I didn't know this. Really interesting. Thanks!
 
If you look at a Malaysian tv program as a cooking show for instance, you hear a lot of English loanwords.

Considering the list that @Samoerai posted; it’s kind of interesting to notice that the Dutch only adopted 109 words from Malay (Maleis, as macrolanguage the predecessor or precursor of Indonesian and Malaysian) and 3 Javanese. Over more than three centuries.
E.g. bakkeleien, banjeren, amper, pakkie-an, gladjakker, branie, goeroe, piekeren, pienter, soebatten, tabee, amok, klamboe, mango, jonk, kakkies, rampokken, tank, rimboe, toko, patjakker, bazar, soesa … and a huge amount of culinary words.

I like the word ‘tang’. Not in the meaning of pliers but a nasty woman, from the Malay setan(g), which means something like devilish or evil, which in turn comes from the Arabic sheitan, which again is borrowed from the Hebrew satan.

What nobody realizes btw, is that there is one Dutch word that is most famous/used/loaned in the entire world (in 57 languages):

baas (boss)
 
If you look at a Malaysian tv program as a cooking show for instance, you hear a lot of English loanwords.

Considering the list that @Samoerai posted; it’s kind of interesting to notice that the Dutch only adopted 109 words from Malay (Maleis, as macrolanguage the predecessor or precursor of Indonesian and Malaysian) and 3 Javanese. Over more than three centuries.
E.g. bakkeleien, banjeren, amper, pakkie-an, gladjakker, branie, goeroe, piekeren, pienter, soebatten, tabee, amok, klamboe, mango, jonk, kakkies, rampokken, tank, rimboe, toko, patjakker, bazar, soesa … and a huge amount of culinary words.

I like the word ‘tang’. Not in the meaning of pliers but a nasty woman, from the Malay setan(g), which means something like devilish or evil, which in turn comes from the Arabic sheitan, which again is borrowed from the Hebrew satan.

What nobody realizes btw, is that there is one Dutch word that is most famous/used/loaned in the entire world (in 57 languages):

baas (boss)
I like the phrase in Dutch language: 'Dan ben je de pisang' ... meaning you are screwed.
 
Indonesia has many different cultures, but it has a few unifying characteristics. Jstar pointed out the few that have been by a centralized government. Other general collectivist, conflict avoidance, tight knit family values are not exclusive to Indonesia, but should definitely be considered as core culture values for the majority of Indonesia.

Indonesia is not exclusive in this respect. Look at the four most populous countries of the world, India, China, USA, and Indonesia. They are all combinations of massive amounts of people across huge areas with different cultures and languages. The United States has the advantage of being the oldest of the four with the earliest adoption of industrialization and mass media under a centralized language. That gave it a more cohesive and definable culture.

Bahasa Indonesia has had enough years, that even if the words are the same, the choice of words for daily language is departing from Bahasa Malay.
 
Indonesia has many different cultures, but it has a few unifying characteristics. Jstar pointed out the few that have been by a centralized government.
Having a central government administration (Soekarno, Soeharto) has been for a long time a characteristic for Indonesia, maybe as an effect of 350 years Dutch colonial administration and continuation of centralized administration (not trusting the provinces)? And military forces (generals) being part of government administration is also a characteristic. Maybe also an effect of how the republic became and the colony ended? A fascination for Western products and style: Look at me sitting and eating at "Oh lala", "Tous les Jours", "Monsieur Spoon". Fascination for white skin and whitening products? 170 malls in Jakarta, is a characteristic also I think. What about 17 August? Do other countries celebrate independence day (bebas dari kolonisator)?
 
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Honestly I don’t know many countries where the independence from the colonizer was not followed by a dictatorial regime with suppression, nepotism, and corruption. (Supported or even put in place by the western powers.)

Next to the US (where they did have a civil war) perhaps Malaysia and India. Although the former had to deal with a very aggressive communist resistance, and the latter with huge religious issues. And both were confronted with a separation.
 
Honestly I don’t know many countries where the independence from the colonizer was not followed by a dictatorial regime with suppression, nepotism, and corruption. (Supported or even put in place by the western powers.)

Next to the US (where they did have a civil war) perhaps Malaysia and India. Although the former had to deal with a very aggressive communist resistance, and the latter with huge religious issues. And both were confronted with a separation.
Okay, so a dictatorial regime with suppression, nepotism, and corruption is not a characteristic of Indonesia? What about the other things? Fascination for white skin? Maybe also "mental inlander"?
 
Could be, but:



Of course if you had the opportunity to redraw the map you could easily argue that Malaysia and parts of current Indonesia should be one country. From a language and cultural perspective they were not so diverse. The eastern part is a completely different animal of course.

Talking about the pribumi or ‘inlander’ situation; you can see the bigotry and racism is rather strong in this society. Javanese never forget and are backstabbers, Sundanese pretty but promiscuous, Batak are lawyers and rude, Chinese besides rude also stingy, Ambonese violent, those in North Sulawesi lazy, …..

And -although challengeable by law- many still argue the president should besides bumiputera even be Javanese (so not of Arab, Chinese or Indian descend). And in Yogyakarta the ‘non-inlander’ can not own land.
 
Could be, but:



Of course if you had the opportunity to redraw the map you could easily argue that Malaysia and parts of current Indonesia should be one country. From a language and cultural perspective they were not so diverse. The eastern part is a completely different animal of course.

Talking about the pribumi or ‘inlander’ situation; you can see the bigotry and racism is rather strong in this society. Javanese never forget and are backstabbers, Sundanese pretty but promiscuous, Batak are lawyers and rude, Chinese besides rude also stingy, Ambonese violent, those in North Sulawesi lazy, …..

And -although challengeable by law- many still argue the president should besides bumiputera even be Javanese (so not of Arab, Chinese or Indian descend). And in Yogyakarta the ‘non-inlander’ can not own land.
Interesting articles. I thought the fascination for European products, style and white skin was an effect of Dutch colonialism.
 
Okay, so a dictatorial regime with suppression, nepotism, and corruption is not a characteristic of Indonesia? What about the other things? Fascination for white skin? Maybe also "mental inlander"?
The fair skin thing comes from not wanting to look like a laborer. It's common to different cultures.
 
The fair skin thing comes from not wanting to look like a laborer. It's common to different cultures.
And fascination for Western products and style: Look at me sitting and eating at "Oh lala", "Tous les Jours", "Monsieur Spoon"? Where does it origin from?
 
And fascination for Western products and style: Look at me sitting and eating at "Oh lala", "Tous les Jours", "Monsieur Spoon"? Where does it origin from?
You must be hungry. Popularity of foreign fashion, food, etc is also common across cultures. I guess it’s for perceived status.
 

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