In this week’s tutorial, we learned abut the indonesian culture. It focus on the wayang and the occations for dalang given performance, however, haven’t provied sufficient information about what dalang really do and why he is important. I do some extra rearch about dalang. A Dalang is a most extraordinary man. First of all, he is a public entertainer. To amuse a great number of people is not an easy matter. He must be physically trong and healthy; otherwise he would not be able to stand the strain. Just imagine, he is seated cross-legged for nine successive hours. He cannot even have a wink of sleep. He cannot get up from his seat until six o’clock the next morning. He also has to strike the kechrek with his right foot almost incessantly. He handles the puppets with both hands, imitates their different voices, tell jokes at the right times, and even sings every now and then. In addition, he controls the musicians without anyone among the audience ever noticing it.
Dalang are also social commentators. Traditionally when a travelling Dalang arrives at a place where he is to perform, he will make a study of what is on people minds. That may, for example, be governmental measures which people find hard to accept. During the performance, the Dalang will use the pànàkawan, the servants who make humorous comments, to voice criticism which the audience will relate to. According to tradition, a Dalang cannot be held responsible for what is said in his performance. In feudal society one of the Dalang’s main roles was to be a mouthpiece for the people. His ritual immunity protected him. However most of the time the Dalangs were diplomatic in the way they said things, which is how most of Javanese people behave.
Indonesia History and Culture
As early as the seventh century, powerful Buddhist and Hindu empires challenged each other for supremacy in Indonesia: the Buddhist Srivijaya were centered in Sumatra, while the Hindu Mataram located their capital on Java. The rich architectural and cultural legacy that remains from that time forms the basis for Indonesia’s national identity. In the thirteenth century, the Hindu Majapahit of Java faced a strong challenge from Muslim forces, which spread south from the Malay peninsula. Slowly losing ground, the Hindus retreated to Bali, where they remain today. The rest of the islands became Muslim, and various sultanates were established.
The sixteenth century marked the arrival of the Portuguese, the first Europeans in Indonesia. Although the Portuguese broke the Islamic hold on Indonesia, they were eventually displaced in turn by the Dutch, who named the area the Dutch East Indies. Although a revolt led by Javanese Prince Diponegoro in 1825 briefly threatened Holland’s empire, Dutch rule continued until W.W.II and invasion by the Japanese. The Indonesian revolutionary nationalist movement, led by Sukarno, welcomed the Japanese as a potential force of liberation, and at the war’s end the movement embarked upon a bloody war of independence against the restored Dutch rule. Although the war dragged on for four long years, from 1945-1949, the independence movement was ultimately victorious.
Turmoil characterized the first decade of Indonesian independence, until in 1957 Sukarno unified power in his own person. An attempted coup against Sukarno in 1965 brought renewed turmoil; however, the army led by General Suharto restored order and initiated a purge of communists. Eventually Suharto eased Sukarno out of the presidency and assumed office himself. Suharto’s rule ushered in a period of stability and economic development.
Indonesia’s varied past has produced a remarkable array of vibrant cultures,making it one of the world’s most diverse and fascinating travel destinations. Today, Indonesia is the fifth most populous nation on Earth, with over 180 million citizens comprising over 300 ethnicities. Most Indonesians are of Malay or Polynesian descent, though the country’s history has produced minority populations from India, China, Arabia, and Persia, as well as from European colonial powers such as Portugal, Holland, Spain, and England.
Although primarily a Muslim nation, Indonesia is marked by wide religious tolerance. Hinduism thrives on Bali, and Christianity has a significant presence on Flores, Timor, and several other islands. Indonesians speak numerous languages and dialects, but the common language is Bahasa Indonesia. English and Dutch are also widely spoken.
From this week’s reading on Indionesian popular culture one point that really stood out to me was the fact these shadow plays face the danger of being lost within the modern culture. This would potentially be caused by three main factors including the schoolhouse, lightbulb and the motorbike. Each of these factors would lead to certain changes in the community which could essentially lead to the decline of these shadow plays. Education meant higher literacy rates which would essentially expand the possibilities for children in terms of entertainment and education. Electricity meant alternate forms of entertainment would be available such as television and finally they might choose to spend their disposable income on transportation such as a motorbike.
This idea of cultural traditions being pushed aside due to changing technologies and improvements in society is quite unfortunate. It sad to think that the future generations may not be exposed to certain elements of a culture and therefore I think we should always hold onto those important elements that exist within our own culture.
The culture on Chinese youth sexual has been changed significantly. In the past, especially during Mao period, holding hands and hugging in the public place were been prohibited, counted as a kind of crime. There was no any adult shop in China. However, in the Modern times, the amounts of adult shops in Beijing are more than in New York. Chinese are free to enter the adult shop in every corner of China. Furthermore, Chinese youth enjoy the night club life, drinking, chatting among friends. In addition, a survey highlighted that the number of having one-night standard among Chinese youth have been increased dramatically. The generation of Chinese sexual culture happened due to the Great Culture of China, and the ‘one child’ policy.
More over, Yuchun Li as a popular idol among Chinese youth, who is a female has the tomboy identity not only on stage performance but also in her daily life. Youth like Li because Li braves to challenge the Chinese tradition, to display her personality, just being herself. This characteristic would be the fashion among Chinese youth.
Move over, getting marriage on the online games being another popular factor among Chinese youth. Because people have no duty to this marriage, they could divorce immediately after getting marriage if they do not want be together. And the game has no limitation on this at all. Youth could enjoy another type of life during the online game, doing the thing they could not do in the daily life, to satisfy themselves.
In conclusion, the Chinese youth culture would continue changing in this contemporary China. However, the government should regulate on the sexual education of youth.
National dress is an ‘invented tradition’. That is traditions that appear or claim to be old, but often recent in origin or reinvented. The cloth is often for the purpose of nurturing a sense of national identity and cultural heritage. From the example of APEC2001, where the national leaders are seen wearing the tangzhuang. This piece of clothing has been chosen as the ‘national dress’ to represent China.
The division between national dress and western dress is more than a binary division. There are some contexts in which Western dress can be adopted as national dress. King Chulalongkorn of Siam (Thailand), fashioned himself in the style of European monarchs of the time, seen in painting, photos and coins. It was a response to the threat of colonisation from the West. The Thai monarchy wanted to appear as a civilised and forward country, and in fact Siam managed to avoid the forces of colonisation.
In China, virtuous leadership was associated through the image of the scholar and academic. As such, the Chinese scholarly robe was an important part of a Chinese leader’s apparel. They also wore European bowler’s hats with the gowns, signalling their modernising intentions. They also combined and modified elements of European military uniform and Japanese school uniform to create the Sun Yat-Sen suit, creating a sense of patriotism, combining a sense of democratic leadership with military prowess. Early 20th century leaders in China utilised a diverse variety of dress to signify their modernising intentions with the West, as well as satisfy the traditions of their own country.
‘Cuteness in Japan’ is a very interesting topic, cuteness is term of word to describe something in round shape, soft and tiny. As spread knowledge stated that Japan as a fashion country full of cuteness stuff, including clothes, food, toys. ‘Kawaii’ is the word of cuteness in Japanese. On the street, girls like shutting ‘kawaii, kawaii’ when they are seeing some very cute, like a new type of food, a lovely toy or clothes. Not the Japanese like kawaii stuff but also the majority of youth especially girls prefer cuteness things worldwide.
Japan is the home country of ‘Hello Kitty’ that is a lovely toy cat, which could be the symbol of cuteness. Now, it is a ‘Hello Kitty’ shop in Japan with pink color background, selling anything related with ‘Hello Kitty’ includes soft toy, stationary, sticks, clothes, accessions and more. That shop would be attractive to each girl who loves ‘Hello Kitty’. During the recession of economy, the cuteness stuff might leads an increasing in the sales, has positive impact to the economy.
More over, the cuteness not only in the shop in Japan it also appears in Japanese daily life, such as Bento box, which means the single-portion takeout or home-packed meal. It is a kind of lunch box usually made by female for their children, boyfriends and husbands. Japanese like adding cuteness element into the Bento, made the red sausages into little octopus, and put the simple rice into models to make little cute cartoon person, to make the Bento box more funny and colorful, in order to attract people to enjoy the lunch.
Furthermore, cute element is also appears in some official situation. For example, Tokyo police put a cute fish on to a road notice without any meaning. There are some arguments for and against this behavior. Some support points illustrated that cute fish influence the drivers have happiness mind, to help them relax. On the other hand, there are some against view says the road notice as the government published should be official and formal, it is not an advertisement. Finally, although there are many different sounds about this issue, however we could see that Japan is a country full of cute elements in the daily life.