Friday, May 13, 2016

Acculturation of Chinese-Indonesian Culture in Indonesian Society, Part One Art

There has been a lot written about conflicts between Chinese and other Indonesians (a.k.a. pribumis) but I would like to explore the idea of acculturation or the cultural adaptation that has occurred through the contact between Chinese and Indonesian cultures.

Firstly, the process of artistic influence. As Chinese-Indonesians came to live and trade on the north coast of Java (a.k.a. pasisir region) they influenced the style of art used, for example the style of mega mendung (rain clouds).

This style can be seen at Keraton Kesupuhan (the former royal residence of the Cirebon sultan) in Cirebon, Java on the walls.

 Mega mendung is influenced by the Chinese concept of 'lucky clouds' which are often associated with Chinese mythology and divine figures considered to bring blessings.

It can also be seen on many pasisir batik clothes.
Another thing you can see here in this image is the use of dragons, considered to be benevolent in Chinese culture, represented as one of the 12 zodiac figures.

(You can find several more of these images on the SMP Prosit site)

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