Tradition is important in Indonesia, special in Java island in central and east Java.
Here a little book, found in Soekarno - Hatta Airport Jakarta,
before start to Yogyakata 2002.
"Primbon Wanita Lengkap...."-
more or less a guide and mental help for the right todo at the right time-
and special the "Jamu- Jamu Tradisional".
The little book is written in bahasa Indonesia, but it seems a translation from the special "bahasa Jawa".
The locals on Java and beyond have a sacred love for birds. It is expressed in a special way by caging them in elaborate pieces of artwork made of metal and other sturdy materials. They are used to perform free concerts in the courtyards of the common households and adding more live to the leafy surroundings if there are any. To certain extend they fulfill the same role as dogs. It might sound weird but when a stranger comes to the premises the birds are as excited as any dog might be by the presence of the intruder but instead of the ugly barking of the four-legged creature they just produce a more agitated song than usual – enough to deliver their distress to the owner of the house.
Java populace has a couple of local industries that have turned from everyday household items into a tourism fast buck winner, namely the production of batik material and puppetry making. The word batik means literally “dot making” and self explains the amount of painstaking work that is needed to finish the job. It is one these not-so-rare miracles nowadays that the amount of product overflowing from the shelves is difficult to explain considering the lengthy process. Chances are some wholesale industrial production is involved with the added bonus of not-made-in-China flare. But the theory is that if there is demand thus shall be supply. And demand there is but even its true nature might be questioned when looking around the streets and finding the majority of people dressed in more of Wal-Mart- of- China style clothing than the traditional batik. In any case the style as such is there to stay for a while. The other local trade is the production of puppets for the Ramayana shows made from buffalo skin. It is not very far from the “dot making” of the batik technique – as a matter of fact, pierced dots are the main pattern of the puppets that gives their special texture. Java is no longer a pious Hindu land and it is a bizarre coincidence that this craft continues to be en vogue. At the same time, when the principle of foreign interest driving the industry is applied it makes a lot of sense. So if you’ve missed Bali for some unexplained reason there should be no fear in your heart – your Ramayana dreams have come true in the holy Quranic land of Java, so shop till you drop!
Yogyakarta seems to be the rickshaw haven. The multitudes of these vehicles are everywhere at least in the central section of the town. They must do some decent business otherwise there is no way they will be around and the proof is that many locals are actively employing them. The truth is that they are quite expensive when compared to the taxis unless they are used for short distances downtown where the jammed central streets underline the strength of their mobility. What is catching the attention of the unaccustomed foreigners is the number of drivers who are “sleeping the job”. It is not immediately clear whether they are on a “union” break but it is surely surprising that during the day they are napping on grand scale undisturbed by the fact they might be losing business; so that much for efficiency of hard labour in the poor countries. Somebody is missing the point somewhere on this Earth.
squat-eating in a lesehan, warung or sipping your ice-cold street beverage, one local or a group will serenade you, from local folk tunes to beatle hits for some rupiah. they unhesitatingly warble out a tune right in front of you a cappella or in the accompaniment of native musical instruments. some are really good they have perfected the art of serenading. well it is a subtle way of begging. at least they make an effort, rather than just sticking their empty palms for alms.
At the gate of Kraton Jogja. I believe that most of the Kratons (traditional Javanese palace) are well guarded with human guard as well as the ancestor spirit ( this their belief). Tracing back old traditional palaces, they are vulnerable to lot of potential attack from enemies and also some other power-ambition people whom would want to finish off the king at the throne. So it is obvious the king has to do whatever mean to protect the palace and himself. Here at the photo is one of 'guards' to take care of Kraton well being.
Music has a great influence in Java, anywhere in Java you will see young guys with a guitar, playing or trying to play and sing. It is said, that the indonesians like more or less rocky ballads. The countries favourite music is still from the German band Scorpions?
Certainly making music also makes hungry, the guide however said not to open the window of the car...
During that time, the end of Ramadan, plenty of parades take place all over the city, it is like carneval with people chanting, singing, honoring theirs gods, with young and old taking part, even semi para military young people we saw. Basically every muslim in Yogya seems to parade.
The probe for the Idul Fitri Parade in the evening started at sunrise about 6am and this was the nicest wake up call I had for a long time. We saw the ladies, gents and children in the evening again and thoroughly enjoyed the celebrations.
If you noticed carefully, a true Javanese will never fuss about the absence of cutlery at meal times. They will wash their hands with the water provided at the local eateries and eat with their right hand ( the left hand is considered 'unclean' ) to eat. Even if there is no washing water, eating still isn't a problem. I saw a flower vendor using a disposable plastic glove to eat her lunch.
Where:Pasar Beringharjo, Yogya, Central Java
"Dari mana?", and "Mau ke mana?", "Where are you from?" and "Where are you going?" are the very first questions local people ask you, better say... showing some interest in you! In the Western World we start to learn "How are you?", "Apa kabar?" though, in the country that question could be too intimately.
Because of my research and studies I carry one thousands of questions on my back and, noticed when approaching people with their own very first "questions" I do have contact with them in a more easier way ... and I assure you of a great experience to get "number engaged"!
Playing with pigeons is 'IN' now. You see them everywhere in the streets.
Of course they are sold on the birdmarket.
Indonesian pigeons are dropped less then 5 kilometers from home to find their way back...
I stunned them by telling the Belgian ones where brought to Barcelona to fly home..
(and how much the winner made for his boss)
Anyway...it's nice to make a talk and have a look around.
The old man in the picture is selling whistles....
They attach them on the tail of the pigeon..
Very colorful and a nice gift , no?
(you can find the bird market near taman sari)
More than just not talking while mouth full of food, Javanese people keep dining room is as not a place to have a conversation. Eat in close mouth, no voice at all, even no sound of spoon and plate crushing. Keep it clean, and quiet. Pretty different than what ya think?
How can I know many local customs on Javanese culture? Simply cause I grew up in a strong-holders of Javanese culture, which have such a thought as a royal family. In fact, I don’t really agree with all that after all.
Again, it is recommended when dealing with elders. We are not supposed to cross our leg. Elders will put this as if it is an impolite attitude.
When they offer you a drink in their house, then it is not recommended for us to drink it all. Normally people here will leave it a bit, just to let you know that someone is not greedy, take it all anything. It is just habit. But I don’t really care, I mean if I am really thirsty, I would like to ask for more then hehehe.