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Indonesian Wonder

Indonesian Wonder (604)


Roti Buaya or bread look-like crocodile began to be known by Betawi people when Europeans entered into Indonesia. Thus, European tradition and culture inserted a little bit influence of the original inhabitants. One of them is a marriage event. In the marriage event, there must exist a symbol. At that time, Europeans used flower as symbol of marriage.  Feeling unwanted to lose and to imitate Europe, Betawi people wanted to have their own symbol in marriage event. They chose Roti Buaya or bread look-like crocodile as symbol of traditional marriage of Betawi people. Roti Buaya or bread look-like crocodile becomes symbol in Betawi traditional wedding because it has its own philosophy. According to belief of Betawi people, Roti Buaya symbolizes reliability and  loyalty. The meaning of reliability is on bread. In the past, only nobles could eat bread. Meanwhile, the meaning of loyalty is on crocodile. Betawi people believe if crocodile only conducts once marriage for the rest of the life. Thus, Roti Buaya becomes a symbol of Betawi traditional marriage in a hope both the bride and bridegroom partners are able to be well established and loyal until the end of their life. In Betawi traditional marriage, usually bridegroom partner brings a pair of ‘Roti Buaya’; the smaller bread is symbolized as female crocodile. Certainly, it has its own meaning. The existence of the small one reflects bridegroom partner’s loyalty to the bride partner. Roti Buaya has the same sizes, namely 50 centimeters. In the past, Roti Buaya was not eaten and stored by the bride partner. The bread was left alone to harden because it became the symbol of loyalty of the bridegroom partner, which was ever lasting.  By the time passed by, after marriage contract, the bread can be shared and eaten along with family, especially relatives who do not get married yet. This means that they will get partners immediately.


Indonesia, which consists of different tribes and cultures, has ritual to call rain. Take for example, in East Java, especially in Trenggalek, Blitar, Kediri and Tulungagung, people have Tiban ritual or Tiban dance which is believed to be able to make the rain fall. The word of ‘’Tiban’’ comes from “tiba” in Javanese language meaning fall. Tiban means that something appears, which cannot be expected before. In this regard, “Tiban” indicates to rain which falls suddenly from the sky. The dance is folk dance from generation to generation which is part of culture of local people. Tiban dance is a prayer to the God to call the rain. Behind the ritual of the dance, there is a hoping meaning, a noble message for natural preservation. Tiban dance was performed for the first time in the era of Kediri Kingdom. When paddy barn of the villages began to decrease due to long dry season, people considered it as a curse for unbelief and unfaithfulness to the God. Then, Demang or heads of villages deliberated with the elder to get advice and opinion to compensate the curse. The villagers gave their a little treasure to be used as requirement of the implementation of traditional ceremony. Then, they communicated with the power of supra-natural and beg for forgiveness and continued by torturing and sunbathing under the sun. The self-torture was by using a whip made of sticks of palm leaf midribThis ritual procession took the form of mutual whipping between the participants of the ritual. Tiban dance consists of 2 groups and it is led by one referee or called Landang. The dance is accompanied with Gamelan. Tiban dance is still conducted until now, although the dance has different function from religious media to become entertainment. Being appropriate with development, the Tiban dance procession is conducted not only on the field but also on the stage. The regional government of Kediri determined that the implementation time of the dance is every 1 Suro in Javanese calendar.


There are various traditional dances in West Kalimantan. Those dances have different functions.  Take for example, Monong dance is known as one of the rituals which is used to ask for recovery for a resident who is sick. In the past, Monong dance was also known with the name Manang dance which was specially conducted by Shaman or elder of Dayak tribe by dancing while reading certain magic. To implement it, the family of resident who is sick must attend the process of reading magic to drive away the disease and follow it. In its process, the dance was accompanied by traditional instruments and the magic was read for the Creator in order the sick person could recover. Movement in Monong dance is more emphasized when the shaman is conducting recovery ritual. The movement is the one when the shaman or elder performs magic-reading and dancing. In the performance, the dancer gets dressed with Dayak typical cloth. The dancer is also completed with various tools which are used for ritual. The dance is also accompanied by various kinds of Dayak traditional instruments. No wonder, if the ritual process makes rhythm of music, dancer’s movement until its situation become mystic. Although in the past, Monong dance was held to recover a villager who was sick. Now, this dance is used for another purpose, such as people’s entertainment. In its development, the dance is also colored with many creations and movements. Those creations are conducted to preserve traditional art of  Dayak tribe in West Kalimantan. Besides, it is also conducted in order the performance is more interesting but the value in the dance is kept being maintained. Now, the dance is often performed in traditional events such as Bemanang or Balian, welcoming the guest and also cultural festival.


West Java has various kinds of traditional weapons such as Kujang, Balincong, Patik, Bedog, and many others. Kujang is one of West Java traditional weapons, which is quite known because of its unique shape. Kujang began to be made around the 8th century or the 9th century. It is well-known as Sundanese traditional weapon which has sacred value and magical power. Kujang is also as a weapon of West Java farmers and has root on agricultural culture. Generally,  Kujang has understanding as heirloom from the God. As a weapon, since the past until now, Kujang has possessed a very special position  among Sundanese people. In the past, Kujang could not be separated from Sundanese people’s life because of its function as agricultural tool. With development of technology, culture, social and economy of Sundanese people, Kujang also develops and experiences its form, function and meaning. From an agricultural tool, Kujang develops to become a thing which has own character and tends to be weapon which has symbolic and sacred values. Every part of Kujang has its own name, beginning from a pointed tip which is used for incision or gouging. This is called ‘Papatuk’ or Congo until Ganja or Landaian, namely sharp corner which directs similar direction with Papatuk. In general, Kujang has 5 until 9 eyes, Kujang which has no eyes, is called as Kujang Buta or in English blind Kujang. Besides its shape, the characteristic of Kujang material is also very unique, because it tends thick; its material is dried, and it has porous and many  containing natural metal elements. According to elders, some give a very noble philosophy to Kujang as Ku-jang-ji rek neruskeun padamelan sepuh karuhun urang” meaning, promise to keep struggling of the ancestors, namely by enforcing the characteristic of human and nation. There are 5 human characteristics Welas Asih (love), Tatakrama (attitude), Undak Usuk (speaking ethic), Budi Daya Budi Basa, Wiwaha Yuda Na Raga. In addition, there are 5 national characteristics, namely Rupa (figure), Basa (language), Adat (tradition), Aksara (letter), Kebudayaan (culture).



East Nusa Tenggara province –NTT has different culture from other regions in Indonesia. It can be seen from a lot of traditional dances. The dances from this province are usually full of meanings. One of them is the dance of Bidu Hodi Hakdaur. Traditional dance in East Nusa Tenggara does not know single dance as well as Bidu Hodi Hakdaur dance. The dance is performed by more than 2 persons. Bidu Hodi Hakdaur dance is an accompanied music from combination of Gendang, Gong, Tambur, and blowing of recorder (kind of flute). Even, the dance is often interspersed with the song of Belu people, “Loro Malirin” which is accompanied with loud cry. Bidu Hodi Hakdaur dance is developed with Likurai dance from Belu tribe, East Nusa Tenggara. The dance is moved by a number of men and women. With dynamic dance, the male and female dancers wear Ikat weaving clothes of Belu tribe and also accessories, such as Tais (traditional bag) and Kelewang (traditional weapon). The dancers wear accessories to show wealth of East Nusa Tenggara ethnical culture which is exotic. Bidu Hodi Hakdaur dance is usually performed in welcoming honorable guest, wedding party, traditional ritual and entertainment. Bidu Hodi Hakdaur dance’s performance is begun with male dancers who move their legs energycally and sturdy movement while sounding Giring-giring (ankle bracelet) by following rhythm of the Gendang. Then, a number of female dancers come to swing their body while beating Gendang or Bibiliku (tambur) with excitement and joy. Afterwards, there is choreography in pairs and in groups forming a circle. Bidu Hodi Hakdaur dance is inherited from generation to generation. In the past, the dance was to welcome commander of war who succeeded to conquer opponents. The dance represents a row of brave men who used Kelewang and defeat the enemy. While, a row of women beat Gendang joyfully to welcome the men and to celebrate the victory. Besides, the dance also has another meaning, namely happiness and cooperation.


Indonesia  is a rich country in cultural diversity. The diversity is formed by a lot of tribes who live in Indonesian regions and spread out on various islands. Every tribe has tradition, regional language, art, regional songs, traditional houses, including traditional clothes. In general, every traditional cloth is completed with traditional weapon; Take for examples: Golok from Jakarta or Betawi, Kujang from West Java, Piso Surit from North Sumatra, Rencong from Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam, and many others. West Sulawesi province has various kinds of tribes such as Mandar, Pattae, Pannei, and Pattinjo. Mandar tribe has traditional weapon, namely Jambia. In the past, farmers used the weapon for hunting or killing animals which damaged their plants. The weapon was also used as protection for them who wander. Jambia is a traditional weapon similar with Badik or knife. Its form is quite wide at the middle and its tip is sharp. Jambia has two types, namely Jambia Baine for woman and Jambia Muane for man. Compared to Badik from another region in South Sulawesi, the characteristic of Jambia can be seen whether it has Cipiq or Bisaq. Cipiq is a mark on Jambia which is split into edges. While, Bisaq is a mark to split two parts of Tondong or  the Cak of Badik, and penetrates from above until bottom. In old belief, the second characteristic is considered good to be used for trade and farming, because it is believed to get a lot of luck. The names of the Jambia’s parts are Pulu or head of Jambia which functions as handle and Oting is the part at the base that is planted inward on Pulu, Tondong, Seqde, and Uyung or tip of Jambia. While its cover is called ‘Guma’.


Ora Beach is located on Seram Island, North Seram District, Central Maluku. It is located at the western end of Sawai bay covering two villages, Saleman and Sawai, on the edge of Manusela National Park. Ora Beach has the characteristic of white sandy beach with very clear and calm water and the wealth of coral reef, fish and various other marine biota.Actually the beach does not have a vast land area, because it mostly consists of a cliff or rock hill that is quite steep, yet can still be climbed. At Ora Beach, tourists can enjoy snorkeling or diving. You needn’t dive too deep, even just from a depth of 2-3 meters, you can enjoy the beauty of various coral reefs and small fish under water. Snorkeling can also be done in a location close to the cliff, which is a rare and exciting spot. At Ora beach you can also use motor boats or fishing boats to enjoy the scenery around Manusela National Park. In addition, you can also get around to some small islands in Sawai Bay, such as Sawai, Raja, Kelalawar ,Tujuh , Tengah, and Sapalewa Islands. You only need about 30 minutes to circle the islands.From the city of Ambon, the door to Ora beach is Hulnara Harbor, Toleho. In the port, better known as Toleho Port, there is a ferry with 350 seaters to Amahai port, Seram island with twice daily schedule. Because there is no public transportation to Saleman Village port which connects with Ora Beach, you can take Seram trans with travel time about 2.5 hours. During the trip you are guaranteed not to feel bored, because you will pass the beautiful mountainous path and Manusela National Park area. From Saleman, it takes about 10 minutes to arrive at the beach Ora. At Saleman Village Port, a small-engined boat will take you to the beauty of the famous Ora beach with a hidden paradise in eastern Indonesia.If you want to spend your holidays in Ora Beach, you can choose the lodging that suits your pocket. You can also stay at the local residents' homes. For those of you who like camping, you can also bring your own camping gear, and set up a tent near the cliff.If you are a beach person, you should include Ora Beach in your holiday list. Do not forget to prepare your camera to capture the beauty here, ranging from blue clear water to the green hills of Manusela National Park. Bring your own diving and snorkeling equipment, you have to be careful, so as not to damage the corals reef on this beach.


Indonesia consists of various tribes. There is no wonder, if Indonesia is rich of arts and cultures. But, there are some of the arts which are almost extinct. Therefore, to preserve them, the regional government of Pamekasan in Madura, East Java attempts to carry out some efforts.  One of its regional main arts is called ‘Gethak mask dance’. Gethak mask dance is one of traditional dances which becomes part of Ludruk Sandur performance. Ludruk Sandur or Sandur art is a kind of folk art which is most loved by Pamekasan people. The art is always performed in every event, such as wedding party, circumcision and many others. No wonder, all Pamekasan people know the art well. In Ludruk Sandur performance, Gethak mask dance is performed as opening of the art’s performance. Gethak mask dance is known with the name ‘Klonoan’ dance. Every movement of the dance depends on the sound of Kendang or drum which sounds “Ge” and “Tak”. The sound of the drum, which is followed with the dance, is named ‘Gethak mask dance’. Until now, the name of Klonoan has no more used and it is changed to be Getak mask dance. The traditional dance describes a figure of Prabu Baladewa in the Dhalang Maduramask performance. Madura people are very proud with the figure. Baladewa is a figure with strong and stiff character and he is open-minded in revealing every problem. The characters are considered to describe characters of Madura people in general. Pamekasan regional government has decided Getak mask dance as the main traditional dance of Pamekasan regency. Since 2010, the dance has been taught to students as extra-curriculum subject. It is valued effective to protect the preservation of the dance.


West Nusa Tenggara –NTB has two main islands, namely Lombok and Sumbawa. Currently, there are 3 main tribes which are the original population of West Nusa Tenggara, namely Sasak from Lombok Island, Mbojo and Sumbawa from Sumbawa Island. Every tribe has a traditional weapon which has historical and cultural values. One of the weapons is Tulup from Sasak tribe.Tulup is one of traditional weapons from Sasak tribe, which is used for hunting. The weapon is made from Meranti wood which is perforated. Its bullet is called ‘Ancar’, made from midrib of palm tree which is formed like arrowhead. Usually, the head of Ancar is smeared with sap of Tatar tree. The sap is very effective to kill animals. Tulup has three important components which must be brought when hunting, namely Tulup handle, Ancar, and Terontong or Ancar storage.According to the history, Tulup has been known in the tribes’ culture, who live in hinterland of Indonesia such as  Kalimantan, Sumatera, Papua, and Nusa Tenggara. Usually, they use Tulup to hunt animals. For hunters of Sasak tribe, Tulup is considered as sacred object. According to them, hunting is their livelihood. Tulup is a tool which helps to get livelihood. Thus, it needs to be honored. Until now, people who live near forest still use Tulup. The thick forest of Lombok and the existence of pigs and monkeys make the local people enjoy hunting. But, the provincial government of NTB alone with the Ministry of Forestry and Environment cooperated to prohibite the people to hunt monkeys because these animals are protected ones. As a result, the number of traditional hunters decreases.


God creates creatures in a couple. In modern era, there are a lot of ways which can be conducted by human beings to find their couple. Take for example, people can use social media. Indonesia is rich of cultures, customs and traditions. One of the traditions in Indonesia is about  matchmaking of couple. Tradition to look for a couple from Wakatobi, Southeast Sulawesi is named ‘Kabuenga’; elopement tradition is still preserved by Osing (Using) tribe in Banyuwangi; Omed-omedan tradition from Bali, especially in Banjar Kaja region, Sesetan district, South Denpasar and Lakudo people in Central Buton regency, Southeast Sulawesi province have tradition to look for a couple called ‘Kamomose’. Kamomose is from word “Komomo” meaning flower which  almost blooms and  “Poose ose” means lined up regularly. So literally, Kamomose is a tradition where girls who sit in line-up to be regularly introduced to the village’s young men. The tradition is usually conducted after local people celebrate Eid Al-Fitr. In the beginning procession of Kamomose tradition, the girls  are protected for 6 days and nights by their parents or village’s elders who are given trust to take care them. Afterwards, the girls will be made-up like bride by wearing Buton traditional cloth. Then, they come out from house and line-up with other girls by face to face while carrying a basin. The procession is a meeting between the village’s girls and young men. If a young man is interested in one of the girls, he will throw peanut into the girl’s basin. Besides peanut, the young man will put money or jewelry. The next procession on Kamomose tradition is that the girl negotiates with her family to select and to ask permission from her family. If they agree, the next event will be continued with self-introduction stage and then it’s a more serious stage, such as engagement and wedding proposal. This tradition is still conducted by the local people of Buton regency until now.