Monday, May 31, 2010

Javanese Articles: Kejawen

Kejawen is cultural diversity that exists in Indonesia. Although not many have followers, but kejawen is one of the unique culture that exists in Indonesia. If you are interested to know about kejawen please read the following article.

Javanese beliefs (Kebatinan or Kejawen) have principles embodying a "search for inner self" but at the core is the concept of "peace of mind".
Although Kejawen is not strictly a religious affiliation, it addresses ethical and spiritual values as inspired by Javanese tradition. It is not a religion in usual sense of the word, like Islam, Judaism, or Christianity. There are no scriptures such as the Bible or the Qur'an, nor are there prophets. There is no emphasis on eschatology (i.e., life after death, heaven or hell, devils or angels).


Kebatinan is a metaphysical search for harmony within one's inner self, connection with the universe, and with an Almighty God. Javanese beliefs are a combination of occultism, metaphysics, mysticism and other esoteric doctrines, exemplifying a Javanese tendency for synthesis. The Javanese system is so flexible that syncresis in all manifestations is attainable, even that which is in conflict. Javanese ideals combine human wisdom (wicaksana), psyche (waskita) and perfection (sempurna). The follower must control his/her passions, eschewing earthly riches and comforts, so that he/she may one day reach enlightened harmony and union with the spirit of the universe.
Generally speaking, the Kebatinan follower believes in the existence of a superconsciousness in the cosmic world which is beyond humankind's comprehension, yet controls and guides humans' affairs and destiny. This superconsciousness is believed to be contacted via meditation. There are several meditation techniques (tapas): tapa kalong (meditation by hanging from a tree), Tapa Geni (avoiding fire or light for a day or days), Tapa Senen (fasting on Monday), Tapa Mutih (abstention from eating anything that is salted) and Tapa Ngablek (isolating oneself in dark rooms). Fasting is a common practice employed by Javanese spiritualists in order to attain discipline of mind and body to get rid of material and emotional desires. Many Kebatinan followers meditate in their own way to seek spiritual and emotional relief. These practices are not performed in churches or mosques, but at home or in caves or on mountain perches. Meditation in Javanese culture is a search for inner self wisdom and to gain physical strength. This tradition is passed down from generation to generation.


Javanese spiritualism entails a never ending search for wonder and surprise. It has some foreign influences.
The Javanese tend to be flexible and pragmatic as far as one's spiritual life is concerned. The complexity is perhaps the result of Java's complicated cultural background and its myriad cultural influences. But basically, Javanese spiritualism is individualistic in approach, something typically Javanese. The approach is person-to-person or person-to-guru One on one.

Kebatinan schools

The Sumarah School: according to this school, man and his physical and spiritual world are divided into three parts: the physical body and brain, an invisible world, and a more elusive and sublime world.
In the brain, the faculty of thinking has two functions: to record memories, and to serve as a means of communion with God. One section, "Sukusma," governs the passions, while the other, the "Jiwa," provides the driving forces governing thought and reason. The invisible world, which is situated within the chest, is the Jiwa, the ineffable soul. It is here that the deeper feeling (Rasa) is located. The most elusive and sublime world is hidden somewhere near the anatomical heart.
Sumarah theology maintains that humankind's soul is like the holy spirit, a spark from the Divine Essence, which means that we are in essence similar to God. In other words "One can find God within oneself," a belief similar to the "I=God" theory found in Hindu-Javanese literature.
The Sapta Dharma School was the product of the Indonesian Revolution.

Kebatinan Commandments

"God is within you. God is everywhere. But do not say you are God."

Historical texts

Kebatinan and kejawen practices are extensively written about in texts that are held in the Sanabudaya library in Yogyakarta, and the main Kraton Libraries of Solo and Yogyakarta. Many of the texts are deliberately elliptical so that those who do not work with either initiates or teachers are unable to ascertain or understand the esoteric doctrines and practices. In quite a few cases codified texts with secret systems to "unlock" the meanings are employed.
Some Javanese texts relate stories about Syekh Siti Jenar who had conflicts with Wali Sanga, the nine Islamic scholars in Java, and the Sultanate of Demak. Although Syekh Siti Jenar was a sufi whose teaching were similar with Al-Hallaj, most of his followers (i.e. Ki Kebo Kenanga) come from Kebatinan. Some historians have doubted the existence of Syekh Siti Jenar (also known as Syekh Lemah Abang), suggesting the stories represent conflicts between Kebatinan and Islam in the past.

Thank you for reading articles about kebatinan, and especially for visiting this blog. Hopefully this article useful for you to gain knowledge about Javanese.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Javanese Articles : Javanese Language

Javanese language is one of the cultural diversity that exists in Indonesia. Javanese language is not only unique by the grammar structure but is also widely used by Indonesian people in general. If you are interested to know the Javanese language more information, please read the following article.

Languages Spoken in JavaJavanese language (Javanese: basa Jawa, Indonesian: bahasa Jawa) is the language of the people in the central and eastern parts of the island of Java, in Indonesia. In addition, there are also some pockets of Javanese speakers in the northern coast of western Java. It is the native language of more than 75,500,000 people.
The Javanese language is part of the Austronesian family, and is therefore related to Indonesian and other Malay varieties. Many speakers of Javanese also speak Indonesian for official and commercial purposes and to communicate with non-Javanese Indonesians.
Outside Indonesia, there are large communities of Javanese-speaking people in the neighbouring countries such as East Timor, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, and also Hong Kong and Taiwan. In addition there are also Javanese-speaking people in Suriname, the Netherlands, and New Caledonia. The Javanese speakers in Malaysia are especially found in the states of Selangor and Johor. For distribution in other parts, as far as Suriname, see Demographic distribution of Javanese speakers below.


Javanese belongs to the Sundic sub-branch of the Western Malayo-Polynesian (also called Hesperonesian) branch of the Malayo-Polynesian subfamily of the Austronesian super family. It is a close linguistic relative of Malay, Sundanese, Madurese, Balinese, and to a lesser extent, of various Sumatran and Borneo languages, including Malagasy and Philippine languages.
Javanese is spoken in Central Java and East Java, as well as on the north coast of West Java. In Madura, Bali, Lombok and the Sunda region of West Java, Javanese is also used as a literary language. It was the court language in Palembang, South Sumatra, until their palace was sacked by the Dutch in the late 18th century.
Javanese can be regarded as one of the classical languages of the world, with a vast literature spanning more than 12 centuries. Scholars divide the development of Javanese language in four different stages:
Old Javanese, from the 9th century
Middle Javanese, from the 13th century
New Javanese, from the 16th century
Modern Javanese, from 20th century (this classification is not used universally)
Javanese is written with the Javanese script (a descendant of the Brahmi script of India), Arabo-Javanese script, Arabic script (modified for Javanese) and Latin script.
Although not currently an official language anywhere, Javanese is the Austronesian language with the largest number of native speakers. It is spoken or understood by approximately 80 million people. At least 45% of the total population of Indonesia are of Javanese descent or live in an area where Javanese is the dominant language. Four out of five Indonesian presidents since 1945 are of Javanese descent. It is therefore not surprising that Javanese has a deep impact on the development of Indonesian, the national language of Indonesia, which is a modern dialect of Malay.
There are three main dialects of Modern Javanese: Central Javanese, Eastern Javanese and Western Javanese. There is a dialect continuum from Banten in the extreme west of Java to Banyuwangi, in the foremost eastern corner of the island. All Javanese dialects are more or less mutually intelligible.


A Javanese syllable can be of the following type: CSVC. C=consonant, S= sonorant (/j/, /r/, /l/, /w/ or any nasal consonant) and V=vowel. In Modern Javanese, a bi-syllabic root is of the following type: nCsvVnCsvVC. As in other Austronesian languages, native Javanese roots consist of two syllables; words consisting of more than three syllables are broken up into groups of bi-syllabic words for pronunciation.
Javanese, together with Madurese, are the only languages of Western Indonesia to possess a distinction between retroflex and dental phonemes. (Madurese also possesses aspirated phonemes including at least one aspirated retroflex phoneme.) These letters are transcribed as "th" and "dh" in the modern Roman script, but previously by the use of a dot: "t" and "d". Some scholars assume this might be an influence of the Sanskrit, but others believe this could be an independent development within the Austronesian super family. Incidentally, a sibilant before a retroflex stop in Sanskrit loanwords is pronounced as a retroflex sibilant whereas in modern Indian languages it is pronounced as a palatal sibilant. Though Acehnese and Balinese also possess a retroflex voiceless stop, this is merely an allophone of /t/.


Javanese, like other Austronesian languages, is an agglutinative language, where base words are modified through extensive use of affixes.


Modern Javanese usually employs SVO word order. However, Old Javanese particularly had VSO or sometimes VOS word orders. Even in Modern Javanese archaic sentences using VSO structure can still be made.
Modern Javanese: "Dhèwèké (S) teka (V) nèng (pp.) kedhaton (O)".
Old Javanese: "Teka (V) ta (part.) sira (S) ri (pp.) ng (def. art.) kadhatwan (O)".
Both sentences mean: "He (S) comes (V) in (pp.) the (def. art.) palace (O)". In the Old Javanese sentence, the verb is placed at the beginning and is separated by the particle ta from the rest of the sentence. In Modern Javanese the definite article is lost in prepositions (it is expressed in another way).
Verbs are not inflected for person or number. Tense is not indicated either, but is expressed by auxiliary words such as "yesterday", "already", etc. There is also a complex system of verb affixes to express the different status of the subject and object.
However, in general the structure of Javanese sentences both Old and Modern can be described using the so-called topic-comment model without having to refer to classical grammatical or syntactical categories such as the aforementioned subject, object, predicates, etc. The topic is the head of the sentence; the comment is the modifier. So our Javanese above-mentioned sentence could then be described as follows: Dhèwèké = topic; teka = comment; nèng kedhaton = setting.


Javanese has a rich vocabulary, with many foreign loan words as well as the native Austronesian base. Sanskrit has had a deep and lasting impact on the vocabulary of the Javanese language. The "Old Javanese – English Dictionary", written by professor P.J. Zoetmulder in 1982, contains approximately 25,500 entries, over 12,600 of which are borrowings from Sanskrit. Clearly this large number is not an indication of usage, but it is an indication that the Ancient Javanese knew and employed these Sanskrit words in their literary works. In any given Old Javanese literary work, approximately 25% of the vocabulary is derived from Sanskrit. In addition, many Javanese personal names have clearly recognisable Sanskrit roots.
Many Sanskrit words are still in current usage. Modern Javanese speakers refer to much of the Old Javanese and Sanskrit words as kawi words, which may be roughly translated as "literary". However the so-called kawi words also contain some Arabic words. Furthermore there has been significant word borrowing from Arabic, Dutch and Malay as well, but none as extensively as from Sanskrit.
There are far fewer Arabic loanwords in Javanese than in Malay. These Arabic loanwords are usually concerned with Islamic religion, but some words have entered the basic vocabulary, such as pikir ("to think", from the Arabic fikr), badan ("body"), mripat ("eye", thought to be derived from the Arabic ma'rifah, meaning "knowledge" or "vision"). However, these Arabic words typically have native Austronesian and/or Sanskrit equivalents. In the cases mentioned, pikir = galih, idhĕp (Austronesian), manah, cipta, or cita (Sanskrit), badan = awak (Austronesian), slira, sarira, or angga (Sanskrit), and mripat = mata (Austronesian), soca, or netra (Sanskrit).
The latter is interesting, as the word sepur also exists in Indonesian. The Indonesian word has preserved the literal Dutch meaning of "railway tracks", while the Javanese word follows Dutch figurative use, where "spoor" (lit. "rail") is used as metonymy for "trein" (lit. "train"). (Compare the corresponding metonymic use in English: "to travel by rail" may be used for "to travel by train".)
Malay was the lingua franca of the Indonesian archipelago before the proclamation of Indonesian independence in 1945, and Indonesian, which was based on Malay, is now the official national language of Indonesia. As a consequence, there has been an influx of Malay and Indonesian vocabulary into Javanese recently. Many of these words are concerned with bureaucracy or politics.


Javanese speech varies depending on social context, yielding three distinct styles, or registers. Each style employs its own vocabulary, grammatical rules and even prosody. This is not unique to Javanese; neighbouring Austronesian languages as well as East Asian languages such as Korean and Japanese share similar constructions.
In Javanese these styles are called:
Ngoko is informal speech, used between friends and close relatives. It is also used by persons of higher status to persons of lower status, such as elders to younger people or bosses to subordinates.
Madya is the intermediary form between ngoko and krama. An example of the context where one would use madya is an interaction between strangers on the street, where one wants to be neither too formal nor too informal.
Krama is the polite and formal style. It is used between persons of the same status who do not wish to be informal. It is also the official style for public speeches, announcements, etc. It is also used by persons of lower status to persons of higher status, such as youngsters to elder people or subordinates to bosses.
In addition, there are also "meta-style" words – the honorifics and humilifics. When one talks about oneself, one has to be humble. But when one speaks of someone else with a higher status or to whom one wants to be respectful, honorific terms are used. Status is defined by age, social position and other factors. The humilific words are called krama andhap words while the honorific words are called krama inggil words. For example, children often use the ngoko style, but when talking to the parents they must use both krama inggil and krama andhap.
Below some examples are provided to explain these different styles.
Ngoko: Aku arep mangan (I want to eat)
Madya: Kula ajeng nedha.
(Neutral) Kula badhé nedha.
(Humble) Dalem badhé nedha.
(Honorific - Addressed to someone with a high(er) status.) Bapak kersa dhahar? (Do you want to eat? Literally meaning: Does father want to eat?)
(reply towards persons with lower status) Iya, aku kersa dhahar. (Yes, I want to eat).
(reply towards persons with lower status, but without having the need to express one's superiority) Iya, aku arep mangan.
(reply towards persons with the same status) Inggih, kula badhé nedha.
The use of these different styles is complicated and requires thorough knowledge of the Javanese culture. This is one element that makes it difficult for foreigners to learn Javanese. On the other hand, these different styles of speech are actually not mastered by the majority of Javanese. Most people only master the first style and a rudimentary form of the second style. Persons who have correct mastery of the different styles are held in high esteem.

Dialects of modern Javanese

There are three main groups of Javanese dialects based on the sub region where the speakers live. They are: Western Javanese, Central Javanese and Eastern Javanese. The differences between these dialectical groups are primarily pronunciation and, to a lesser extent, vocabulary. All Javanese dialects are more or less mutually intelligible.
The Central Javanese variant, based on the speech of Surakarta (and also to a degree of Yogyakarta), is considered as the most "refined" Javanese dialect. Accordingly standard Javanese is based on this dialect. These two cities are the seats of the four Javanese principalities, heirs to the Mataram Sultanate, which once reigned over almost the whole of Java and beyond. Speakers spread from north to south of the Central Java province and utilize many dialects, such as Muria and Semarangan, as well as Surakarta and Yogyakarta. To a lesser extent, there are also dialects such as those used in Pekalongan or Dialek Pantura and Kebumen (a variation of Banyumasan). The variations of Javanese dialect in Central Java are said to be so plentiful that almost all administrative regions have their own native slang that is only recognizable by people from that region, but those minor dialects are not distinctive to most Javanese speakers.
In addition to Central Java and Yogyakarta provinces, Central Javanese is also used in the western part of East Java province. For example, Javanese spoken in the Madiun region bears a strong influence of Surakarta Javanese (as well as Javanese spoken in Ponorogo, Pacitan, and Tulungagung), while Javanese spoken in Bojonegoro and Tuban is similar to that spoken in the Pati region (Muria dialect).
Western Javanese, spoken in the western part of the Central Java province and throughout the West Java province (particularly in the north coast region), contains dialects which are distinct for their Sundanese influences and which still maintain many archaic words. The dialects include North Banten, Banyumasan, Tegal, Jawa Serang, North coast, Indramayu (or Dermayon) and Cirebonan (or Basa Cerbon).
Eastern Javanese speakers range from the eastern banks of Kali Brantas in Kertosono to Banyuwangi, comprising the majority of the East Java province, excluding Madura island. However, the dialect has been influenced by Madurese, and is sometimes referred to as Surabayan speech.
The most aberrant dialect is spoken in Balambangan (or Banyuwangi) in the eastern-most part of Java. It is generally known as Basa Osing. Osing is the word for negation and is a cognate of the Balinese tusing, Balinese being the neighbouring language directly to the east. In the past this area of Java was in possession of Balinese kings and warlords.
In addition to these three main Javanese dialects, there is Surinamese Javanese. Surinamese Javanese is mainly based on the Central Javanese dialect, especially from the Kedu residency.


Most Javanese people, except those who live in West Java, accept the pronunciation of the phoneme "a" as /a/. Therefore, there is a different pronunciation of many words; for example apa (Eng.=what) is pronounced /apa/ in Western Javanese and /oːpoː/ in Central and Eastern Javanese.
When there is a condition of phoneme stem VCV (Vowel-Consonant-Vowel) with the same vowels, Central Javanese speakers drop the second vowel into another sound, with the following formula: "i" becomes /e/ and "u" becomes /o/, the Easterns drop both of the vowels, whereas Western Javanese maintains the sounds "i" and "u". So the word cilik (Eng.= small), is pronounced /tjilek/ in Central, /tjeːlek/ in Eastern, and /tjilik/ in Western Javanese; the word tutup is pronounced /tutop/ in Central, /toːtop/ in Eastern, and /tutup/ in Western Javanese.


The vocabulary of Javanese language is enriched by dialectal words. For example, to get the meaning of "you", Western Javanese speakers say rika /rika/, Eastern Javanese use kon /kon/, and Central Javanese speakers say kowe /kowe/. Another example is the expression of "how": the Tegal dialect of Western Javanese uses kepriben /kepriben/, the Banyumasan dialect of Western Javanese employs kepriwe /kepriwe/ or kepriwen /kepriwen/, Eastern Javanese speakers say yok apa /gek op/ - originally means "like what" (Javanese: kaya apa), and Central Javanese speakers say piye /piye/.

Brief history of the Javanese language

Old Javanese
While evidence of writing in Java dates to the Sanskrit "Tarumanegara inscription" of 450, the oldest example written entirely in Javanese, called the Sukabumi inscription", is dated March 25, 804. This inscription, located in the district of Pare in the Kediri regency of East Java, is actually a copy of the original, dated some 120 years earlier; only this copy has been preserved. Its contents concern the construction of a dam for an irrigation canal near the river Śrī Hariñjing (nowadays Srinjing). This inscription is the last of its kind to be written using Pallava script; all consequent examples are written using Javanese script.
The 8th and 9th centuries are marked with the emergence of the Javanese literary tradition with Sang Hyang Kamahayanikan, a Buddhist treatise and the Kakawin Rāmâyana , a Javanese rendering in Indian metres of the Vishnuistic Sanskrit epic, Rāmāyana.
Although Javanese as a written language appeared considerably later than Malay (extant in the 7th century), the Javanese literary tradition is continuous from its inception to present day. The oldest works, such as the above mentioned Rāmāyana, and a Javanese rendering of the Indian Mahabharata epic are studied assiduously today.
The expansion of the Javanese culture, including Javanese script and language, began in 1293 with the eastward push of the Hindu–Buddhist East-Javanese Empire Majapahit, toward Madura and Bali. The Javanese campaign in Bali in 1363 has had a deep and lasting impact. With the introduction of the Javanese administration, Javanese replaced Balinese as the language of administration and literature. Though the Balinese people preserved much of the older literature of Java and even created their own in Javanese idioms, Balinese ceased to be written until the 19th century.
Middle Javanese
The Majapahit Empire also saw the rise of a new language, Middle Javanese, which is an intermediate form between Old Javanese and New Javanese. In fact, Middle Javanese is so similar to New Javanese that works written in Middle Javanese should be easily comprehended by Modern Javanese speakers who are well acquainted with literary Javanese.
The Majapahit Empire fell due to internal disturbances and attacks by Islamic forces of the Sultanate of Demak on the north coast of Java. There is a Javanese chronogram concerning the fall which reads, "sirna ilang krĕtaning bumi" ("vanished and gone was the prosperity of the world"), indicating the date AD 1478. Thus there is a popular belief that Majapahit collapsed in 1478, though it may have lasted into the 1500s. This was the last Hindu Javanese empire.
New Javanese
In the 16th century a new era in Javanese history began with the rise of the Islamic Central Javanese Mataram Sultanate, originally a vassal state of Majapahit. Ironically, the Mataram Empire rose as an Islamic kingdom which sought revenge for the demise of the Hindu Majapahit Empire by first crushing Demak, the first Javanese Islamic kingdom.
Javanese culture spread westward as Mataram conquered many previously Sundanese areas in western parts of Java; and Javanese became the dominant language in more than a third of this area. As in Bali, the Sundanese language ceased to be written until the 19th century. In the meantime it was heavily influenced by Javanese, and some 40% of Sundanese vocabulary is believed to have been derived from Javanese.
Though Islamic in name, the Mataram II empire preserved many elements of the older culture, incorporating them into the new religion. This is the reason why Javanese script is still in use as opposed to the writing of Old-Malay for example. After the Malays were converted, they dropped their form of indigenous writing and changed to a form of the "script of the Divine", the Arabic script.
In addition to the rise of Islam, the 16th century saw the emergence of the New Javanese language. The first Islamic documents in Javanese were already written in New Javanese, although still in antiquated idioms and with numerous Arabic loanwords. This is to be expected as these early New Javanese documents are Islamic treatises.
Later, intensive contacts with the Dutch and with other Indonesians gave rise to a simplified form of Javanese and influx of foreign loanwords.
Modern Javanese
Some scholars dub the spoken form of Javanese in the 20th century Modern Javanese, although it is essentially still the same language as New Javanese.

Javanese script

Madurese in Javanese scriptJavanese has been traditionally written with Javanese script. However, it is also written in Arabic and Roman script.

Demographic distribution of Javanese speakers

Javanese is spoken throughout Indonesia, neighbouring Southeast Asian countries, the Netherlands, Suriname, New Caledonia and other countries. However, the greatest concentration of speakers is found in the six provinces of Java itself, and in the neighbouring Sumatran province of Lampung.
Below, a table with the number of native speakers in 1980 is provided.
Based on the 1980 census, persons in approximately 43% of Indonesia's households spoke Javanese at home on a daily basis. By this reckoning there were well over 60 million Javanese speakers. In 1980, the total number of the Indonesian population was 147,490,298.
Above only 22 provinces of the then 27 provinces of Indonesia are taken. In each of these provinces, more than 1% of the population are Javanese speakers.
The distribution of persons living in Javanese-speaking households in East Java and Lampung requires clarification. For East Java, daily-language percentages are as follows: 74.5 Javanese; 23.0 Madurese; and 2.2 Indonesian. For Lampung, the official percentages are 62.4 Javanese; 16.4 Lampungese and other languages; 10.5 Sundanese and 9.4 Indonesian.
These figures are somewhat outdated for some regions, especially Jakarta while they remain more or less stable for the rest of Java. In Jakarta the number of Javanese has increased tenfold in the last 25 years. On the other hand, because of the conflict the number of Javanese in Aceh might have decreased. Furthermore it has to be noted that Banten has separated from West Java province in 2000.
In Banten, Western Java, the descendants of the Central Javanese conquerors who founded the Islamic Sultanate there in the 16th century still speak an archaic form of Javanese. The rest of the population mainly speaks Sundanese and Indonesian as this province borders directly on Jakarta. Many commuters live in the Jakartan suburbs in Banten, among them also Javanese speakers. Their exact number is however unknown.
At least one third of the population of Jakarta is of Javanese descent and as such speak Javanese or have knowledge of it. In the province of West Java, many people speak Javanese, especially those living in the areas bordering Central Java, the cultural homeland of the Javanese.
The province of East Java is also home of the Madurese people, who number almost a quarter of the population (mostly on the Isle of Madura), but many Madurese actually have some knowledge of colloquial Javanese. Since the 19th century, Madurese was also written in the Javanese script. Unfortunately, the aspirated phonemes of Madurese are not reproduced in writing. The 19th century scribes apparently overlooked, or were ignorant of, the fact that Javanese script does possess these characters.
In Lampung the original inhabitants, the Lampungese, only make up some 15% of the population. The rest are the so-called "transmigrants", settlers from other parts of Indonesia, many as a result of past government transmigration programs. Most of these transmigrants are Javanese who have settled there since the 19th century.
In the former Dutch colony of Suriname (formerly called Dutch Guiana), in South America, approximately 15% of the population of some 500,000 are of Javanese descent, thus accounting for 75,000 speakers of Javanese. A local variant evolved, the "Tyoro Jowo-Suriname" or "Suriname Javanese".

The Javanese language today

Damar Jati, a new Javanese language biweekly magazine.Although Javanese is not a national language, it has a recognised status as a regional language in three Indonesian provinces where the biggest concentrations of Javanese people are found, i.e. Central Java, Yogyakarta and East Java. Javanese is taught at schools and is also used in some mass media, both electronically and in print. There is, however, no longer a daily newspaper in Javanese. Some examples of Javanese language magazines include: Panjebar Semangat, Jaka Lodhang, Jaya Baya, Damar Jati, and Mekar Sari.
Since 2003, an East Java local television station (JTV) has broadcast some of its programmes in Surabayan dialect. Three such programmes are Pojok kampung (News), Kuis RT/RW and Pojok Perkoro (a criminal programme). Later on JTV also broadcast programmes in Central Javanese dialect which they call 'the western language' (basa kulonan) and Madurese.
In 2005, a new Javanese language magazine Damar Jati, saw its conception. The interesting fact is that, it is not published in the Javanese heartlands, but in Jakarta, the national capital of Indonesia.

Thank you for reading articles about Javanese language, and especially for visiting this blog. Hopefully this article useful for you to gain knowledge about Javanese.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Javanese articles : Yogyakarta

Water palace in Yogyakarta IndonesiaYogyakarta is one of the provinces in Indonesia which lies in the southern part of Java island. The beauty of Javanese culture that there are people in Yogyakarta province as a region made famous tourist visits. If you are interested in finding out more about Yogyakarta, please read the following article.

The Special Region of Yogyakarta (Indonesian: Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta, or DIY), is the smallest province of Indonesia (excluding Jakarta). It is located on the island of Java. Yogyakarta is the only province in Indonesia that is still governed by that area's precolonial monarchy; The Sultan of Yogyakarta serves as the elected governor of the province. In Javanese (and Dutch) it is pronounced (jogjakarta). The city of Yogyakarta is the capital of the province.


Yogyakarta is located in south-central Java. It is surrounded by the province of Central Java (Jawa Tengah) and the Indian Ocean in the south.
The population of DIY in 2003 was approximately 3,000,000. The province of Yogyakarta has a total area of 3,185.80 km2. Yogyakarta has the second-smallest area of the provinces in Indonesia, after the Jakarta Capital Region. However it has, along with adjacent areas in Central Java, some of the highest population densities of Java.

Administrative divisions

Malioboro, the most famous street in Yogyakarta city, IndonesiaYogyakarta province is subdivided into four regencies (kabupaten) and one city (kota):
- Bantul Regency (506.86 km2)
- Gunung Kidul Regency (1,485.36 km2)
- Kulon Progo Regency (586.27 km2)
- Sleman Regency (574.82 km2)
- Yogyakarta City (32.5 km2)


The area of the city of Yogyakarta is 32.5 km². While the city sprawls in all directions from the kraton, the core of the modern city is to the north, centering around the site of a few buildings with distinctive Dutch colonial-era architecture and the contemporary commercial district. Jalan Malioboro, with rows of sidewalk vendors and nearby market and malls, is the primary shopping street for tourists in the city, while Jalan Solo, further north, is a shopping district more frequented by locals. At the southern end of Malioboro, on the east side is the large local market of Beringharjo, not far from Fort Vredeburg a restored Dutch fort.
At Yogyakarta's center is the kraton, or Sultan's palace. Surrounding the kraton is a densely populated residential neighborhood that occupies land that was formerly the Sultan's sole domain. Evidence of this former use remains in the form of old walls and the ruined Taman Sari, built in 1758 as a pleasure garden. No longer used by the sultan, the garden had been largely abandoned. For a time, it was used for housing by palace employees and descendants. Reconstruction efforts began in 2004, and an effort to renew the neighborhood around the kraton has begun. The site is a developing tourist attraction.


The city is divided into 14 districts (kecamatan).
- Gondokusuman
- Jetis
- Tegalrejo
- Umbulharjo
- Kotagede
- Mergangsan
- Ngampilan
- Danurejan
- Kraton
- Wirobrajan
- Pakualaman
- Mantrijeron
- Gedongtengen
- Gondomanan

Arts and culture

The kraton's main pavilion in Yogyakarta, IndonesiaYogyakarta is known for its silver work, leather puppets used for shadow plays (wayang kulit), and a unique style of making batik dyed fabric. It is also known for its vivid contemporary art scene. Yogyakarta is also known for its gamelan music, including the unique style Gamelan Yogyakarta, which developed in the courts.
Yogyakarta is also a haven for underground art. It is home to many independent filmmaking communities, independent musicians, performance artists, and visual artists. One underground community that is internationally reputable among art collectors but barely heard of within the country is the Taring Padi community in Bantul, which produces posters using a technique called cukil. daren kidul Dono Kerto Turi

Demography and language

Most population is Javanese, but being a student city, there are also significant population of people from other ethnicities in Indonesia. This status makes Yogyakarta as one of the most heterogeneous city in terms of ethnicity in Indonesia. Indonesian as the official national language, and Javanese are widely used as daily spoken languages, especially by the Javanese.


King Palace in Yogyakarta, Indonesia The Yogyakarta Sultanate, formally the Sultanate of Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat, was formed in 1755 when the existing Sultanate of Mataram was divided by the Dutch East India Company (VOC) in two under the Treaty of Giyanti. This treaty states that the Sultanate of Mataram was to be divided into the Sultanate of Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat with Yogyakarta as the capital and Mangkubumi who became Sultan Hamengkubuwono I as its Sultan and the Sultanate of Surakarta Hadiningrat with Surakarta as the capital and Pakubuwono III who was the ruler of the Sultanate of Mataram as its Sultan. The Sultan Hamengkubuwono I spent the next 37 years building the new capital, with the Kraton as the centerpiece and the court at Surakarta as the blueprint model. By the time he died in 1792, his territory exceeded Surakarta's.
The ruler Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono IX (April 12, 1912 - 1988) held a degree from the Dutch Leiden University, and held for a time the largely ceremonial position of Vice-President of Indonesia, in recognition of his status, as well as Minister of Finance and Minister of Defense.
In support of Indonesia declaring independence from the Dutch and Japanese occupation, in September 5, 1945, Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono IX of Yogya and Sri Paku Alam VIII in Yogya declared their sultanates to be part of the Republic of Indonesia. The declaration is as follows:
"We, Hamengkubuwono IX, Sultan of the Land of Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat, declared:
That Land of Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat function as a monarchy as a Special Territory of the Republic of Indonesia
That we as the Regional Head of Yogyakarta held control and power in the Land of Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat, and upon that cause in which the situation nowadays all government elements in the Land of Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat from this moment is all under our control and with it too all other authorities we take over entirely.
That the connection between the Land of Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat and the Central Government of the Republic of Indonesia is direct and we will only bear responsibility upon our Land directly to the President of the Republic of Indonesia.
We ordered that all residents of the Land of Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat to heed our mandate.
Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat, 28 Puasa, Ehe, 1876" (Javanese Calendar), Gregorian Date: 5 Sept 1945
In return for this support, the declaration of Special Authority over Yogyakarta was then granted fully in 1950.
By this act, Sultan Hamengkubuwono IX was appointed as governor for life. During the Indonesian National Revolution against the Dutch after World War II (1945-1950), the capital of the newly declared Indonesian republic was temporarily moved to Yogyakarta when the Dutch reoccupied Jakarta from January 1946 until August 1950.
The current ruler of Yogyakarta is his son, Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono X, who holds a law degree from Universitas Gadjah Mada. Upon the elder sultan's death, the position of governor, according to the agreement with Indonesia, was to pass to his heir. However, the central government at that time insisted on an election. In 1998, Sultan Hamengkubuwono X was elected as governor by the provincial house of representatives (DPRD) of Yogyakarta, defying the will of the central government. "I may be a sultan," he has been quoted in Asia Week as saying, "but is it not possible for me to also be a democrat?"


Due to the importance of Yogyakarta during the war of independence from the Dutch, there are numerous memorials and museums. Yogya Kembali, and Fort Vredeburg are two major museums of about 11 named in the city.
To the east of the town centre is a large air-force museum; as Indonesia was for a period in the Soviet sphere of influence this museum contains a number of vintage Russian aircraft not widely available for inspection in the NATO sphere of influence. The collection includes examples of the Mig 15 trainer (NATO designation Mongol), MiG 17 (Fresco), MiG 19 (Farmer), Mig 21 (Fishbed) and Tu16 (Badger), together with an assortment of American and British aircraft.


Yogyakarta is served by Adisucipto International Airport which connects the city with some other major cities in Indonesia, such as Jakarta, Surabaya, Bali, Makassar, Balikpapan, Banjarmasin, and Pontianak. It also connects the city with Singapore (operated by Garuda Indonesia) and Kuala Lumpur (operated by AirAsia and Malaysia Airlines).
The city is located on one of the two major railway lines across Java between Jakarta / Bandung and Surabaya. It has two passenger railway stations, Tugu Railway Station serves business and executive class trains while Lempuyangan Station serves economy class trains. Both stations are located in downtown Yogyakarta city.
The city has an extensive system of public city buses, and is a major destination for inter-city buses to elsewhere on Java or Bali, as well as taxis, andongs, and becaks. Motorbikes are by far the most commonly used personal transportation, but an increasing number of residents own automobiles.
Starting from early 2008, the city has operated a bus rapid transit system called Trans Jogja. This system is modeled after TransJakarta. But unlike Trans Jakarta, there is no particular lane for Trans Jogja buses, they run on main streets. Currently there are six lines of Trans Jogja service, with routes throughout main streets of Yogyakarta, which some overlap one another. The lines extend from Jombor bus station in the north as far as Giwangan main bus terminal in the south and Prambanan bus shelter in the east via Adisucipto International Airport. Trans Jogja has now become a new trademark of Yogyakarta and frequently used by local citizens and tourists alike.
In a recent forum discussion on long-term future transportation plans in Yogyakarta held in Universitas Gadjah Mada, Head of Yogyakarta region transportation master plan team, Prof Ahmad Munawar, said that, in 2016 various modern transport modes include monorail, aerobus, and tram will begin operating in the city and the region.


Jogjakarta is the home of several state and private universities, among them is the first (private higher education)university in Indonesia, Universitas Islam Indonesia (U.I.I.) [2] which was established in 1945 with the name "Sekolah Tinggi Islam" (Islam School of Higher Education) followed by the first state own university in Indonesia, Universitas Gajah Mada (Gajah Mada University).
As a city of art and culture, Jogjakarta is the home of Institut Seni Indonesia - Jogjakarta (Indonesia Institute of the Arts), Indonesia's first and finnest Art School.
Presently, Jogjakarta is the home to more than 50 institutions for higher education in Indonesia, the highest number of higher education institutions located in one province through out Indonesia. Because of this fact, Jogjakarta is dubbed as "Student City" or "Kota Pelajar".


Private Universites:
- Universitas Islam Indonesia (UII) -
- Universitas Muhammadiyah Jogjakarta (UMY) (Muhammadiyah University Jogjakarta) -
- Universitas Ahmad Dahlan (UAD) (Ahmad Dahlan University) -
- Universitas Pembangunan Nasional "Veteran" Jogja (UPN) (National Development University) -
- Universitas Teknologi Yogyakarta (UTY) (Technological University of Jogjakarta) -
- Universitas Sanata Dharma (USD) (Sanata Dharma University) -
- Universitas Atma Jaya Yogyakarta (UAJY) -
- Universitas Cokroaminoto (UNCOK)(Cokroaminoto University) -
- Universitas Dirgantara Indonesia (Dirgantara Indonesia University)
- Universitas Gunung Kidul (Gunung Kidul University) -
- Universitas Kristen Immanuel (Immanuel Christian University)
- Universitas PGRI Yogyakarta -
- Universitas Proklamasi '45 (UNPROK) -
- Universitas Sarjanawiyata Tamansiswa (UST) -
- Univ. Mercubuana (dh/ Univ. Wangsa Manggala) -
- Universitas Widya Mataram
State Universities:
- Universitas Gajah Mada (UGM)(Gajah Mada University) -
- Universitas Negeri Yogyakarta (UNY) (Yogyakarta State University) -
- Universitas Islam Negeri Jogjakarta "Sunan Kalijaga" (UIN)(Sunan Kalijaga State Islamic University)
- Institut Seni Indonesia - Jogjakarta (ISI) - (Indonesian Institute of Art - Jogjakarta) ht tp:// "The first and finnest Higher Art Education Institution in Indonesia"
- Institut Pertanian (INSTIPER) ("STIPER" Institute of Farming)
- Institut Pertanian (INTAN) Yogyakarta (Yogyakarta Institute of Farming)
- Institut Sains dan Teknologi "AKPRIND" (IST Akprind) ("AKPRIND" Institut of Science and Technology)
- Institiut Keguruan dan Ilmu Pendidikan (IKIP) PGRI - Wates (Institute of Education Science - Wates)
College of Bussiness Administration:
- S.T.I.E. "Kerjasama" (STIKER)
- S.T.I.E. "Widya Wiwaha" (WW) -
- S.T.I.E. Solusi Bisnis Indonesia (SBI) -
- S.T.I.E. Nusa Megar Kencana -
- S.T.I.E. Mitra Indonesia
- S.T.I.E. Bank
- S.T.I.E. Pariwisata API
College of information technology and computer management :
- S.T.M.I.K. "AMIKOM" Yogyakarta -
- S.T.M.I.K. "AKAKOM" Yogyakarta -
- S.T.M.I.K. "El Rahma" Yogyakarta -
- S.T.M.I.K. "Pelita Nusantara" Yogyakarta -
- S.T.M.I.K. "Jendral Ahmad Yani" -
College of technology
- S.T.T. Nasional -
- S.T.T. Adisutjipto -
- S.T.T. Kedirgantaraan
- S.T.T. Yogyakarta
College of health science:
- S.T.I.Kes. Respati -
- S.T.I.Kes. Aisyiah -
- S.T.I.Kes. Achmad Yani
- S.T.I.Kes. Alma Ata
- S.T.I.Kes. Surya Global -
- S.T.I.Kes. Wira Husada
- Sekolah Tinggi Pariwisata "AMPTA" (College of Tourism) -
- Sekolah Tinggi Pembangunan Masyarakat Desa
- Akademi Tentara Nasional Indonesia - Angkatan Udara (A.A.U.) (Indonesian Air Force Academy - Adisucipto Air Base)
- Akedemi Akuntansi "YKPN" ("Y.K.P.N." Academy of Accounting)
- Akademi Akuntansi Sapta Widya Utama (Sapta Widya Utama Academy of Accounting)
- Akademi Manajemen Putra Jaya (Putra Jaya Academy of Management)
- Akademi Seni Rupa dan Desain "AKSERI" ("AKSERI" Academy of Visual Art and Design)
- Akademi Seni Rupa dan Desain "M.S.D." (M.S.D. Academy of Visual Art and Design)
- Akademi Seni Rupa dan Desain "ADVY" (ADVY Academy of Visual Art and Design)
- Akademi Seni Rupa dan Desain ADA Yogyakarta ("ADA" Academy of Visual Art and Design)
- Akademi Maritim Yogyakarta (A.M.Y.) (Jogjakarta Maritim Academy)


Yogyakarta is the second most important tourist destination in Indonesia after Bali. Most tourists come to Yogyakarta for its strong Javanese culture and tradition. This makes it prominent among other Javanese cities. Along with Surakarta or Solo, a city lying about 64 km to the east, Yogyakarta is the center of Javanese culture.

Health facilities

The major hospitals in Yogyakarta include Rumah Sakit Umum Pusat (RSUP) Dr Sardjito Yogyakarta – Dr. Sardjito Hospital, Bethesda Hospital Yogyakarta, Panti Rapih Hospital, and Jogja International Hospital.

2006 Earthquake

The province of Yogyakarta bore the brunt of a 6.3-magnitude earthquake on 27 May 2006 which killed 5,782 people and left some 36,299 persons injured. More than 135,000 houses are damaged, and 600,000 people are homeless. The earthquake extensively damaged the local region of Bantul, and its surrounding hinterland. The most significant number of deaths occurred in this region.
The coincidence of the recent eruption of Mount Merapi, and the earthquake would not be lost on the older and more superstitious Javanese - as such natural phenonomena are given considerable import within their understanding of the spiritual aspect of such events.

Sister cities

Gangbuk-gu, South Korea
Baalbek, Lebanon
Huế, Vietnam
Hefei, China
Commewijne District, Suriname

Thank you for reading articles about Yogyakarta, and especially for visiting this blog. Hopefully this article useful for you to gain knowledge about Javanese.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Javanese Articles : Central Java

Central Java is one of the provinces in Indonesia with cultural diversity and history that have a significant role in Indonesian history. To find out more about Central Java, please read the following article.

Central Java (Indonesian: Provinsi Jawa Tengah) is a province of Indonesia. The administrative capital is Semarang. It is one of six provinces on the island of Java. The province of Central Java is 32,548.20 km2 in area; approximately a quarter of the total land area of Java. Its population is 32,864,000 (As of 2009), making it the third most-populous province in Indonesia after West Java and East Java, and constituting a bit less than one quarter of the crowded island's population.
Central Java is also a cultural concept that includes the Special Area and city of Yogyakarta. However, administratively the city and surrounding region has been part of a separate special region since Indonesian independence.


Mount Merbabu near Salatiga - much of Central Java's countryside is dominated by rice fields and volcanic peaksLocated in the middle of the island of Java, the Central Java province is bordered by West Java and East Java provinces. A small portion of its south region is the Yogyakarta Special Region province, fully enclosed by the Central Java province. Yogyakarta is historically and culturally part of the Central Java region, although it is currently a separate political entity. To the north and the south, the Central Java province faces the Java Sea and the Indian Ocean. Central Java also includes offshore islands such as Karimun Jawa Islands in the north, and Nusakambangan in the southwest.
The average temperature in Central Java is between 18–28 degrees celsius and the relative humidity varies between 73–94 percent. While a high level of humidity exists in most low lying parts of the province, it drops significantly in the upper mountains. The highest average annual rainfall of 3,990 mm with 195 rainy days was recorded in Salatiga.
The geography of Central Java is regular with small strips of lowlands near the northern and southern coast with mountain ranges in the centre of the region. To the west lies an active stratovolcano Mount Slamet, then a bit further to the east is the Dieng Volcanic Complex on the Dieng Plateau. At southeast of the Dieng plateau lies the high plateau of Kedu Plain, bordered on the east side by the twin volcanoes of Mount Merapi (the most active volcanoes in Indonesia) and Mount Merbabu. At the south of Semarang, lies Mount Ungaran, and to the north-east of the city lies Mount Muria on the most northern tip of Java. To the east near the border with East Java lies Mount Lawu, where its eastern slopes are in the East Java province.
Due to active volcanics history and therefore volcanic ash, Central Java is a very fertile region for agriculture. Sight of extensive paddy fields is common, except in the southeastern — Gunung Kidul region — partly due to the high concentration of limestone and its location in a rain shadow from the prevailing weather.
Two major rivers run through Central Java; Serayu in the west, which empties in the Indian Ocean, and the Solo River (Javanese: Bengawan Solo), which flows to the East Java province
Administrative division
On the eve of the World War II in 1942, Central Java was subdivided into 7 residencies (Dutch residentie or plural residenties, Javanese karésiḍènan or karésidhènan) which correspond more or less with the main regions of this area. These residencies were Banjoemas, Kedoe, Pekalongan, Semarang, and Djapara-Rembang added with the so called Gouvernement Soerakarta and Gouvernement Jogjakarta. However after the local elections in 1957 the role of these regencies were reduced until they finally disappeared.
Nowadays Central Java (excluding Yogyakarta) is divided in 29 regencies (kabupaten) and 6 cities (kota, previously kotamadya and kota pradja). A regency can also be called a rural district while an autonomous city is an urban district. Below are regencies and autonomous cities of Central Java:
Regencies: Banjarnegara, Banyumas, Batang, Blora, Boyolali, Brebes, Cilacap, Demak, Grobogan, Jepara, Karanganyar, Kebumen, Kendal, Klaten, Kudus, Magelang, Pati, Pekalongan, Pemalang, Purbalingga, Purworejo, Rembang, Semarang, Sragen, Sukoharjo, Tegal, Temanggung, Wonogiri, Wonosobo
Cities: Magelang, Pekalongan, Salatiga, Semarang, Surakarta, Tegal
These contemporary regencies and cities can further be subdivided into 565 sub-districts (kecamatan). Furthermore sub-districts are subdivided into 7,804 rural communes or "villages" (desa) and 764 urban communes (kelurahan).


Java has been inhabited by humans or their ancestors (hominina) since prehistorical times. In Central Java and the adjacent territories in East Java remains known as "Java Man" were discovered in the 1890s by the Dutch anatomist and geologist Eugène Dubois. Java Man belongs to the species Homo erectus. They are believed to be about 1.7 millions years old.
Then about 40,000 years ago, Australoid peoples related to modern Australian Aboriginals and Melanesians colonised Central Java. They were assimilated or replaced by Mongoloid Austronesians by about 3000 BC, who brought with them technologies of pottery, outrigger canoes, the bow and arrow, and introduced domesticated pigs, fowls, and dogs. They also introduced cultivated rice and millet.
Recorded history began in Central Java in the 7th century AD. The writing, as well as Hinduism and Buddhism, were brought to Central Java by Indians from South Asia. Central Java was a centre of power in Java back then.
In 664 AD, the Chinese monk Hui-neng visited the Javanese port city he called Hēlíng (訶陵) or Ho-ling, where he translated various Buddhist scriptures into Chinese with the assistance of the Javanese Buddhist monk Jñānabhadra. It is not precisely known what is meant by the name Hēlíng. It used to be considered the Chinese transcription of Kalinga but it now most commonly thought of as a rendering of the name Areng. Hēlíng is believed to be located somewhere between Semarang and Jepara.
The ninth-century Buddhist monument Borobudur built by the Sailendra near the 'nail of Java'.The first dated inscription in Central Java is the Inscription of Canggal which is from 732 AD (or 654 Saka). This inscription which hailed from Kedu, is written in Sanskrit in Pallava script. In this inscription it is written that a Shaivite king named Sri Sanjaya established a kingdom called Mataram. Under the reign of Sanjaya's dynasty several monuments such as the Prambanan temple complex were built.
In the meantime a competing dynasty arose, which adhered to Buddhism. This was the Sailendra dynasty, also from Kedu, which built the Borobudur temple.
After 820 there is no more mention of Hēlíng in Chinese records. This fact coincides with the overthrow of the Sailendras by the Sanjayas who restored Shaivism as the dominant religion. Then in the middle of the 10th century, for unknown reason, the centre of power moved to Eastern Java.
A few centuries later, after the destruction of the great Hindu Majapahit Empire in the 15th - 16th centuries by the Central Javanese Muslim kingdom of Demak, the Javanese centre of power moved back to Central Java. In the meanwhile European traders began to frequent Central Javanese ports. The Dutch established a presence in the region through their East India Company.
After Demak itself collapsed, a new kingdom on the Kedu Plain emerged. This new kingdom, which was also a sultanate, bore the old name of Mataram. Under the reign of Sultan Agung, Mataram was able to conquer almost all of Java and beyond by the 17th century, but internal disputes and Dutch intrigues forced Mataram to cede more and more land to the Dutch. These cessions finally led to several partitions of Mataram. The first partition was after the 1755 Treaty of Giyanti. This treaty divided the old kingdom in two, the Sultanate of Surakarta and the Sultanate of Yogyakarta. Then few years later Surakarta was divided again with the establishment of the Mangkunegaran after the Treaty of Salatiga (March 17, 1757).
During Napoleonic Wars in Europe, Central Java as part of the Netherlands East-Indies, a Dutch colony, was handed over to the British. In 1813, the Sultanate of Yogyakarta was also divided with the eastablishment of the Pakualamanan.
After the British left, the Dutch came back as was decided by the Congress of Vienna. Between 1825 - 1830 the Java War ravaged Central Java. The result of the war was a consolidation of the Dutch power. The power and the territories of the divided kingdom of Mataram were greatly reduced.
However Dutch rule brought modernization to Central Java. In the 1900s the modern province of Central Java, the predecessor of the current one was created. It consisted of five regions or gewesten in Dutch. Surakarta and Yogyakarta were autonomous regions called Vorstenlanden (literally "princely states"). Then after the Indonesian independence the province of Central Java was formalized on August 15, 1950, excluding Yogyakarta but including Surakarta Since then there have been no (major) changes in the administrative division of Central Java.
After the 30 September Movement's abortive coup of 1965, an anti-communist purge took place in Central Java, in which Communists and leftists (both actual and alleged) killed by the army and community vigilante groups. Others were interned in concentration camps, the most infamous of which was on the isle of Buru in the Moluccas (first used as a place of political exile by the Dutch). Many were executed years later but most were released in 1979.
In 1998, preluding the downfall of president Suharto, anti Chinese violence broke out in Surakarta (Solo) and surrounding areas. Much Chinese property and other buildings were burnt down. In 1999, public buildings in Surakarta were burnt again by supporters of Megawati Soekarnoputri after the Indonesia parliament chose Abdurrahman Wahid instead of Soekarnoputri. They carried out 'sweeping actions' against Western foreigners who reside in this city after the September 11, 2001 attacks.
The May 2006 Java earthquake in the south and Yogyakarta devastated many buildings and caused thousands of deaths and more than 37,000 injuries. Today, some areas are still under reconstruction.


As of the 2005 census, Central Java's population stood at some 31,820,000. As of the 1990 census, the population was 28,516,786. So the population has increased approximately 11.6% in 15 years.
The three biggest regencies in terms of population are: Brebes, Banyumas and Cilacap. Together these regencies make up approximately 16% of the Central Javanese population. Major urban population centers are greater Semarang, greater Surakarta and Brebes-Tegal-Slawi area.


A typical Javanese mosque with Meru-like roof (Masjid Sholihin in Surakarta)Officially, in 1990 the majority of the Central Javanese population or about 96%, was nominally Muslims. The second largest religion was Protestantism which was professed by 2% of the population. The remainder of the population was either Catholic, Hindu or Buddhist.
Although the overwhelming majority of Javanese are Muslims, many of them also profess indigenous Javanese beliefs. Clifford Geertz, in his book about the religion of Java made a distinction between the so-called santri Javanese and abangan Javanese. He considered santri Javanese as orthodox Muslims while abangan Javanese are nominal Muslims that devote more energy to indigenous traditions.
Dutch Protestants were active in missionary activities and were rather successful. The Dutch Catholic Jesuit missionary man, F.G.C. van Lith also achieved some success, especially in areas around the central-southern parts of Central Java and Yogyakarta in the beginning of the 20th century, and he is buried at the Jesuit necropolis at Muntilan.
After the Overthrow of Sukarno in 1965, religious identification of citizens became compulsory. Therefore there has been a renaissance of Buddhism and Hinduism since then. As one has to choose a religion out of the five official religions in Indonesia; i.e. Islam, Protestantism, Catholicism, Hinduism, and Buddhism, the latter two became alternatives for people who didn't want to be Muslims or Christians.
Confucianism is also common amongst Chinese Indonesians. Since 2006 it is a recognised official religion.


The vast majority of the population in Central Java are ethnic Javanese, they constitute approximately 98% of the whole population. In addition to the Javanese, small pockets of Sundanese communities are to be found near the border with West Java, especially in Brebes and Cilacap regencies. Sundanese toponyms are common in these regions such as Dayeuhluhur in Cilacap, Ciputih and Citimbang in Brebes and even Cilongok as far away in Banyumas.
In urban centers, other minorities such as Chinese Indonesians and Arabs are common. The Chinese are even to be found in rural areas. The urban areas that are densely populated by Chinese Indonesian, are called pecinan, which means "China Town".


Languages of JavaAs the overwhelming majority of the population of Central Java are Javanese, the most dominant language is Javanese. There are several dialects which are spoken in Central Java, the two main dialects are western Javanese (also called Basa Ngapak which includes the "Banyumasan dialect" and the dialect of Brebes-Tegal-Pekalongan) and central Javanese.
Sundanese is also spoken in some pockets near the border with West Java, especially in Brebes and Cilacap regencies. However, according to some sources, Sundanese used to be spoken as far away as in Dieng Plateau. This former boundary of Sundanese coincides more or less with the isogloss dividing Central Javanese with Western Javanese.
In urban centers Indonesian is widely spoken.


Central Java
is considered to be the heart of the Javanese culture. Home of the Javanese courts, Central Javanese culture formed what non-Javanese see as the "Javanese Culture" along with it stereotypes. The ideal conducts and morals of the courts (such as politeness, nobility and grace) influence the people tremendously. The people of Central Java are known as soft-spoken, very polite, extremely class-conscious, apathetic, down-to-earth, et cetera. These stereotypes formed what most non-Javanese see as "Javanese Culture", when in fact not all of the Javanese people behave that way. Moreover, most Javanese are far from the court culture.

Mapping the Javanese cultures

The Javanese cultural area can be divided into three distinct main regions: Western Javanese, Central Javanese and Eastern Javanese culture or in their Javanese names as Ngapak, Kejawèn and Arèk.
The boundaries of these cultural regions coincide with the isoglosses of the Javanese dialects. Cultural areas west of Dieng Plateau and Pekalongan Regency are considered Ngapak whereas the boundary of the eastern cultural areas or Arèk lies in East Java. Consequently culturally, Central Java consists of two cultures, while the Central Javanese Culture proper is not entirely confined to Central Java.

Creative arts

The architecture of Central Java is characterised by the juxtaposition of the old and the new and a wide variety of architectural styles, the legacy of many successive influences by the Indians, the Persians and the Arabs, the Chinese, and the Europeans. In particular, northern coastal cities such as Semarang, Tegal and Pekalongan can boast fine colonial European architecture. The European and Chinese influence can be seen in Semarang's temple of Sam Po Kong dedicated to Zheng He and the Domed Church built in 1753. The latter is the second oldest church in Java and the oldest in Central Java. Inland Surakarta, as a former capital, also has some fine European architecture.
Famous for its religious heritage, Central Java has some notable religious buildings. The Borobudur and the Prambanan temple complexes are among the largest Buddhist and Hindu structures in the world. In general, a characteristic Javanese mosque doesn't have a dome as its roof but a Meru-like roof instead, which is reminiscent of a Hindu or Buddhist temple. The tower of the famous Mosque of Kudus resembles a Hindu-Javanese or Balinese temple more than a traditional Middle-Eastern mosque.
Central Java
is famous and well known for its exquisite batik, a generic wax-resist dyeing technique used on textile. There are different styles of batik motives. A centre of batik production is Pekalongan. Other centres are Surakarta and Yogyakarta. Batik in Pekalongan style which represent gaya pesisir (or coastal style) is different than the one in Surakarta and Yogyakarta, which represent batik from the heartland of Java (gaya kejawèn).
You can even see the court influences in the art forms. The dances of the courts of Java are usually slow and graceful, with no excessive gestures. The people followed these kind of approach, and as a result, slow-paced and graceful movements can even be found in folk dances throughout Central Java (with some exceptions). You can enjoy the beauty of Central Javanese dances in “Kamajaya-Kamaratih” or “Karonsih”, usually performed in a traditional Javanese wedding.
There are several kinds of Central Javanese theater and performing arts. The most well known are is of course the Javanese wayang theater. There are several kinds of Central Javanese wayang, amongst others: wayang kulit, wayang klitik, wayang bèbèr, wayang golèk, and wayang wong. Wayang kulit are shadow puppets theater with leather puppets. The stories are loosely based on Mahabharata and Ramayana cycles. Wayang klitik are puppets theater with flat wooden puppets. The stories are based on Panji (king) stories. Panji was a native Javanese princes who set of in a 'journeys of desire'. Wayang bèbèr is scroll theater, and it involves "performing" scenes of a story elaborately drawn and painted on rolled sheets. Wayang golèk consists of three dimensional wooden puppets. The narrative can be based on anything, but usually the stories are drawn from Islamic heroic narratives. Finally wayang wong is wayang theater involving live figures; actors who are performing a play. The narrative however must be based on Mahabharata or Ramayana.
In addition to wayang, there is another form of theater which is called ketoprak. Ketoprak is a staged play by actors accompanied with Javanese gamelan. The narrative is free but cannot be based on Mahabharata or Ramayana. Otherwise it will be some kind of wayang wong.


Central Javanese music is almost synonymous with gamelan. This is a musical ensemble typically featuring a variety of instruments such as metallophones, xylophones, drums, and gongs; bamboo flutes, bowed and plucked strings, and vocalists may also be included. The term refers more to the set of instruments than the players of those instruments. A gamelan as a set of instruments is a distinct entity, built and tuned to stay together — instruments from different gamelan are not interchangeable. However, gamelan is not typically Central Javanese as it is also known somewhere else.
Contemporary Javanese pop music is called campursari. It is a fusion between gamelan and Western instruments, much like kroncong. Usually the lyrics are in Javanese, but not always. One notable singer is Didi Kempot, born in Sragen, north of Surakarta. Didi Kempot mostly sings in Javanese.


It can be argued that Javanese literature started in Central Java. The oldest known literary work in the Javanese language is the Inscription of Sivagrha from Kedu Plain. This inscription which is from 856 AD, is written as a kakawin or Javanese poetry with Indian metres. Then the oldest of narrative poems, Kakawin Ramayana, which tells the well-known story of Ramayana is believed to have come from Central Java. It can be safely assumed that this kakawin must have been written in Central Java in the 9th century.
After the shift of Javanese power to East Java, it had been quiet from Central Java for several centuries, concerning Javanese literature until the 16th century. At this time the centre of power was shifted back to Central Java. The oldest work written in Modern Javanese language concerning Islam is the so-called "Book of Bonang" or also "The Admonitions of Seh Bari". This work is extant in just one manuscript, now kept in the University Library in Leiden, The Netherlands as codex Orientalis 1928. It is assumed that this manuscript originates from Tuban, in East Java and was taken to the Netherlands after 1598. However this work is attributed to Sunan Bonang, one of the nine Javanese saints who spread Islam in Java (Wali Songo) and Sunan Bonang came from Bonang, a place in Demak Regency, Central Java. So it can be argued that this work also mark the beginning of Islamic literature in Central Java.
However the pinnacle of Central Javanese literature was created at the courts of the kings of Mataram in Kartasura and later in Surakarta and Yogyakarta, mostly attributed to the Yasadipura family. The most famous member of this family is Rangga Warsita who lived in the 19th century. He is the best known of all Javanese writers and also one of the most prolific. He is also known as bujangga panutup or "the last court poet".
After the Indonesian independence, the Javanese language as a medium was pushed to the background. Still one of the greatest contemporary Indonesian author, Pramoedya Ananta Toer was born in 1925 in Blora, Central Java. He was an Indonesian author of novels, short stories, essays, polemics, and histories of his homeland and its people. A well-regarded writer in the West, Pramoedya's outspoken and often politically charged writings faced censorship in his native land during the pre-reformation era. For opposing the policies of both founding president Soekarno, as well as those of its successor, the New Order regime of Soeharto, he faced extrajudicial punishment. During the many years in which he suffered imprisonment and house arrest, he became a cause célèbre for advocates of freedom of expression and human rights. In his works he writes much about life and social problems in Java.


Rice is the staple food of Central Java. In addition to rice, dried cassava known locally as gaplèk also serve as staple food. Javanese food tends to taste sweet. Cooked and stewed vegetables, usually in coconut milk (santen in Javanese) are popular. Raw vegetable which is popular in West Java is less popular in Central Java.
Saltwater fish, both fresh and dried is common, especially among coastal populations. Freshwater fish is not popular in Central Java, unlike in West Java, except perhaps for catfish known locally as lélé. Catfish is usually fried and served with chilli condiment (sambal) and raw vegetables.
Chicken, mutton and beef are common meat. Although the majority of Central Javanese are Muslims, pork is common, especially around Semarang and Surakarta. Dog meat, known by its euphemism daging jamu (literally "traditional medicine meat") is also occasionally eaten by certain parts of the population.
Tofu and tempe serve as common fish and meat replacement. Famous Central Javanese dishes include gudeg (sweet stew of jackfruit) and sayur lodeh (vegetables cooked in coconut milk).
Besides the aforementioned tofu, there is strong Chinese influence in many dishes. Some examples of Sino-Javanese food are noodles, bakso (meatballs), lumpia, soto (some kind of soup made with chicken or beef) et cetera. The widespread use of sweet soybeans sauce (kecap manis) in the Javanese cuisine can also be attributed to Chinese influence.


Central Java is connected to the interprovincial national way on the northern coast (Jalur Pantai Utara or Jalur Pantura) which runs from Anyer in Banten to Banyuwangi, East Java on the opposite of Bali. Losari, the Central Javanese gate at the western border on the northern coast, could be reached from Jakarta in 4 hours drive. On the southern coast, there is also a national way which run from Kroya at the Sundanese-Javanese border, through Yogyakarta to Surakarta and then to Surabaya via Kertosono in East Java. There is furthermore a direct connection from Tegal to Purwokerto. In addition to that there is a toll road from Semarang to Ungaran which runs for 14 kilometer.
Central Java was the province that first introduced a railway line in Indonesia. The very first line began in 1873 between Semarang and Yogyakarta by a private company, but this route is now no longer used. Today there are five lines in Central Java: the northern line which runs from Jakarta via Semarang to Surabaya. Then there is the southern line from Kroya through Yogyakarta and Surakarta to Surabaya. There is also a train service between Semarang and Surakarta and a service between Kroya and Cirebon. At last there is a route between Surakarta and Wonogiri. All of these lines are single track lines, except the line between Yogyakarta and Surakarta which is double track.
On the northern coast Central Java is served by 8 harbours. The main port is Tanjung Mas in Semarang, other harbours are located in Brebes, Tegal, Pekalongan, Batang, Jepara, Juwana and Rembang. The southern coast is mainly served by the port Tanjung Intan in Cilacap.
Finally on mainland Central Java there is three commercial airports and one on Karimunjawa isles. The airports on the mainland are: Adisumarmo International Airport in Surakarta, Achmad Yani Airport in Semarang and Tunggul Wulung Airport in Cilacap. Karimunjawa is served by Dewadaru Airport.


Much of Central Java is a fertile agricultural region, and the primary food crop is wet rice. An elaborate irrigation network of canals, dams, aqueducts, and reservoirs has greatly contributed to Central Java's the rice-growing capacity over the centuries. In 2001, productivity of rice was 5022 kilograms/ha, mostly contributed by irrigated paddy field (± 98%). Klaten Regency had the highest productivity with 5525 kilograms/ha.
Other crops, also mostly grown in lowland areas on small peasant landholdings, are corn (maize), cassava, peanuts (groundnuts), soybeans, and sweet potatoes. Terraced hillslopes and irrigated paddy fields are familiar features of the landscape. Kapok, sesame, vegetables, bananas, mangoes, durian fruits, citrus fruits, and vegetable oils are produced for local consumption. Tea, coffee, tobacco, rubber, sugarcane and kapok; and coconuts are exported. Several of these cash crops at a time are usually grown on large family estates. Livestock, especially water buffalo, is raised primarily for use as draft animals. Salted and dried fish are imported.


Central Java is home to such notable state universities, as Diponegoro University, Semarang State University, and Walisongo Islamic University (Universitas Islam Negeri Walisongo) in Semarang; Sebelas Maret State University in Surakarta; and Jenderal Soedirman University in Purwokerto.
The Military Academy (Akademi Militer) is located in Magelang Regency while the Police Academy (Akademi Kepolisian) is located in Semarang. Furthermore in Surakarta the Surakarta Institute of Indonesian Arts (ISI Surakarta) is located. In addition to these, Central Java has hundreds of other private higher educations, including religious institutions.
For foreign students requiring language training Salatiga has been a location for generations of students attending courses.


There are several interesting places to be found in Central Java. Semarang itself has lots of old picturesque buildings: Puri Maerokoco and Indonesian Record Museum are located in this city.
Borobudur, which is one of the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage sites of Indonesia is also located in this province, in the Magelang regency. Candi Mendut and Candi Pawon can also be found near the Borobudur temple complex.
Candi Prambanan at the border of Klaten regency and Yogyakarta is the biggest complex of Hindu temples. It is also a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage SIte. In the region around the Dieng Plateau, one could find several temples. These are built before the era of the ancient Mataram.
Two interesting palaces, the Palace of the Sunan (Keraton Kasunanan) and Pura Mangkunegaran, are located in Surakarta, which is considered one of the centers of Javanese culture. The Grojogan Sewu waterfall is located in Karanganyar Regency, which has a beautiful scenery. Several Majapahit temples and Sangiran museum are also located in Central Java.

Coat of arms and symbols

The motto of Central Java is Prasetya Ulah Sakti Bhakti Praja. This is a Javanese phrase meaning "A vow of devotion with all might to the country". The coat of arms of Central Java depicts a legendary flask, Kundi Amerta or Cupu Manik, formed in a pentagon representing Pancasila. In the center of the emblem stands a sharp bamboo spike (representing the fight for independence, and it has 8 sections which represent Indonesia's month of Independence) with a golden five-pointed star (representing faith in God), superimposed on the black profile of a candi (temple) with seven stupas, while the middle stupa is the biggest. This candi is reminiscent of the Borobudur. Under the candi wavy outlines of waters are visible. Behind the candi two golden mountain tops are visible.
This twin mountains represents the unity between the people and the government. The emblem shows a green sky above the candi. Above, the shield is adorned with a red and white ribbon, the colours of the Indonesian flag. Lining the left and right sides of the shield are respectively stalk of rice (17 of them, representing Indonesia's day of Independence) and cotton flowers (5 of them, each one is 4-petaled, representing Indonesia's year of Independence). At the bottom, the shield is adorned with a golden red ribbon. On the ribbon the name "Central Java" (Jawa Tengah) is inscribed in black. The floral symbol of the province is the Michelia alba, while the provincial fauna is Oriolus chinensis.

Thank you for reading articles about West Java, and especially for visiting this blog. Hopefully this article useful for you to gain knowledge about Javanese people in Indonesia.

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