The Province is geographically located on 6012' South
Latitude and 106048'- East Longitude. The government administration
is set into 5 regions South Jakarta, Central Jakarta, East Jakarta,
West Jakarta, North Jakarta and 1 regency/ administrative city,
namely Thousand Island regency. The largest city is East Jakarta
(187.73 sq km) and the smallest is Thousand Island regency (11.81
sq km). The average rainfall is 1,916.8- 924.50 mm/year. The temperature
is between of 22 C - 33 C.
Indonesians are known as friendliest people in the world
towards foreigners and most tolerant towards their manners. But
there are few things, which are not done among Indonesia. They
consider the head as something sacred that must be respected.
Patting on the head is not done among adults. Calling someone
by crooking the index finger is considered impolite and giving
or receiving things with the left hand is no - where acceptable.
The handshake accompanied with a smile is common among men and
women greeting or welcoming somebody.
Not less 9 million people live in Jakarta representing nearly
all the ethnic groups in the archipelago. The major groups are
Sundanese, Javanese, Chinese, and the native community is Orang
Betawi (people of Betawi). The other large groups are the Minangkabau
people, the Bataks, the Manadonase, and the other people from
Sulawesi and the Ambonase. Orang Betawi emerged in the 19th century
from a melting pot of races, ethnic groups and cultures. They
have their own culture distinct from other ethnics' cultures.
In 1923 they founded an organization called Kaum Betawi, which
was in fact a statement about the existence of the Betawi ethnic
group. The majority professes is Islam. But it does not mean that
Indonesia is an Islamic state. It is a Pancasila state. And one
of the principles of Pancasila, the state ideology, is "belief
in the one Supreme God". This means that the various belief
systems must be respected and respect each other. This explains
the ubiquitous Moslem prayer houses in the city beside many churches
and a few temples.
In Taman Mini Indonesia Indah (Beautiful Indonesia in Miniature
Park), the prince Diponegoro Mosque is juxtaposition with the
saint Catherine Church, the Hallelujah Church, the Pura Penataran
Agung Kertabumi Temple, the Aria Dwipa Arama Monastery and the
Indonesian Mystic Convention Hall, symbolizing the motto: Bhinneka
Tunggal Ika (Unity In Diversity) in matters of religions and belief
Indonesia's cultural diversity is celebrated in the national
motto, Bhineka Tunggal Ika, meaning "Unity in Diversity."
One manifestation of this tenet of Indonesian national identity
is the government's efforts to give equal precedence to the development
of traditional art forms from each ethnic group. In Jakarta, Orang
Betawi, the natives of the city, are considered to be the hosts
of these cultures, having emerged from the melting pot of races,
ethnic groups and cultures of Indonesia in the 19th century. Today
they constitute one of the city's main ethnic groups along side
the Javanese (from Central and Eastern Java), Sundanese (from
West Java) and Chinese.
To see for themselves what and now those Betawi art forms
are, we can go to any travel agent and ask for tour to a "
Betawi Cultural Institution "to catch a glimpse of the real
thing". Or we can visit the Jakarta pavilion at Taman Mini
Indonesia Indah (Beautiful Indonesia in Miniature Park) which
has long been showing Betawi ceremonies such as the Betawi wedding
ceremony, the circumcision procession, the baby head - shaving
ceremony etc. As mentioned before, the Betawi group emerged in
the 19th century from the melting pot of races, ethnic groups
and cultures. Today the Betawi culture has a distinct personality
of its own, but one can discern the various influences of other
cultures by looking or listening to its art form.
The Tanjidor orchestra is certainly inherited from Dutch land
- owners and the Gambang Kromong and Cokek dance originated in
the residence of wealthy Chinese traders and merchants. The Betawi
Cokek dance shows Balinese influence in the movement of the dancers
and the style of playing the gamelan. This style of playing the
gamelan can also be observed in the gamelan orchestra accompanying
the Wayang Kulit Betawi show. The Portuguese speaking community
has also left its inheritance, the Kroncong Tugu with its popular
songs Nina Bobo, Kaparinyo and Kroncong moritsko is said to be
the origin of the popular Kroncong orchestra of to day.
The Javanese presence since the 17th century has left its mark
too on the Betawi music, dance and theatre; Wayang Kulit Betawi
and Lenong are examples of this influence. A major influence on
the Betawi culture is Islam, the religion of the majority of the
people. The Rebana orchestra, the Gambus orchestra, the Zapin
or Japin dance are Islam inspired art forms. The Betawi traditional
art is developed and accepted well. Not only Betawi people, but
also other ethnic groups are fond of this art. For example, the
traditional drama-Lenong and Topeng Blantik (Blantik mask), the
traditional dance - Tari Topeng (Mask Dance), Ondel-ondel, Ronggeng
Topeng, etc, the traditional art of music - Sambrah, Rebana, Gambang
Kromong, Tanjidor, Puppet - Betawi puppet using the Malay-Betawi
Basically the marriage system used by Betawi people is the Islamic
law. To whom they are allowed or have not allowed to get married
with. The young people are also free to choose their partners.
In spite of this, the parents` role either from the man's or woman's
side are very important to approve the marriage, for the parents
are involved in holding the marriage party. Before getting marriage
the man and the woman are introduced to each other and when they
both have agreement, the man's parents will propose the girl.
After the two parties reach an agreement, they decide the time
to hold the dowry delivery ceremony which is usually represented
by another party, such as the relatives of the man's and the woman's
sides. The marriage ceremony is held on the agreed day. After
the marriage contract ceremony both the man and the woman go back
to each their parents (their home). A few days later a ceremony
of parents-in-law relationship is held and the bridegroom goes
in procession to the bride's house. Before entering the bride's
house, the bridegroom's side holds the question-answer ceremony
by using the traditional poetry rhythm and it is accompanied by
tambourine/rabana music with the welcome / marhaban songs. Then,
the bridegroom is allowed to enter the house to meet the bride.
They sit side by side for a moment. After that the bridegroom
joins his parents and companions who escort him to the bride`
house. When the ceremony is finished the bride may come with his
husband to his house.
The official language is Bahasa Indonesia and English
is the most spoken and understood foreign language. In convention
hotels they have translators for English, France, Dutch, German,
Japanese, Mandarin, and even Spanish. The native Betawi people
speak Betawi Malay, which is different from standard Malay. There
are variations in the language according to region, the Betawi
Malay of the centre and that of the periphery. There are also
socio - cultural variations. The older people born and bred in
Jakarta speak the traditional Betawi Malay, while the younger
people and migrants speak the modern version of the language.
In the language, various influences from other cultures are apparent,
Balinese, Sundanese, and Javanese influences are there and words
derived from Arabic, Dutch, Chinese and Portuguese are easily
recognizable. Betawi Malay is spoken not only in Jakarta, but
also in parts of Bekasi, Tangerang and Bogor, which belong to
the province of West Java.