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HISTORY OF CULTURE | CULTURAL ROOTS OF INDONESIA | The following kutipkan writer on the history of the ancestors of Indonesia from the writings of Mochtar Lubis in 1986 in a speech titled culture "Cultural Roots Things We".

Our ancestors is a portion of the human flow that moves in the past that have been lost as a loss of shadow puppet from the screen of history, moving from the Central and Eastern Europe Northern Balkans region around the Black Sea to the east, reaching Asia, into China. And in China, this outflow branches to the north, east and south.

Flow reached the area south of Yunnan, was the eastern reaches Indo China Sea. This is where the birthplace of culture from Indonesia. Human beings move and moving to Asia from Central Europe and Balkan region is one Tharacia, Iliria, Cimeria, Kakusia, and may include the Teutons, who begin their migration in the 9th century until the 8th century before the prophet Jesus. They bring expertise to make iron and bronze.

Indonesia ancestors who have been their first of the Dong Son area has developed without a lot of monumental art of decorative ornamentik. From the newcomers, they take over, accept, and assimilate immigrants ornamentik art-western immigrants from this. Not only in ornamentik, but also in the decorative fabrics (so many similarities between the decorative woven Indonesia and the Balkans, for example), and also in music and nyayian. Jaap Kunst, an expert on music, Indonesian music experts also identified similarities nyayian people on the island of Flores with the singing of the people in the eastern part of Yugoslavia (Balkan). Dong Son culture show more similarities and connections with European culture than Chinese culture.

Dong Son ancestor is moving to the south, and then reached the archipelago. In the archipelago there is almost no separation between the bronze age and iron age. This same is true in Indo China. In the excavation archaeological sites, bronze and iron are always found together. Upper knife-shaped Dong Son many people, like the keris Majapahit. Upstream form similar knives were also found in Holstein (Germany), Danish, and in the Kauskasus.

However, before the ancestors of Dong Son down to the archipelago, groups of other men had arrived first. During the last ice age, approximately 15,000 years before Christ, the history of the earth archipelago indicate that most of the western archipelago together with mainland Southeast Asia, Java, Sumatra, Borneo and the territory which is now the Java sea. When the ice ended, sea levels rose again, and forming clusters islands as we know it today. Nusantara earth history has a big impact on human development of the Malayo-Polynesian. They become a maritime nation, more or less 1000 years before the Prophet Isa megarungi Indian Ocean. The old Hebrew manuscripts from the late 2000 and early 1000 before the year the Prophet Jesus has called the cinnamon trade from various places along the east coast of Africa.

An Arabic manuscript from the 13th century to tell the entry of the Malayo-Polynesian people to the western Indian Ocean. The manuscript was told that in the decline of Fira'un Kingdom in Egypt, a place called Aden, which controls the entrance to the Red Sea (which period is the population of fishermen), has been captured by the Qumr (Malayo-Polynesian) that came with the fleet which consists of boats that use the outrigger. They expelled the local population, building and maintaining a variety of monuments direct relationship with the island of Madagascar and Southeast Asia. The historians say it may happen in the time of Prophet Jesus is alive. For a long period of Malayo-Polynesian people over shipping and trade through the Indian Ocean from Southeast Asia to the door of the Red Sea, along the east coast of Africa and the island of Madagascar.

In doing this, they also have brought various cultural richness to Madagascar and Africa. In Madagascar they had settled in the island's western hemisphere. Are still seen many similarities between the language of words and language of Madagascar Manyaan tribe in Borneo. To the east, the ancestors of the Malayo-Polynesian was sailing far to the interior of the Pacific, living in different islands, and they most easterly reach Easter Island, the island furthest to the east of the archipelago.

It is clear that our nation's culture is rooted deep into prehistory, to the past that so far, that has disappeared from our national memory. It is also clear that we have inherited the culture of the world in those days, in addition to our ancestors also gave donations to the cultures of other nations across the Indian Ocean, as well as creating a culture in Madagascar, and the island Pacific Ocean.

Given this back, whether we are now, as the direct heir of them, should feel afraid to face the 21st century and beyond? It should not! We have to examine yourself very carefully. What our shortcomings now, so we do not have the ability, courage and creativity to do the big things for our nation and mankind today?

Process through time to reach Mesolitik possible Neolithic era approximately 3500-2500 years before the Prophet Jesus. When they began living together in small communities and began to develop agriculture and irrigation system. In this era of cultural roots growing consensus Indonesia, because at that time there has been no head and king, and all were discussed by all members of the community, led by people who are older. Women participate deliberations, and children may attend and participate hearing. In Sakudei tribes in the Mentawai islands, a Swiss researchers reported that he still found the old tradition that deliberations.

Our cultural roots also grow in the belief that everything on earth has "spirits" themselves. The soul of man is his brother, who can break away from the body of a person, and that spirit can be a disaster in his adventures outside of our bodies, which can cause the body had fallen ill or died. Man must be nice in connection with this spirit world.

Furthermore our ancestors in the megalithic period that has the concept of relationship and conflict between the world above and the underworld. In special ceremonies, they build a megalith, megaliths in order to protect the spirit of the dangers that come from the underworld, to be a liaison between the living and the dead, and to perpetuate the magical powers of those who built these megaliths megalith - , or for whom the stones were built. Megalith megalith-built to enhance the fertility of humans, animals and what they plant, and thus increase the wealth of generations to come.

Megalithic culture was then entered by the Dong Son culture which took bronze and iron technology, and give the breath and strength and a new creativity in the cultural groups in the archipelago. It is estimated also that the Dong Son culture with rice farming technologies in the fields. Paddy rice technology to encourage small communities to better integrate developing and maintaining irrigation systems, planting coordination simultaneously at the same time. In the process of history, this land rice technology has driven the integration process of rural communities which until now Indonesia pedestal of our nation's biggest life. He was also closely associated with climate rhythm, coming dry season and rainy season, which affect the pattern of life in Indonesia. Harvest season is wedding season, for example.

Ancestor worship is one of the roots of Indonesian culture. Cosmic view of the contradiction between the underworld and the world of social organization is reflected in many of our tribe; line of mothers and fathers line, between two hubungann basis of mutual interest taking men and women of two tribes for marriage, no one makes a higher rate position of the other. Each tribe took turns occupying a superior place and a place below. These structures tribalism is a mechanism in the direction of democracy, that if we can develop a good power to the democratic traditions of our nation.

The arrival of Buddhism, Hinduism and Islam, the rise of feudalism, and then came the European colonists brought the oppression, and evangelism, and through the Western education in all of modern science and modern technology has led various processes of social, political, economic, and cultural, which ultimately bring people to the state of Indonesia today.

Old cultural roots so withered and forgotten, although there are of them we unknowingly still asleep in our subconscious. The rise of feudalism in Indonesia with the establishment of large and small kingdoms have changed the relationship between power and human or community members. Dutch colonial control system and the ruling class through the old feudal aristocracy or Indonesia has continued the feudal tradition continues in our society. In fact, after Indonesian independence, relationships characterized feudal values still going on, so often we say that we now face the neo-feudalism in new forms.

All modern education, Western and Eastern philosophies, ideologies that come from the West on man and society. Islam and Christianity are so last layer above the old beliefs and values of our cultural roots, by the power of human sinkritisme Indonesia, all of them accepted in him without much conflict in our souls and ourselves.

Something happens within us, that are culturally incapable of separating one from another: what is superstition, where the scientific, where the shadows, where the reality, which is where dreams and reality. In fact, many people are now making science and technology so superstitious in the sense that, people believe that science and technology can solve all human problems in the world. And there who do the opposite.

We are so sharp no longer distinguish what is false and lawful. Therefore, rollicking and full of happiness we make massive corruption, and not feel guilty at all (Lubis, in "Culture-Cultural Liberation We; 1999).


The process of acculturation in Indonesia seem to be confusing beralir, accelerated by radical proposals, hampered by a stream of old-fashioned, lost in the ideologies, but basically viewed the stem straight: "The things of humanity enjoys all humanity". There is a basic flow spontaneously accept elements of international culture that clearly benefit positively.

However, on reflection and in an effort to formulate a reaction often, because the category of thinking has not reconcile themselves with the new atmosphere or foreign upgrading. Degrees of acculturation to Western culture at the beginning can still be distinguished, and then be overlapping one another until the plurality, degree, level and flow that occur simultaneously. Western culture affects people of Indonesia, layer by layer, more and more broadly in (Bakker; 1984).

Is modern Western culture all the bad and will mengerogoti our National Cultural ideas? Therefore, we need to formulate a clear definition of Modern Western Culture. Frans Magnis Suseno in his book "Kebudayan Political Philosophy", distinguishes three types of modern Western culture:

a. Modern Culture Technology

First we must distinguish between the West Kebudayan technologically modern and Modern Culture. Modern technological culture is the child of Western culture. However, despite modern technological culture in shaping the obvious manifestation of Western culture, children have become adults and is now getting more and more non-Western inputs, such as from Japan.

Tekonologis Modern Culture is something that complex. Simplistic revelations, as well as judgments of black and white will only show kekurangcanggihan mind. Culture is seen not only in science and technology, but the dominant position taken by the results of science and technology in public life: the media of communication, means of physical mobility and transportation, all kinds of household appliances and modern weaponry. Almost every product needs of daily life are involved in the manufacture of modern technology.

Modern technological culture is contradictory. In a certain sense he is free of value, neutral. Can be used or not. Usage has no ideological or religious implications. A secularist and atheist, Liberal Christian, Buddhist, Islamic modernists or Islamic Fundamentalists, even all sorts of New Age and flow of the normal can and want to wear, without compromising their faith or belief respectively. Modern technological culture is instumental prominently.

b. Copies of Modern Culture

Modern technological culture necessary to distinguish what I would call the Culture of Modern Copies. Copies of Modern Culture is manifested in an environment that seems to reflect kegemerlapan high technology and modernity, but in fact only covers ownership outward symbols, such as a culture, an international airport, a supermarket culture (mall), and the culture of Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC).

At the international airport is surrounded by a high-tech results, he moves in the artificial world: escalators, duty free shop to offer things that look flashy and modern, although not required, non-real atmosphere of an aircraft cabin, all artificial, all the same all over the world, there is no inner connection.

Copies of Modern Culture of life of illusion, that the origin of people in touch with the results of modern technology, he became modern humans. Whereas artificial world that does not contribute anything to our identity. Our identity even more empty because we let ourselves be driven further. Our tastes, our behavior, choice of clothing, admiration and our assessment of the manipulated, the more we do not have ourselves. That is why culture is not real, but artificial, half-breed.

Children Culture Modern Consumerism Replicas is: people addicted to buy, not because he needs, or want to enjoy what you buy, but to buy it themselves. Blateran Modern culture is, and even make us lose the ability to enjoy things seriously. Consumerism means that we want to have something, but we are increasingly no longer able to enjoy it. People eat at KFC chicken is not because there is more tasty, but because fast food is considered a trendy style human, is a modern and trendy.

c. Culture-Western Culture

We were wrong when we equate blastern culture with modern Western culture. Blastern culture was the product of Western culture, but not her heart, not the center and not the key to vitality. He threatened Western culture, as he threatens the cultural identity of others, but he has not mencaploknya. Italy, France, spayol, Germany, perhaps even the United States still retain their distinctive cultures of each. Although everywhere people drink Coca Cola, culture is not a Coca-Cola culture.

People who just tersenggol bit with the fake Western culture, thereby not have to be a modern person. He also had to understand how Westerners judge, what his ideals about relationships, what aesthetic taste and flavor, whether moral beliefs and religious, is to understand their responsibilities (Suseno; 1992).


In a presentation about the cultural roots of the above we already know that our ancestors are the ancestors of this nation strong and capable of acculturation has been positively so that we can integrate foreign culture to enhance their own culture. But we must see real how our cultural situation today.

Sajiman Surjohadiprojo culture in a speech delivered in the year 1986 about persoalah us today, which is less strong capabilities in human energy out of Indonesia. This resulted in a lack of resources or ability to do the follow. Good concept plan, the result of a brilliant mind, live and plan and concept alone because less able to make it happen. Another result is the self-discipline and pengendalikan. Weak discipline not because of lack of awareness of rules and regulations, but because it is less able to bring themselves to abide by the rules and conditions apply. Mnegeluarkan lack of energy also resulted in much dependence on others. Independence hard to find and have an impact in all aspects of life including leadership and responsibility.

According to him this weakness is the weakness of Culture. This means, the improvement of the weak state that can only be achieved through a cultural approach. The solution should be through education in the broadest sense and the Nation and Character Building (Surjohadiprodjo, in "Culture-Cultural Liberation We; 1999).

Mochtar Lubis also in the same opportunities as Cultural Gathering 1986, said that the condition of our culture today is predominantly characterized by features:

1. Serious contradiction between the assumptions and the moral pretensions of culture with the reality of Pancasila.
2. Hypocrisy.
3. Weakness of creativity.
4. Fuck work ethic.
5. Neo-Feudalism.
6. Culture of shame has vanished (Lubis, 1999).


1. Copies of Modern Culture

The challenge really threaten us is imitation of Modern Culture. He threatened precisely because not true, is not substantial. Offered are false. Culture that makes us human plastic man without personality, of human isolation, empty people, talkative people.

Modern mixed culture like the vampire: he dressed up, have a great appeal, he gradually meyedot our original view of the value, the basis of self-esteem, about the status. He offers luxury-old luxury we can not even dream of. He promised the fullness of life, self-consistency, if we want to stop thinking for yourself, stop making us lose our own judgments. Finally we ran out of blood, running out of identity. Imitation of modern culture makes us apart from our own traditional culture, while also not touch the real modern technological culture (Suseno; 1992)

2. How Feeding, Clothing, and Home

Ki Hajar Dewantara said that, culture is the human struggle to overcome the problem of nature and time. The most fundamental problem for human beings is a matter of eating, clothing and housing. When people are malnourished how he would get a smart person. When basic needs are met not only how people will think ahead and create a great technology. Let alone for it, the problems of our needs greatly affect the pattern of relationships between people. People are willing to steal and even kill so he could eat a bite of rice. Thus, negligence in this case not only impact on poverty, hunger, death, but will affect the social-cultural fabric of society.

3. Education the Right Problem

Education is still a matter of serious concern if this nation wants to be seen in the world arena. There is an interesting phenomenon associated with this, namely culture of collaboration with education, in terms of how the existing education system in it mengintrinsikkan culture. Where there is a culture that became the spirit of our education system to implement.

4. Pursuing Development Progress of Science and Technology

This problem started when we reached today is still a consumer of technology products from foreign countries. Scholarship situation we have not developed properly and not supported by a conducive climate for scientists to conduct research and creation of products, new technology. If we still rely on imported products from abroad, then we will continue backward. Therefore, it is a challenge for us to catch up with science and technology from developed countries.

5. Global Natural Condition

Some time ago on the front page of the daily Kompas on 12 April 2007, there was interesting news about the state of the earth today, 'Global Warming, Millions will Teracam ". Global warming will negatively impact the real to the lives of hundreds of millions of people in the world. Thus the contents of the report include the United Nations had published in 2007. The first report contains the scientific evidence of climate change, while the third report will disclose the action to handle it.

Experts report incorporated in Intergovermental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) revealed in a press conference simultaneously in different parts of the world, Tuesday (10/04/2007). 1572 pages thick report was written and reviewed 441 members of the IPCC.

One of the effects of global warming is increasing the earth's surface temperature during the next five years. This will result in an iceberg melts in Latin America. Subsequent impact is crop failure, which until the year 2050 resulted in 130 million people in the world, particularly in Asia, famine. Wheat farming in Africa will also experience the same thing.

The report highlights the impact of global warming sea level rise, the disappearance of some species and national disaster ever increasing. Mentioned, 30% of the world's coastlines will disappear in 2080. Polar ice melt to water flow occurs at the north pole. This will result in sinking Panama canal.

Rising temperatures trigger a more terrible storm to affect the coastal areas that had been safe from the storm. Many places are now increasingly dry dry, instead of wet places will get wet. The gap distribution of these natural water will potentially increase the tension in pemanfaaatan water for industrial purposes, agriculture and residents.

Asia became part of the earth that would most severe. Climate change is not detected will be environmental and economic disaster, and its tail is a humanitarian tragedy. The report warned, any increase in air temperature of 2 degrees Celsius, among others, will reduce agricultural production in China and Bangladesh to 30 percent until 2050. Increasing water scarcity in India along with menurunya ice in the Himalayas. Approximately 100 million people in the coastal settlement of Asia was inundated due to increased sea surface height between 1 millimeter to 3 millimeters per year. Currently, global warming has been felt with the occurrence of death and extinction of species in Africa and Asia (Kompas, Thursday, April 12, 2007).

To create a unique cultural formulation and age can meet the challenges ahead is not an easy job. There needs to be a togetherness and participation of every citizen of this country. The thinkers and scientists should work hard to make a clear concept in this achievement.

National goals Indonesian struggle is the community to create a fair and prosperous society. Indonesia struggle toward the ideal civilization takes time and struggle. Recognition as one of the world civilization must have some reservations. The requirements that we can see from the embodiment of civilization in the world since the beginning of human history. It seems, lives one community is recognized as one of civilization that shows the progress of outer life, and progress was quite prominent from the outer life of other people (Sajidiman, in "Culture-Cultural Liberation We"; 1999). 

Advanced outer life is a result of the mastery of science and technology applicable in her time. Even in societies that place of discovery and development of innovation in science and technology. As a result of the mastery of science and technology can be promoted agricultural production and farmers' welfare. The same is true for the production in the sea and the welfare of fishermen and sailors. Industrialization experienced high growth in goods producing share in the preferred home and abroad. Various working paper, ie producing electrical energy, a variety of communications, road conditions, land transportation, sea and air, all the conditions in accordance with latest international technology developments. Kesejahtreaan evenly among all members of society. And if there are people who are poor, then that is a small minority. This allows people to send their children well, and the educational infrastructure available with the quality and adequate quantity. High standard of living in a society allows a large part of agricultural production and marketed in isdustri own community, so that dependence on outside the community are not too large (Sajidiman, in "Culture-Cultural Liberation We"; 1999).

Conditions that support the development of art and creative literature. Various arts and the progress made in a number of large population. Literature to produce books and other writings results, and numerous variations, and bought by the majority community. Architecture produces houses homes, government buildings, places of worship are beautiful, but also strong and durable (Sajidiman, in "Culture-Cultural Liberation We"; 1999).

Fairly stable social conditions by showing a healthy family life and strong, lack of unemployment and no hunger. Krimanalitas may not be negligible hundred percent, but the amount is very small and controlled. But civilization is not only the outward life requires an advanced and outstanding, there is also need a solid spiritual life and equitable (Sajidiman, in "Culture-Cultural Liberation We"; 1999). 

Religious life made by people with full belief and faith. And harmony among various religions are going well. People do not run religious terms only as a mere ritual, but has a real impact in the lives of high moral and discipline. Then there is self-control ability is strong enough. That's what helped brighten the lives of democracy that embody the people's sovereignty. In many professions, ethics upheld without reducing the required dynamic society of the time (Sajidiman, in "Culture-Cultural Liberation We"; 1999)
National unity were well maintained, without prejudice to the rights and abilities of each element of the nation develops itself outwardly and inwardly. The existence of good infrastructure in various areas contribute to the unity of the nation. But more important is the awareness of harmony between parts and whole (Sajidiman, in "Culture-Cultural Liberation We"; 1999).

Foreign relations with other nations with well organized to build the world perdamain and welfare of mankind. Especially with the environment of Southeast Asia there are close and harmonious relationship. Nations against the poor and backward can be held outward and inward assistance who seek their progress (Sajidiman, in "Culture-Cultural Liberation We"; 1999).
It is understood that culture is a positive human response to circumstances that occurred in the vicinity. In addition, culture is a manifestation of the human aspect of a multi-dimensional.

Any theory of culture is too slow to understand everyday people who move fast. Human beings are not simply knitting meaning through work, but inter-subjective communication with symbols. Human beings are everyday people who talk, reflect and mamaknai. Culture is the human dimension kemajemukkan festivals and reject all forms of reductionism. Human beings are not merely economic beings who merely focus on how to survive. Reflection space covered by the determination that opened a cultural work. Culture is the locus where the human is not only dealers and buyers, but a multi-dimensional beings. Each dimension in itself has the same right to expressed (Adian, in Kompas 14 April 2007; 14) 

Related to the formulation of Indonesian culture, is our imperative to further explore the characteristics of Indonesian men who have formed a long time since the period before BC. And also must consider the natural factors that circle. Thus, we are not fixed and absorbed in the global cultural flows today, which is not necessarily in accordance with our national identity. Hopefully towards the ideals of the advanced civilization Indonesia is not just a dream!.

Bakker, JWM. 1999. "Philosophy of Culture, An Introduction". Publisher Doubleday; Yogyakarta.
Dewantara, Ki Hajar. 1994. "Culture". Publisher Luhur Union Assembly Tamansiswa; Yogyakarta.
Sarjono. Agus R (Editor). 1999. "Liberation of Culture-Culture We". Penerbit PT Gramedia Pustaka Utama; Jakarta.
Suseno, Franz Magnis. 1992. "Philosophy Political Culture". Penerbit Gramedia Pustaka Utama; Jakarta.
Adian, Donny Gahral. "Human Dimension of Multi-Daily". In Compass Edition Saturday, April 14, 2007. PT Kompas Media Nusantara; Jakarta.
Editor. "Global Warming, Endangered Millions of People Will '. In Kompas Edisi 12 April 2007. PT Kompas Media Nusantara; Jakarta.

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