Indonesia / Social Commentary

Tradition and the Progression ; the case of recent changes in Keraton Yogyakarta

Java Island with all its dirt and glory remains a paradoxical place in my view for so many years. Its traditional values and ways of thinking has been a constant challenge to my own individual thoughts. As a woman, most of these values and ways of thinking which are more in favour to men, brought me to slight depression and despair. While some, brought me to really stand on my own ground (read: stubborn).

Keraton Yogyakarta was established in 1755 post the Giyanti Treaty and it has developed its own ways and tradition inherited from the Mataram Kingdom. This year the Keraton would be 260 years old. Recently, Hamengkubuwana (former Sultan Hamengkubuwono X) has made ground changes into Keraton successive that suggestively make way for a woman to lead the Keraton. These steps includes letting go of the Khalifatullah (which was received/acknowledged by Mecca) and professing an honorary title Mangkubumi to his first daughter. This, as anyone who knows what Java culture is like, brought surprise to many and a horrifying idea to some (if not many) of those within the Keraton circle.

Op deze prentbriefkaart is een foto van een Javaanse hofdanseres te zien, bedrukt met de tekst: "Serimpi laki Djokja". De danseres behoort waarschijnlijk tot het hof van de Sultan van Yogyakarta of dat van de Susuhunan van Solo (Surakarta). De ansichtkaart werd uitgegeven door het Grand Hotel Djokja uit Yogyakarta.

Op deze prentbriefkaart is een foto van een Javaanse hofdanseres te zien, bedrukt met de tekst: “Serimpi Djokja”, 1910-1930, 13.8 x 8.9 cm, Fotocollectie Tropenmuseum.

While I can’t be certain whether this change would actually happen, I personally find it very refreshing, it sort of  (I hope!) hints that Javanese culture are ready for changes and progression, which I find quite exciting. Tradition shouldn’t hinder progression, don’t you think?

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2 thoughts on “Tradition and the Progression ; the case of recent changes in Keraton Yogyakarta

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