Betawi Culture

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Betawi? Surely you have no stranger to the word Betawi, either according to the region, his art or his typical food. As you know that the Betawi tribe is a resident of Indonesia domiciled in Jakarta, but did you know that the Betawi tribe receives poly imbas based on other tribes both from the language used, more clothes & others? Let's talk about Betawi culture more deeply.

Betawi is a descendant of the bloody dough of various tribes and nations brought by the Dutch to Batavia. This ethnic group was born according to a collection of various other ethnic hordes that have previously lived in Jakarta, for example Sundanese, Malays, Javanese, Balinese, Bugis, Makassar & Ambonese, as well as immigrant tribes, such as Arabs, Indians, Chinese & Europeans.

If you hear the term Betawi surely you remember using 'Ondel-Ondel' which has been as an icon of the city of Jakarta. Ondel-ondel is a form of Betawi community performance that is not infrequently displayed at citizen parties. Ondel-ondel in the form of a large doll is approximately two.5 meters high using a diameter of ± 80 cm, made based on bamboo webbing prepared in such a way that it is easy to carry according to it. The paras part in the form of a mask or cover, using the head's hair is formed according to ijuk. Men's ondel-ondel faces are usually painted in a red hue and wear dark colored costumes, while women's ones are painted in white and use clear colored costumes.


Betawi is a child according to Malay which is added to use elements of Sundanese, Balinese, South Chinese (especially Hokkian), Arabic, as well as languages from Europe, especially Dutch & Portuguese. Because it develops naturally, there is no clear standard structure based on this language that distinguishes it from Malay, although there are several linguistic elements that can be used, for example based on the decay of the prefix me-, the use of the suffrest -in (impact of Balinese language), as well as the transition of sound / a / open at the end of the word as / e / or / ɛ / in some local dialects. Such as: gimane (how), siape / sape (who), engkong (grandfather), Nyai (grandmother), bupet (drawer), ponten (value).


In Betawi istiadat known some types of examples of traditional clothing that receives a lot of influence from other cultures or customs such as Arab, Chinese and Malay cultures. Various these impacts can be found in the bride's clothing & daily clothes betawi residents.

The ordinance clothes used by betawi men in daily activities are in the form of plain colored koko clothes or considered also conscious combined with long kolor pants patterned with batik & as a complement spiked also the use of a scabbard in the form of a sarong or shawl that is stretched on the shoulders, and black peci based on velvet material.

While Betawi women wear brackets with striking colors combined with geometric batik sarong fabric using bright hues. As a complement added also the use of the chairman's lid in the form of a veil or scarf using the same color according to the clothes worn.

Betawi's norm bridal dress is very thick blending of Chinese, Arabic and Western cultures. The clothes worn by the groom in betawi norms are claimed to use 'Hajj Grooming'. This dress consists of a brightly colored robe made based on velvet material with parts in the form of a smooth white cloth. As a complement affixed to the use of the chairman's lid from a turban that is claimed to use the name Alpie, a gold thread-patterned shawl or brightly colored beads, and footwear in the form of pantofel shoes to look more harmonious.

While the clothes worn by the bride on betawi custom are called 'Grooming Care None Bride Cine'. This dress consists of a Chinese-style blouse made of brightly colored satin material combined with subordinates in the form of dark mermaid model skirts (black or red hearts) or claimed by the name Kun. As a complement to the chairman affixed with the use of a fake bun decorated with flower rocking hong bird motif, jasmine flowers formed roonje & comb, and the wearing of a veil on the face. Other jewelry used include wide necklaces, listring bracelets, and beaded lotus decorations that are held on the chest, and footwear in the form of selop using the example of a boat.


Betawi has quite a lot of traditional dances. Betawi dance is formed from the process of assimilation of various cultures. Betawi dance also has its own characteristics, namely the use of cheerful accompaniment music sounds and dance movements that move forward. Below are the types of Betawi dances:

  • Betawi Mask Dance
  • Betawi Mask Dance is a blend of dance, music and theater aspects. The use of masks in this dance is based on the religion of the former Betawi people that masks have magical powers that can resist reinforcements, even eliminate sadness. Therefore, Mask Dance is generally staged to enliven important parties, for example in wedding and circumcision programs. Betawi Mask Dance is more theatrical and communicative through movement.

    Yapong Dance was first introduced in 1977 in order to prepare for jakarta's 450th anniversary. Yapong dance has been created by Bagong Kussudiarjo. This dance is a happy dance using dynamic and exotic movements. In the dance movement Yapong is shown a happy atmosphere as a result often staged on the program-a
    The welcome way. The name of this dance is based on the sound of the song 'ya ya ya" and the music that reads "pong pong pong". The name Yapong was born.

    Cokek dance is one of the classic dances of Betawi residents in Jakarta. Betawi special dance is danced in pairs and very thick using Chinese ethnic culture. The word cokek itself is from the Chinese (cukin) which means shawl, which is used by female dancers to attract their partners. Cokek dance is accompanied by the music gambang Kromong and its characteristic is a dynamic hip shake.

    Lenggang Nyai dance is often referred to as Lenggang Betawi dance. This dance has been created by Wiwik Widiastuti in 1998 until this dance can be considered new. This dance is based on local folklore, which is about Nyai Dasimah who has managed to come out based on marriage that took away his freedom. Like Czecho Dance, Lenggang Nyai Dance is also heavily influenced by Chinese culture. A group of young girls numbering 4 or up to 6 people generally who perform this dance is often staged in official programs welcoming important guests or weddings.

    This dance is an adaptation of zapin dance that is influenced by Arabic &Malay culture. That said, the change of the term zapin to japin due to the habit of Betawi residents to call the term Z using the letter J. Japin dance accompanied by the music & song Betawi, which consists according to musical instrument gambus &marwas. The uniqueness of Japin Betawi Dance is observed from the agility of its dancers who jump up and down and are usually drawn in pairs.


    Betawi people love the art of music, this can be seen from the growing diversity of music in this area such as tanjidor music, marawis, keroncong and gambus.

  • Tanjidor
  • Tanjidor is one of the Betawi music that received strong effects from European music. Tanjidor can be said to be homogeneous betawi community orchestra because in addition to using heavy senses, the tools are formed from used goods that have been worn out. Musical instruments played in tanjidor are mostly inflatable musical instruments, among others, clarinet, piston, trombone, trumpet and so on.

    Marawis is one type of tepok band with percussion being its main musical senses. The name Marawis is taken after the name of the tool used in this art. The songs on marawis music are usually rhythmic gambus &desert. The song is accompanied by the exclusive kind of punches such as zapin, sarah and zahefah. Zapin's punch to accompany the songs was ecstatic. Sarah's punch was used to parade the penganten & Zahefah accompanied the songs in the Assembly. This music player generally consists of 10 people.

    Keroncong music art was originally introduced by the Portuguese. Betawi community has keroncong Tugu & keroncong Kemayoran. Keroncong Kemayoran music is played to enliven the party. Keroncong Kemayoran musical instruments in the form of violin, keroncong, melody, ukulele, guitar, bass, tambourine, flute &cello.

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