Folklore in Indonesia – Characteristics – Types – Achievements

Every man feels the childhood. They lived with fantasy, they live with magical creatures and the tales. The tales of the Indonesian cultures. One of them is the Folklore. Thousands of folklore can be found and have a true meaning of goodness in every story. That’s why, many kids love them, because even the story is a fiction and surreal, it has dozens of interesting characters and thousand meanings behind it.

Therefore, the folklore is an important thing in here, especially for kids in Indonesia. Many parents applied it to improve their child’s moral. You know, moral is one of important thing in human life. It’s the core of the life. So, teaching the kids the fun way to increase their moral  is very good isn’t it? Especially if they can feel the meaning of the story themselves.

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Talking about the folklore itself, we want to give some information about it. The history, as well as the characteristics, and most important thing is the examples. Therefore, lets start with the first one.

a. History

The folklore’s the habit of Indonesian. When they were kids, this is the important aspect that they should learn first, beside the usual stuff like studying. Then, telling the folklore from one to another was like a hobby that can improve the relationship between friends. You told the story to your friends, they’ll tell you another different story. Therefore, it’s like the talking material beside gossiping other kids.

Meanwhile, the spread of the folklore was through the mouth. You tell people a story, and they start spreading it. The start’s unknown. So that’s why it’s called Folklore, because the people told it. You can understand it, thanks to the people that already told you about it. The more interesting the story is, the spreading will go faster.

b. Characteristics

Okay, for you who still confused about what the actual folklore is, you can identify it by looking at some characteristics that it has. So, here are some qualifications of it that you must know:

  1. It was created by anonymous. No one has direct responsible for the story because it just started spreading just like that. No one knows about it, and actually no one cares about it. (See also: Birthday Celebrations In Indonesia)
  2. The folklore carried through generations. From your grandma, to your mom, and so forth. So it never stops.
  3. Many of the stories have the setting of this kind of medieval castles or a kingdom which they lived in. Even though not all.
  4. It was spoken directly, not by any media. (See also: Native Animals in Indonesia)
  5. The stories rich of moral values. (see also: What to Wear in Indonesia)
  6. The folklore is traditional, can never be “created” again in this modern era.

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c. Types

There are many types folklore, based on the characters, the materials, or some other stuff

  1. Fable, the story that introduced us about the animal as protagonist. The events happening in the animals perspective. The animal acts like a normal person anyway, so it must be entertaining for some people.
  2. Legend, told us about the origin of some places in Indonesia. Even though it’s not 100% real, but it can be trusted because of some evidences that can be found in that specific place. Just look at the Toba Lake legend, or Prambanan Temple legend for examples.
  3. Epos / Epic, the story that has some heroes in it. The story about bravery, and the strong heroes that always defeat the enemies with their great strength and intelligence. (see also: Diversity in Indonesi)
  4. Myth, story full of mystical things in it including the Gods, the spirits, and the other magical things.
  5. Sage, The rich amount of history can be found on the story. It’s like history based story, either it’s really true or not, we still couldn’t find out. (See also: Indonesian Politics)
  6. Humorous Story, story with happiness and laugh in all ways. Thanks to crazy characters and tickling story line that made it funny to watch till the end.

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d. Examples

So, to make you more understand it, we’re gonna tell you about one story with the title of “Legend of Prambanan”. This story is the legend one, the origin of Prambanan Temple. So, there was a King, the rude one with the name of Bandung Bondowoso. He was the king of the people, and also the dead spirits. Having the spirits army, he could do almost everything he wants. So one day, he fell in love with this beautiful lady Loro Jonggrang.

The he asked her to be his wife. In her heart, Loro Jonggrang hated him because of his temperament actions and bad habit towards the people. But he’s the King after all, she couldn’t say no to him. Then, to made him desperate, she asked him to do her wish, building the 1000 temples for her. Because of his love towards her, he agreed with no hesitation.

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Then he built it, sounds very unreal because he almost done it in one night! Because, he asked his dead army to help him building the temples. Seeing this, Loro Jonggrang tried to make a way to disrupted their work so he can’t fulfilled her request.

She gathered all the woman to hit the “Lesung”, hitting lesung means that the morning comes. She also ordered some women to burnt the fire in the east side, so it looked like the sun finally appeared, signing the morning has come. Seeing all of these things, the chickens crowed.

Hearing the crowed, the dead spirits surrendered because they can’t deal with the sun. This made Bandung Bondowoso angry, knowing the “fake morning” was a way of Loro Jonggrang to cheated on him. So, he cursed her to be the last temple to completed the last temple. Thus, Prambanan Temple or the Thousand Temple formed.

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e. Development in Modern Era

In this modern era, people make the stories to be more alive than the actual ones. Like for example they applied the technologies like 3D rendering and CGI to create animations or cartoons of the folklore. So even though the visual looks amazing, but all the storyline and concept were made original. So they looked more interesting, thanks to the good visuals applied in there.

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f. Achievements

Then what things can we get in this folklore? For us, the folklore can tells us about the moral values and also the cultures that exist in Indonesia. The story can drove us to the core message that we can get by understanding them. From that, we can be a better person. Therefore, the folklore gives more benefits to our life, especially the moral value one. Because in this era of information and technology, the thing we sadly missed is the moral. We can see most of the kids like the ones in internet that don’t have moral. To prevent that, the direct approach using the folklore is maybe the best yet the most fun to educate the kids about the importance of moral values.

When you create a better generation, you’ll make the world a place more comfortable to live in.

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