30 Indonesian Cultural Values – Characteristics

Indonesia is the country that consists of many islands such as big island Java, Kalimantan, Sulawesi, Papua, Bali, NTT, Madura, and others small island  because every island has different ethnics, and then the ethnics have different cultural values. Indonesia, being country with so many cultural value. It depends on the ethnics, island and the place. The cultural value in Java is different with cultural value in Sulawesi. In Java, also consists of many cultural value. For example, cultural value in East Java, is different with cultural value in West Java. Especially in the Center of Java, there are a lot of kingdom.

1. The Candidate of Marriage Couple cannot See Each Other

There are cultural value in Java where married people, the couple should not meet in someday. It means that, they separated in different place. Woman cannot meet the man around three days, but in some place, it can be 30 days until the day they get married. Read also Marriage Culture in Indonesia for further information.

2. Engagement Early 

There are other interesting cultural value such as in Madura. Almost all of children in Madura island have to engagement. So, you can find child ten years old is already engagement. That’s why, marriage in young age is part of cultural value in Madura Island. Wedding Etiquette in Indonesia

3. Always Say “Excuse Me”

In some area in Indonesia, especially in Java, people have good attitude. They always say “excuse me” with bended down their body, when walk in front of other people. That attitude is the characteristics of cultural value in Java. Tae a look of  Bad Manners in Indonesia You Must Avoid.

4. Polite Clothes

How you covered your body with clothes is also cultural value in Indonesia. Indonesia, generally using clothes that covered all of body’s people. It related with Indonesia that has moslem as the majority religious. So, you will find many Indonesian people using clothes with long arm or using veil.

5. Eating with Hand Directly

Indonesian people eat using their hand without spoon. Especially when they eat hot spicy sauce (sambal) they will eat directly without using spoon. It is different cultural value with others country, because some country people eat use spoon, frog, and knife. Read more about Table Manners in Indonesia.

6. A Girl May Not Eat In Front Of The Door

There are also many myths from old Javanese. It can be part of cultural value, because applied until now. There is myth that girls cannot eat in front of the door. Some people say, the girls will far from their marriage couple, but some people also say that is impolite attitude, that’s why the myth is still happen and believed by society.

7. A Girl May Not Eat Directly From Pan

A girls cannot eat directly from pan. Sometimes, your mother finish to cook fried rice. And then you want to eat the fried rice from pan. In Java, girls cannot eat from pan because there is myth about that. The girls that eat from pan, they cannot get the marriage partner.

8. Grebekkan Maulud

Central of Java as the special area in Indonesia have so many cultural value, because the area consists of many kingdom. There is a ritual “Grebekkan” in the calendar of maulud Nabi Muhammad SAW. That cultural ceremony is to celebrate the birthday of Nabi Muhammad SAW. One of area in Indonesia that you can find this ceremony is Yogyakarta and Solo. Read more about  Cultural Practices in Indonesia.

9. Sedekah Bumi

There is cultural value named “Sedekah Bumi”, the concept is same with “Grebekan” but “Sedekah Bumi” is a ceremony that celebrate the nice profit that get society from field rice. So, they will sitting together in a place and then share they have such as rice, fruit, vegetables and many side dishes. “Sedekah Bumi” is still happen in the village in Indonesia. the villager will happy If there is “Sedekah Bumi”.

10. Tumpengan

For you that build a house in Indonesia, will find Indonesia cultural value. After bulding the wall, people will build the roof of house. There is culture called “Tumpengan” before Javanese people build a roof. “Tumpeng” is rice with cone shape with side dishes, and then all of neighbors will pray for the new house and eat tumpeng together.

11. New Born Baby Tradition

Indonesia people that have a new baby, the father will singing the “adzan” in the ears of infant. Actually this is moslem cultural that already become Indonesian cultural value. “Adzan” is a moslem pray to invite people to go to mosque.

12. Being Friendly

Indonesian people is friendly. They always say hello will meet others people. You can ask tourist in some tourism place, and they will say Indonesian people is friendly. They always say hello and smile when meet a new people. That cultural value represents that Indonesian people likes to have a new friend and doing something together.

13. Greeting

Indonesian people always say salam when they enter or get out from room. Salam, means that Assalamualaikum, or excuse me. You will hear that sentence when Indonesian people enter and get out from a room, because that is Indonesian cultural value. Read More about Indonesian Greetings and Phrases You Must Know.

14. Sister/Brother Marriage 

A girls or boys cannot married before their sister or brother. It is also part of meet. In a family, older brother or sister have to marriage firstly. If a girls or boy marriage firstly, they should give what their brother or sister wants, it can be something willingness.

15. Ghost Myth in The Outside

A child should stay at home when maghrib. Maghrib means a time when the sunset. if the child go to a place in Maghrib, they will kidnapped by ghost “Genderuwo”, that is the believable of old people and still applied until now. In Indonesia the condition is almost quiet in the Maghrib time.  Read more about Indonesian Mythology.

16. Celebrating Eid Fitri

One of Indonesian cultural value is happen in Idul Fitri. That is the biggest moment for moeslem. Indonesian people celebrate Idul Fitri with go to neighbor house. Door to door, they will handshake each others with eat together some special food that cook in Idul Fitri. Know more about Eid in Indonesia.

17. Pulang Kampung (Mudik Tradition)

Another Indonesian cultural value in Idul Fitri is “Pulang Kampung”, it means that go to hometown or go home. Almost all of people will go to hometown. So, the street will stuck with so many car, motorcycle and bus. It is because they want to meet their family, especially parents to say sorry. That is the moment when a big family sitting together.

18. Ngaben in Bali

In Bali, there is a ceremony called “Ngaben”. What is Ngaben? Ngaben is the ceremony for people that already dead. The people will have burned in the fire with some woods. And then the dust will save or pour in the sea. A religion in Bali always doing Ngaben ceremony for died people. That ceremony become one of tourism destination for tourist that came to Bali.

19. Tolerance Each Others

Tolerance is an Indonesian cultural value, because Indonesia is multicultural country. Even though they are from different religion, they will help each other when they have activity. For example, In Idul Fitri, Christian people help moslem to clear the mosque. They clear the mosque together without any differences. Know further info in  Social Norms in Indonesia.

20. Always Eat Rice

Rice is part of Indonesian cultural value. Indonesian people always having breakfast, lunch, and dinner with rice and variant side dishes. It is same with European culture that eat bread. Many Indonesian people feel that they cannot eat without rice, although they already a lot of food. It is different with eat a plate of rice.

The variant ceremony also being part of Indonesian cultural value. Indonesia consists of many area and ethnics. Almost every ethnics have their characteristics in the ceremony. In this article is also will explain 10 cultural ceremony as a part of Indonesian cultural value. For example:

  • Kasada cultural ceremony : Kasada is kind of cultural ceremony in the area of Bromo Tengger Semeru mountain. That is Hindu ceremony to give sesaji or offering for Sang Hyang Widhi.
  • Tabuik cultural ceremony : Tabuik is happen from Padang, Sumatera Barat. This ceremony is to celebrate the died of Nabi Muhammad SAW by moslem in Padang. Read more about  Indonesian Cultural Festivals .
  • Pasola cultural ceremony: Pasola is a ceremony from East Nusa Tenggara, where two group will fight each others. Every group consists of 100 peoples. This ceremony represents their pray to God for reach high economy profit.
  • Rambu Solo cultural ceremony: Rambu solo cultural ceremony is a kind of ceremony happens in Sulawesi Selatan. This is ceremony for died people for Toraja society.
  • Dugderan cultural ceremony: This ceremony is welcoming ceremony for Ramadhan. The word “dugderan” is from the combination of the bedug sound (musical tool) in Ramadhan.
  • Etu cultural ceremony: Actually Etu is kind of boxing competition in Flores. This ceremony is to examine the manliness of two men. The differences with usual boxing, Etu cultural ceremony using the boxing gloves from cane works in a hand, and another hand without the gloves.
  • Miya cultural ceremony: You can find Miya in the Kalimantan. Miya, is kind of cultural ceremony for died people in Dayak ethnic. This ceremony is the highest ceremony for Dayak ethnics and happen for Kaharingan religious
  • Nadran cultural ceremony: Nadran is kind of cultural ceremony in Java. This ceremony happen every years for the fisherman. They like this ceremony because this ceremony represents how they grateful because of the result of sea.
  • Aruh Baharian cultural ceremony: This is also kind of ceremony in Dayak ethnics. Dayak people will sit together in area with bring many rice and side dishes, fruit and vegetable. This ceremony to ask their ancestors so that they can eat and consume their rice.
  • Macceratasi cultural ceremony: This ceremony happens in Mandar, Bugis, and Banjar. The people will pour the animal blood in the sea. This is part of grateful to God, and praise to God through the result of the sea. Almost all of fisherman in that area will do the ceremony.

Those are complete explanation about how many Indonesian Cultural Values that exist in every provinces in archipelago.