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Social Taboos in Indonesia – Society and Environment

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Like the other countries, of course they have their own culture that reflected from the social rules. One form of them is the taboo. Well, everyone knows hat the taboos is. Taboo is like something that weird or even restricted to do, because it looks very bad in society.


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For example, the premarital sex, or talk about sex outside of sex education is a taboo in Indonesia. It’s considered as a dirty things to talk, especially for the girls. But anyway, the taboo itself was built in order to make the future generation more better and more polite. And also, the taboo is not only affecting the Indonesian people, but for the tourists, they should respect by not doing all the things that included as taboos while they visiting Indonesia. So what are those taboos? Check them below !

1. Leaving small portions of food when being a guest at someone’s house

The first one is leaving some portions of food in the plate, or bowl. Finishing the foods is highly recommended in here, because it’s like the way to appreciate and be thankful for the meals provided by the owners.

Also, before eating those meals or snacks, be sure to get the permition from the owner first. Eating before the allowance from the owner is like the worst way to visit someone.You’ll be considered as non polite person or rude even.

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2. Touching the head of older people

The next taboos which is really really rude if you do it to some people older than you in Indonesia is touching their head. Yep, it’s not okay in here, except if you touching your brother or sister head to clam them down.

But, if you doing this to your father, mother, or grand parents, that would be so wrong in many levels. It’s like the unusual, impolite thing to do in the society, either your own family or the environment around you. Usaually people will use the alternative, which is patting the shoulders, that is more like it.

3. Shouting at someone older, even your parents

Saying some bad words is alrady bad move, and shouting? It’s the worst thing ever to do in communication. Shouting or yelling art someone older than you, is of course considered as bad things, and should be minimized or cleared at all.

Plus, shouting to older people will hurt their heart of course, and that’s already painful. That’s why, the parent should teach the kids how to communicate properly. And thanks to that, they can learn about this taboo early.

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4. Killing animals when the wife is pregnant

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Well, in Indonesia the things like myth and folklore still being a great topic. For example, is having the relations with the pregnant woman. Pregnant woman is like the fragile kind of people that should be protected, physically and also spiritually.

And because of that suggestion, people start to avoid to do bad things during their wife pregnancy. That’s good though, because they can also have some benefits from there too. Killing animals is not okay of course, but it has no relation at all to baby’s condition.

5. Not following the request of pregnant wife

The pregnant wife should be happy, and being in a good mood, becuase the emotion also cause the baby’s growth. During the pregnancy, the wife usually “order” the husband to get some stuff that she likes, like vegetables, candys, and stuff.

But, the thing can get more disturbing and annoying when people connected this with the baby. Again, with the baby. It’s said that if the wants not fulfilled, then the baby will always be drolling everytime. Even though drolling is actually normal for the baby. It’s only a taboo.

6. The pregnant wife shouldn’t be standing in the middle of the opened door

There’s also a thing that included the pregnants again, the taboo or myth that told that if the pregnant woman standing in the middle of the door when it’s opened, then she will have a hard way when labor time comes. Again, it’s not true, the condition of the wife doesn’t came from standing activity in several spots of the house.

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7. Using left hand when giving something

Of course, the hand things are the important lesson that many kids learned during their time. Right hand is usually use to do good things like giving something, doing hand shake, and holding something. Meanwhile, the left hand is commonly used for the things in bathroom, and other stuff. But, that ain’t 100% true, especially for the left handed people.

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8. Calling older people with their name

In some areas like United States, with the people who really going along with the flow of technology, fashion, and stuff, the things like norm is slowly decayed. You can find this fact easily, many kids call older people with their name.

In Indonesia, that would be considered as a rude one. You need to add miss, mr., bro, or sis Before actually pronouncing the name.

9. Showing love in public like kiss, hug, or even worse

Things like this is of course not okay in every place of Indonesia. People will look at you with this kind of annoying and disturbing looks after you doing those activities mentioned in the public.

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10. Visiting any temple when having menstruation

Again, this one goes with the spirituality aspects. The women with mentruation is considered unclean. And that unclean condition can bring bad things to them.

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10 taboos are not enough to desribe all the taboos in Indonesia. Because of that, we would like to try offering you some other ten things that considered as taboo. Don’t worry, maybe they sound too strange or maybe to normal for your ears. But they are still the Indonesian taboos that really worth a respect in here. So here they are :

  1. Talking about sex with kids
  2. Do naughty things in holy or sacred places
  3. Entering the sacred places without having permition
  4. Talking trash during the formal activities
  5. Pissing in public
  6. Ignoring the road signs
  7. Kicking animals
  8. Putting lemon water on the blood of victims
  9. Living together in a house with girl/boy friend without having maried status
  10. Showing off your richness

So these are the Indonesian taboos that work every single day in this country. Remembering them, the sound like the parents or the people really like to prevent the youngsters for doing the bad things like premarital sex, doing porn, and the other bad stuff that anyone shouldn’t do. But, in this era of modernization and technology, those taboos are slowly erased away. Any one can find the “restricted information” via internet easily.

Yes, anyone can have any information based on that technology. But, even though in the modern area like the cities, some taboos are still working. Especiay in the villages, where they have their own way of seeing stuff a taboo or not. Once again, it’s the Indonesian things that many people still confused about.

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Kategori : Socio Cultural