Nyok, kite nonton ondel-ondel
Nyok, kite ngarak ondel-ondel
Ondel-ondel ade anaknye
Anaknye ngigel ter-iteran
Mak, bapak ondel-ondel ngibing
Ngarak penganten disunatin
Goyangnye asyik endut-endutan
Nyang ngibing igel-igelan
Plak gumbang gumplak plak plak
Gendang nyaring ditepak
Yang ngiringin nandak
Tangan iseng ngejailin
Kepale anak ondel-ondel
Anak ondel-ondel jejingkrakkan
Kepalenye nyale bekobaran
Yang ngarak pade kebingungan
Disiramin aer comberan....
Indonesia's cultural diversity is celebrated in the national motto, Bhineka Tunggal Ika, meaning "Unity in Diversity." One manifestation of this tenet of Indonesian national identity is the government's efforts to give equal precedence to the development of traditional art forms from each ethnic group. In Jakarta, the Orang Betawi - the natives of the city - are considered to be the hosts of these cultures, having emerged from the melting pot of races, ethnic groups and cultures of Indonesia in the 19th century. Today they constitute one of the city's main ethnic groups along side the Javanese (from Central and Eastern Java), Sundanese (from West Java) and Chinese.
Betawi culture is a treasure trove of color, tradition, song, dance, clothing, cuisine, language and dialect. The culture thrives today due to government policy to enhance the cultural identity of the original inhabitants of the city, and prevent their traditions being buried beneath a tide of modernization. There are annual parades and other celebrations in which three-meter tall Betawi mascots (ondel ondel) - are seen delighting the crowds with their large masks and tinsel-sprinkled headdresses.
The language of the Betawi has been adopted by the fashionable younger generation of Jakartans from all ethnic origins, whereas the more formal Betawi Malay is only spoken by the more conservative older generation Orang Betawi.
Jakarta has indeed marvelous appeal. Why not? Its function as the capital city of Indonesia has foster its development to become the center of administration, trade and industry, as well as agriculture. Jakarta becomes the estuary of urbanization flow from all over the country and from other countries alike. Diverse cultural aspects brought by those people have made Jakarta become more and more appealing. It is like a display case showing its glittering jewels. Like a towering gate, Jakarta has attracted countless number of people who turned out to be its residents.
For more than four centuries, the flow of urbanization to Jakarta has never stopped. Even up to present moment, the number of population keeps on getting higher, making Jakarta become a densely populated city. In its early development, Jakarta was inhabited by people hailing from java, Bali, Maluku, Malay, and other regions. Then came the Chinese, Arab, Portuguese, Dutch, and many others. Each brought their own unique culture. The languages they used among the community were Malay and Creole Portuguese, with heavy influence from the Portuguese for over a century in doing their business and in occupying the regions throughout the Indonesian archipelago.
From time of time, the Betawi continued to grow with their firm foothold of cultural characteristics, in that they can be easily distinguished from other ethnical groups. When one looks at Betawi cultural surface. One can recognize the origin of such cultures. It is not unlikely that Betawi performing arts often show similarities to arts from some other ethnic groups and even from those of other nations.
To the Betawi, all that has developed within their culture is considered as their whole culture, without questioning the origin of such cultural backgrounds that made Jakarta as it is now. Likewise, their attitude toward arts as one of the facets in their culture reflects the strong Betawi influence, especially in their performing arts.
Unlike arts from palaces which were created by nobility artist whose dedication to arts is undeniable, The Betawi arts spontaneously grew within the people themselves with all their modesty. Therefore the Betawi arts belong to the folklore.
One of the Betawi performing arts which is often performed in folk festivities is Ondel-ondel. A huge male or female puppet. It seems that ondel-ondel plays the role of their ancestors who guard their offspring or a community in a village. Ondel-ondel is a huge puppet of approximately 2.5 meters high with a diameter about 80 centimeters. It is made from woven bamboo designed in such a way that is easy to carry it from underneath. Its face is a mask, adorned with fine black fibers to represent the hair. The face of a male ondel-ondel is painted in red, while that of the female is white. The performance is similar to may folk performance from other places.
In Central Java Barongan Buncis; and in Bali, Barong Landung. It is assumed that this Kind of performance from other places. In Sunda (West Java), it is called Badawang Landung. It is assumed that this kind of performance had been existed long before the coming of the Islam religion on the island of Java. Formerly, ondel-ondels were used to scare evil spirits away. At present, ondel-ondels are used to add liveliness of a folk festival, or to welcome distinguished quests, or to decorate the official opening of new buildings. Throughout the years, ondel-ondel have survived and are now used to decorated the Jakarta Metropolitan City.
In Betawi traditional music, a harmonious combination of local and Chinese rhythms have been reflected in gambang, Kromong, kecrek, gendang , kempul, and gong arelocal instruments, while kongahyan, tehyan, and shukong are string instruments of Chinese origin. The songs performed by the orchestra are not only adapted but also adopted from Chinese rhythm known as pobin, like pobins Kongjilok, Bankihwa, Posilitan, Caicasu, and many others. They are often performed instrumentally.
The creation of gambang kromong oschestra in the middle of the 8th century in Jakarta could not be separated from Nie Hu-kong, a Chinese leader who was known to be a person who loved music. Upon his initiation, it was made possible to assimilate various musical instruments from gamelang pelog and slendro and those from Chinese orchestra. Like Nie Hu-kong, mainly people with Chinese origin could enjoy the songs and dances of the ciokek, local singer who also danced to the music. The ciokeks were usually given names of various sweet smelling beautiful flowers in china, such as Bwee Hoa, Han Siauw, etc. During that time gambang kromong orchestras were owned by the Chinese ethnic groups, also known as the “babahs”, who lived in Tangerang and Bekasi apart from Jakarta itself.
Gambang Kromong is usually performed to accompany folk dances, that is ciokek and a great number of newly created dances like Sembah Nyai and Sirih Kuning. The opening part of a ciokek dance is wawayangan. The dancers stand in line, making the movement of front and back forth. They dance to the music, lifting their hands as high as their shoulders and their feet follow the rhythm. Then they as the audience to dance together with them, by giving their shawls to the most distinguished guests. If the person who receives the shawl agrees to follow the dancer, the couple can the begin dancing in pairs known as “ngibing”. Each pair danse in a very close distance, but they do not touch each other.
Sometimes they do not face each other, giving their backs. If the place is spacious enough, they can make a maneuver in circles. The costumes of Ciokek dancers usually consist of a pair of trousers made of bright colored silk-like materials, such as red, green, violet, yellow, etc. in the lower parts of the trousers are decorated with a piece of cloth, the color of which is harmonious. A piece of cloth is tied to the dancer’s hips, dangling freely. The dancer’s hair is combed neatly; some are typed in a cute looking fashion, with beautiful moving hairpins.
A very strong European influence in one of the Betawi music can be identified in Tanjidor Orchestra with its clarinet, thrombone, piston, trumpet, and the like. Most of those instruments have been used for more than one century long. They probably were once military musical instruments during the Dutch colonial time.
With old musical instruments, Tanjidor orchestra gives performances to accompany “helaran” or marriage processions featuring Western waltzes and marches which are difficult to trace their have been adjusted to suit local musical taste from generation to generation and have been adapted to the memory of the “panjaks‘ Tanjidor was first known in the 18th century.
Valekenier, one of the Dutch Governor Generals during that time, was known to have a group of 15 brass musicians which were combined with gamelan players, Chinese flute players, and Turkish drum players to enliven parties. Because it was originally played by slaves, Tanjidor orchestra was also known as “slavenorkest” At present, Tanjidor orchestras often give their performances to welcome guests or to accompany carnivals.
Another Betawi music heavily infested with European influence is Kroncong Tugu . This sort of music is supposed to find its origin in South Europe. Since the 18th century this music had been enjoyed by the Portuguese descendants who lived in Tugu, North Jakarta, while practicing Christianity. Typical songs of Kroncong Tugu are, among others, Moretsko and Broungga, the lyrics of which are written in Portuguese. The music had been developed by the community who were called “Mardijkers” former Portuguese army members who were set free by the Dutch Government. After they had changed their religion from Catholic to Protestant, they were reserved in Kampung Tugu. This place is now known as the koja District. They built the first church in 1661.
In the former time, apart from being used to accompany gospels, kroncong musical instruments from Tugu remain the same violin, ukulele, banyo, guitar, tambourine, kempul and selo. There is something interesting in their costumes: they always wear shawl around their neck whenever they are giving performances. The female members usually wear kebaya.
The Betawi music originating from the Middle East that reflects Moslem aspirations is Gambus Orchestra. In line with this is the tambourine (rabana) music such as Rebana Biang. Up to now, rebana music is mainly performed by men, while Rebana qosidah is played by women. Rebana qosidah turned out to be a more attractive and popular folk musical performance.
The rebana is called “Ketimpring” maybe because of the sound from the small bells attached to the wooden part of the instrument. If Rebana Ketimpring is used to accompany the bridegroom to the bride’s place, the rebana is then called Rebana Ngarak. The is also smaller type of rebana. The lyrics sung during the event are usually taken from the books of Diba or Diwan Hadroh. Rebana Ketimpring used to accompany family gatherings and social events like circumcisions, births, wedding parties and so on are called Rebana Maulid. It has been a tradition of Betawi to say their prayers revealing the history of prophet Mohammed S.A.W. accompanied by Rebana Maulid. The lyrics is known as “Berjanji” for it was taken from the book of Syaraful Anam writtem by Syeikh Barzanji.
Rebana Biang, apart from its initial function to accompany fast tempo music known as “Zikir “, is also often performed to accompany Belenggo Dance. Like other dances, Belenggo dance does not have rigid rules. Its movements depend on how much the the dancer knows about Betawi arts martial. The dance is usually performed by members of Rebana Biang themselves. If in the former times Belenggo dance was performed for social events, it is now often performed with a firm party in front of a huge audience. In addition, this orchestra has is function to accompany Topeng Belantek, a kind of folk theater commonly played by the Betawi living in the southern fringe of Jakarta.
Samrah Orchestra came from Malay as reflected in the songs usually sung in this orchestra, such as Burumg Putih, Pulau Angsa Dua, Sirih Kuning, and Cik Minah which are heavily influenced by Malay rhyhm. Typical of Betawi songs are Kicir-kicir, Jali-Jali, Lenggang-lenggang Kangkung, and so on. The orchestra accompanies Samrah Dance, a dance influenced by Malay dance movements with some maneuvers from art martial. Normally, it is performed in the expressed by sad and humble remarks about one self remarks about oneself. A Betawi dance with is full of maneuvers from arts martial is called Tari Pencak Silat. The dance is accompanied by a traditional percussion bet known as Gendang Penca.
Other accompaniments which are generally performed are Gambang Kromong, Gamelang Topeng, Tanjidor, and the like. Among The Betawi people, there are many types of silat (arts martial) dances, such as Kwitang, Tanah Abang, Kemayoran, etc. The most popular movements are Serak, Pecut, Rompas, and Bandul. Silat dances in Betawi show the types of movement which are adopted by the dancers.
In Gamelang Ajeng, one can detect Sundanese and Balinese influences, like in the song of Carabelan or Cara Bali. Initially, This Gamelang orchestra was mainly performed on formal ceremonies. In its later development, the orchestra can be played to accompany several dances, such as Belenggo Ajeng or Tari Topeng. The orchestra is also intended to accompany Puppet Shadow (Wayang Kulit) and Wayang Wong performances. Wayang Performances were adapted by the Betawi from Javanese.
Another Type of Betawi music influenced by Sundanese cultural is Gamelan Topeng. It is name after the folk theater presently known as Topeng Betawi. The folk theather gained popularity because it coveyed light social critisms wrapped in jokes an homorous remarks. Bapa jantuk is one of the most loved episodes in which marriage advice are presented at the end of the episode.
Among the many dances commonly performed in Topeng Betawi is Tari Lipet Gandes, a dances with a songs, jokes and sardonic but funny remarks. Other dances have expressive movements, such as Tari Topeng Kedok Enjot– enjotan and Grgot. These dances at are not only liked Betawi , butr they are also enjoyed by other ethnic groups.
Some creative choreographers are succeeded in the creating new some dances adorned with various movements from traditional Betawi dancers are Tari Ngajoreng, tari Ronggeng Belantek and Gado-Gado Jakarta. Such ads dancers could attracted their audience. They were also perfromed in the International Dance Festival. Some Betawi traditional performing arts have been developed according to the changing society and have added the marvelous appeal of the the city of Jakarta. In the Older to enjoy and appreciate the many Betawi performing arts, there is no other way than attending the performances.
Apart from this, the orchestra also employs waditra instrument to accompany lenong , a famous Betawi tradisional folk theater. To a certain extent, this Betawi theater follows European theaters, complete with its decorations and other properties as a influence of stambul comedy, an western comedy performed in Malay which was popular in the early 20th century.
Nowadays, there are two types of lenong : Lenong Denes depicts episodes on King and nobilities, while Lenong preman depicts on daily social life. Lenong denes can be regarded as the extension of several folk Betawi theaters which are no longer exist nowadays, such as Wayang Sumedar, Wayang Senggol, and Wayang Dermuluk , while Lenong Preman was the later version of Wayang Sironda. The language used in Lenong Denes is the high style of Malay or the classical Malay which makes it more intimate and communicative to the audience. (milis tetangga).
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