Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Kostum Tradisional

The Indonesian culture is truely diverse. Split into approximately (kira-kira) 30,000 islands, it is no wonder that each tribe from every region has their own set of customs, beliefs and more importantly - their own traditional costumes. Traditional costumes most directly reflects the values of each region. Usually, traditional costumes are decorated with the most precious items and most significant symbolic accessories which the people held in high esteem. In the olden times where urbanization was not common and villages were of the usual, traditional costumes are especially important in helping people mark out or identify levels of affluence, social influence, social status, marital "belum-ness" and so forth.

At NUS, the hub of cultural diversity, LAB1201 students had a chance to wear and display costumes from:

1. Yogya (Highly important capital in the past before Jakarta)
2. Jawa Tengah (Central Java)
3. Jawa Barat
4. Madura
5. Bali
6. Palembang
7. Sulawesi
8. Minangkabau
9. Riau
10. Dayak
11. Kalimantan
12. Padang

The costumes take a long time to be worn. Typically, 30 minutes for a lady and 20 minutes for a gentleman. Accessories braided in gold are extremely common, with gold being recognized throughout the world as the most precious metal which shines and does not corrode. This is especially true for marriage costumes where love is seen to last as long as gold. In some regions, men wore Keris (Indonesian sword-dagger) as a sign of masculinity and protection for the family. The gold accessories were usually contrasted strongly when red/dark blue silk garments are worn underneath. It is said that costumes are traditionally passed down from one generation to another because of memorial purposes and practical purposes - they are really very expensive to produce!

Conscientiously discussing on the most beautiful way to arrange the couples...

The perfect arrangement!

***During rehearsal, our boys and girls did not manage to wear the costumes. Watch out for the pictures on the D-DAY where they wear them all!