DetailsThe Indigenous Betawi
The indigenous people of Jakarta are the Betawi, a community of mixed descent, a mixture of different races and ethnic groups, who for generations have made Jakarta their home. Very outspoken and democratic, the Betawi have assimilated different cultures in their daily life, arts, music and traditions. Staunch Muslims, the Betawi blends the original Malay language with neighbouring Sundanese words, mixed with Javanese, Chinese, Indian, Arab and Dutch words.
The wedding costume of the bride adopts the Chinese tradition of bright red embroidered top with a veil of golden tassels. Whereas the bridegroom wears very contrasting costume inspired by the Arab and Indian Dons.
The Betawi also absorb music from different races, including from the colonial Portuguese, Dutch, Arab and Indian traders, as also from neigbouring West and Central Java, making it all their very own.
For musical instruments they use the Sunda trumpet and drums, while from Europe they have adopted the trombone and guitar, as well as Chinese instruments. While inspired by Portuguese music this has resulted in the distinct Jakarta music genre popularly known as Keroncong.
With time there developed the Tanjidor , which uses the trombone, piston tenor, clarinet. This latter genre is said to have originated from the European plantations, since their tunes have European sounding names, such as Bananas, Delsi, Batalion, Welnes, and so on. But now they have become more local-sounding with tunes like Jali-Jali, Surilang, and the popular dangdut music.
In dance, the Betawi Jaipong Dance fuses local choreography with distinct Chinese dance costumes inspired by the Beijing Opera.