January 17, 2009

Heritage of Half-breeds Chinese Culture Exhibition in Jakarta Cultural Herald

Indonesia is very rich with many ethnics and cultures, including Chinese culture. Chinese people were come to Indonesia since more than 1,000 years ago with various ethnics, languages & dialects, and cultures. They lived and breed in islands of Indonesian Archipelago for hundred of years. But they keep their ancestor culture until today. Although in many aspects the culture was mixed with local culture.

The expression of Chinese people (we called Tionghoa) in various islands and provinces in Indonesia, especially the breeds, is very different and more riches than the expression of Chinese in Malaysia or Singapore. It happened because Indonesia her self have so many various cultures and ethnics, so there were a unique acculturation and rich manifestation on Indonesian culture. The Chinese culture enrich and been enriched Indonesian culture.

Jakarta Cultural Herald (Bentara Budaya Jakarta) in collaboration with Indonesian Cross-Culture Community (Komunitas Lintas Budaya Indonesia) shows this unique half-breeds Chinese culture in Jakarta Cultural Herald building, South Palmerah Street, Jakarta. It was opened by Siswono Yudo Husodo, a nation affairs observer, and Jacob Oetama, chairman of Kompas Daily. The exhibition will be hold until January 25, 2009, on occasion of Chinese New Year 2560.

This exhibition show to us about 300 old house accessories and furniture with half-breeds Chinese nuance which are used in Indonesia in stretches of time between years 1850 – 1960. One of those traditional item is a set of altar made from black wood.

This altar is consist of 2 parts which are Kham and Hio Lo. Kham is a 4 doors cabinet decorated with 5 intellectual symbols, which are book, scroll, painting, kecapi (plicked stringed instrument), and chess board. Kham was used as a place to put a ancestors soul board.

Hio Lo, made from teak wood, is a square container decorated with gold painted dragon & hong bird motif, to store joss stick or incense. For Chinese, Hio Lo believed as a shackle for their pray and God.

Beside the altar, we can see a Chinese traditional wedding dress. The gown enriched by flowers and a pair of hong bird motive. There is also Chinese traditional bed, with the specific mosquito net influenced by Padang half-breed Chinese and Betawi half-breed Cinese style. There are also many hundred of years old Chinese traditional furniture shown in this exhibition.

It is a must-see exhibition for you who like culture and heritage.

Source: Kompas Daily

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