Reciprocity in Traditional Java and Modern Java

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Date Submitted: 09/12/2012 10:55 AM

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Reciprocity in traditional Java and Modern Java

Cultural diversity, is one of the most well known identity for our country, Indonesia. From the era of the kingdom until now, the diversity was still "strong" until the present. Indonesia is one of the tangent to a wide range of cultures and religions. The process of acculturation is often seen in the practices of life in Indonesia, especially in Java.

This is the condition of Java in 18th century, based on few reference. In Kingdom era a village chief, regional governor or king in traditional Java is required to provide for the community. The Javanese ‘king’ preserves his authority over his members and other potential contenders if he could prove his good fortune by spending it and sharing it. Pakubuwana (1893-1938) was renowned for his regular jaunts through his kingdom where, from the centre of his entourage, he would literately throw gifts of money to his people, with that way the the Javanese ‘king’ preserves his authority over his members and other potential contenders by proving that he is favoured both by the gods (the spirits) and by good fortune. The Javanese king shares his wealth with his subjects as a form of security for which in return he receives unconditional loyalty.

In Java it is the rukun principle — or the principle of conflict avoidance — particularly that reflects the ‘sharing’ of the gift function. This term of rukun is an act as a counterweight of harmony between humans. Co-operation, mutual acceptance, calm, patience and unity characterize the state of rukun. Another important social regulatory principle in Java is the concept of respect (hormat) which is based on the belief that all social relationships are ordered in a hierarchical structure that constitutes a good in itself. The respect principle is a social reality that maintains the feudalistic social order of Java.

The Javanese social order is represented clearly in the way the Javanese communicate, interact and exchange goods and...