THE BETAWI

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Among public discussion of both social and government it is often quoted that the original resident of Jakarta is the Betawi. If as also a movement within the feeling of Betawi blood arises lately in Jakarta, beside the joke that people says like Betawi owns Jakarta land on history. Anthropologists have researched the files of the history and all possible sources of the ethnic with its all peculiarities.

The main source is the administration of Dutch overseas trade such as VOC, and their language mixed elements of vocabulary and dialect level in Betawi language showing broad influence of ethnics in Indonesia with the strong basis of Malay language, and also influence of foreign ethnics such as China, Arab, India, Dutch and Portuguese. Soon from their art it is clear that various influences have been mixed within their history. The Gambang Kromong is Chinese art, the Rebana belong to Arab, Keroncong Tugu an Arab - Portuguese art, Tanjidor is Dutch element now recorded as the art of Betawi.

The search of the origin of the Betawi or the formation of Betawi identity has been started by Indonesian anthropologists with the involvement of foreign sources. The main source is the file of Dutch administration on Jakarta or Batavia, starting 17th century which could bring more clear perspective on the ethnic history. But how before 17th century? If we trace back the record about history, west Java in general has been controlled by at least 3 kingdoms, first was the Taruma Negara, second Pakuan Pajajaran, and Sriwijaya the Sumatran kingdom, and toward the fall of these three kingdoms it was recorded many ports along the northern and western shore of west Java. Pajajaran kingdom which was annexed by Majapahit kingdom through an accident called " Bubat " mentioned port of Kalapa, which is later known as Sunda Kelapa. Sunda Kelapa is he traditional port of current Jakarta full with traditional boat of phinisi. It is also recorded in the history that phinisi has been the main sea transportation for Indonesia in the past which belong to the tradition of south Sulawesi ethnic called " Bugis " So, it is no doubt that the port was inhabited by the people of Sunda and Bugis from the beginning. As in fact that sea port always in contact with foreign traders such as Indian, China, and Arab. The control of Sunda over Sunda Kelapa continued until 1526 when Demak under commander of Fatahillah conquered the port, and the Sundanese driven back to the area of Bogor. Since then sunda Kelapa was inhabited by the people from Demak and Cirebon, and Sunda Kelapa changed into Jayakarta.

In 1619 the Dutch conquered Jayakarta under Jan Pieter Zoon Coen army, and then the town was under the control of Dutch, and the people of Demak, Cirebon, Arab, and China moved to the Ciliwung sides, and other people moved to the area under Banten sultanate. Starting the end of 17th century with various agreements between Banten and Mataram and the Dutch, the area of Jayakarta again resided by various people. The new residents were classified as group of slave and free inlanders. Until the mid of 19th century many mixed marriage happened, between Dtuch, local and Chinese, which born Indo at Batavia. It is said that the women slaves were transported from Bali, although not necessarily all Balinese, as Bali at the time used as transit trade of slaves by the royal family and Chinese trader from east of Indonesia.

The Chinese is said like to merry women from Bali and Nias, and part of this society still maintain Chinese tradition for example the people of Glodok and what is known as Chinese Benteng in Tanggerang, and a part mixed with Javanese which formed the group of Betawi Ora, inhabit the area of Parung. Descendants of Indian and Arabian were very small until 1840 when the people of Hadramaut arrived in big numbers. This people also married local women, and maintained their Arab tradition. In the town of Jayakarta which has been changed into Batavia centered as the majority were chinese, Mardijk ( Indian ), Sri Langka, and the slaves from various ethnics of Indonesia. The people of Banten who was the society originated from Demak and Cirebon were forbidden to live in the town. Dutch file records 27.086 person living in the town in 1673 consist of 2.740 Dutch, and Indo, 5.362 Mardijk, 2.747 Chinese, 1.339 Javanese, and Moor ( Indian ), 981 Bali, 611 Malay, plus slaves 13.278 persons, from various ethnics. During Dutch colonization of Jakrta they were very active in registering the people including their group or ethnic origin.

Research on the history of people in Jakarta started by Australian historian Lance Castle found that the resident register of 1615 and 1815 mentioned various ethnics but no mention of Betawi. Register of 1893 show the disappearance of some ethnics such as Arab, Moors, Java, Sunda, south Sulawesi, Sumbawa, Ambon, Banda, and Malay. Yet register on 1930 appeared suddenly group of Betawi with the number of 778.953 and they were majority of Batavia resident but an awareness as Betawi was not yet formed until 1923 when Moh. Husni Thamrin formed the association of Betawi.

Dr. Yasmine Zaki Shahab MA wrote that the formation of Betawi group started between 1815 - 1893 and according to Prof. Dr. Parsudi Suparlan, the awareness of Betawi as a group of ethnic were not standing in depth, and they prefer to called themselves based on the location where they live such as Kemayoran, Senen, or Rawabelong. Since the independence of Indonesia in 1945, various ethnics have been moving to Jakarta, causing in a short time the Betawi become a minority or even disappeared at some places. A discussion about the Betawi people has been published on the web site.

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Tugu Monas National monument is the symbol of the independence standing proudly in the center of the city. See the city from the top See more

Sunda Kelapa is ancient port which is still well preserved with now special port for phinisi tradisional ships. This reminds us about the sea trade in the course of early Christian Era See more

BataviaShopping Mangga Dua, Tanah Abang and othersOld Batavia town is the oldest area of the city founded in the year of 1700 by Dutch VOC preserving the European middle and modern age architectures See more

Shopping Paradise ! Jakarta city is well known for its' shopping travel. Giant shopping centers such as Mangga Dua and Tanah Abang are among the most famous places, besides cheap prices, also variation of goods and services available both retails and groceries are among the most complete.

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