The Indonesian Way Of The Arts

borobudur indonesia backpacking

The Indonesian Way Of The Arts

All the means of arts, especially painting, wood carving, dancing and folklore music, are really important parts of the culture of Indonesia. In contrast to other Muslim countries, there are few objections to using representations of humans and animals in Indonesian art or for women to participate in dancing. A traveler will enjoy all the famous forms of arts in Bali and Java too. Alus is a word used to define the traditional Javanese way of art and you may listen to some locals say it. You can also find all the above ways of art in other Indonesian islands too.

A cultural island complex

Indonesia is culturally rich. The arts and culture are tangled with religion and the old traditions are involved in a great way with the modern arts and the result is really interesting.  The most important thing that makes this mixing so great is the respect to every part of the culture, either is classic or modern.

Music and the city

You can enjoy some really great music in the capital of Indonesia. In metropolitan Jakarta, the Java Jazz Festival is the event of the year for top international and local jazz musicians. Indonesia is also a home for some of the best rock and pop bands. Famous bands like Nidji, Ungu, Slang, Peter Pan and many others, never fail to create a sensation wherever they appear in Indonesia. A lot of travelers visit Indonesia and book a hotel in Sudirman in order to be a part of this great music experience.

Java is also a place where you can discover classical forms of gamelan music and dance styles, like the famous Sunda style, and others too, whose most famous traditions were developed in the areas of Yogyakarta and Surakarta. The Central Javanese dance style can be defined as the most classical dance style of Java. During the period of Indonesian independence the dance style of Java was spreading all over the areas of Indonesia.

jonny blair national monument jakarta

Backpacking in Jakarta, Indonesia


Indonesia is also famous for its great art performances. The magnificent Ramayana dance drama is endorsed during the dry season at Prambanan next to Yogyakarta under the full moon and against the dramatic background of this 9th.century temple. This show is really amazing and cannot be found anywhere else in the world. Indonesia’s dances are full of colors, and they may cause you either happy or sad feelings. There are a lot of forms that can be found, either the highly harmonized “saman” song and dance from Aceh, or the calm and sophisticated court dances from Java attended by the great sounds of the gamelan orchestra, to the brutal dances of Kalimantan, Papua, and Sulawesi. The effect of China can be found along the entire north coast of Java from the batik designs of Cirebon and Pekalongan, to the finely carved furniture and doors of Kudus in Central Java, as also in the complicated gold overstated wedding costumes of West Sumatra.

In the past in Java and Bali, royal families or rich persons were the major leaders of the arts. They keep on going with their support, but other societies joined them too. Over the last decades, local cultural museums were built using national and regional government funding and some foreign aid. Preservation of art and craft traditions and objects, such as interior design or the famous batik, wood figures, silver and gold working, sculptures, puppets, and basketry, may be disappear due to the intervention of international means of art and the continuing demand of making a profit. It is really important to protect all the traditional items or the ways of expressions against the massive consumption.

Traveling to Indonesia is like traveling in time. You will feel really impressed by all the means of expression all over the centuries and feel blessed that you spent some time there.


2 thoughts on “The Indonesian Way Of The Arts

  • Hi Liam, Thanks for the comment and I am extremely sorry for the huge delay in replying to you. I have been going through problems with depression and wasn’t checking the comments or messages that much. Stay safe. Jonny

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