October 9, 2015

1946 INDONESIA (Java) - A Happy Old Javanese Couple

With approximately 100 million people, the Javanese people form the largest ethnic group in Indonesia, predominantly located in the central to eastern parts of the island of Java. Even if the majority of the Javanese identify themselves as Muslims, their civilization has been influenced by more than a millennium of interactions between the native animism Kejawen and the Indian Hindu-Buddhist culture. Not coincidentally, Javanese culture values harmony and social order highly, and abhorres direct conflicts and disagreements.

The nuclear family (kuluwarga or somah), which includes a couple and their unmarried children, is the basic unit of Javanese society. Sometimes a household also includes other relatives and married children and their families. A married couple prefers to set up a separate household if they can afford to. If the married children live separately from their parents, the husband and wife maintain close contact with parents, assisting them as they age. Fathers are regarded as the heads of the house, but the mother exercises more real control. On the other hand, a strong network of ties between related women produces a "matrifocal" kinship system.

About the stamps
The first stamp is part of a set belonging to a large series depicting Traditional Music Instruments, about which I wrote here. The last two stamps are part of the series Ratu Boko Palace, about which I wrote here.

Javanese - Countries and Their Cultures
Javanese People - Wikipedia
The Javanese family - The old United Nations University website

Sender: Fathia Rahma (direct swap)
Sent from Yogyakarta (Java / Indonesia), on 18.01.2014
Photo: Johnny Hendarta

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