Universitas Indonesia Conferences, 7th International Symposium of Journal Antropologi Indonesia

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Sohibul Hikayat - Betawi Oral Tradision: Capturing the Heart of the Multicultural Ethnics in Jakarta
Yasmine Shahab

Building: Soegondo Building
Room: 125
Date: 2019-07-24 01:00 PM – 02:30 PM
Last modified: 2019-06-21


Sahibul Hikayat is a disappearing oral tradition of Betawi who are known as a strict Islamic indigenous people in Jakarta. During the prime era of the sahibul hikayat, the Betawi are recognized as an inferior ethnic group in the capital city of Indonesia, hence the sahibul hikayat is perceived as a consumption of the low economy class. As a matter of fact, the overlap of the tradition with the low class people is a character of oral tradition in general. My research findings, however, does not support this argument since Betawi elite are also consumer of sahibul hikayat. I was also encountered with two sahibul hikayat performances among educated non Betawi, who enjoyed these events although the sahibul hikayat was presented in its authentic forms with strong Islamic sense in terms of content and performance. Apparently, this islamic character created no problem for the viewers. Usually many traditions have been modified for the sake of the outsiders. It is, therefore, interesting to identify the strength of this oral tradition which successfully capture not only the heart of the Betawi, but also the heart of the multi ethnic and multicultural people in Jakarta. But, unfortunately this Betawi oral tradition is disappearing in her own home. Hopefully this writing could contribute for the oral tradition literature in terms of the strength of oral tradition to attract the elite multicultural urban.

Keywords: oral traditions; authenticity; multi-ethnic; multicultural