Universitas Indonesia Conferences, The 8th International Symposium of Journal Antropologi Indonesia

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Cap Tikus Drinking Circles as Enabling Spaces of Wellbeing and Practices of Collective Care in North Sulawesi
Nastasja Ilonka Roels

Last modified: 2022-06-05


Cap Tikus's health benefits–especially in contrast to other alcoholic drinks–were commonly cited during my extended ethnographic fieldwork in and around Manado, between 2014 and 2016. Although the drink's alcohol content and botanical concoctions were believed to have important effects on individual physical bodies and experiences, often more emphasized in the everyday was Cap Tikus's role in co-producing atmospheres (suasana) or a "chemosociality" (Shapiro & Kirksey 2017) in which a sense of togetherness (kebersamaan), shared pleasure, and practices such as collectively coming up with solutions or talking through issues (curhat) emerges. By broadening the lens to include this collective harmonization of alcohol effects and affects in and around drinking circles, this study highlights the important work Cap Tikus can do for people's social and physical and mental wellbeing. This provides a different perspective from the focus of alcohol studies on alcohol abuse and addiction, and the sociopolitical problematization of alcohol more broadly. What emerged was the crucial role that Cap Tikus drinking circles played for young people and marginalized communities dealing with multiple crises: environmental degradation, loss of access to land and sea, and growing inequalities associated with rapid modernization and urbanization.


Keywords: Cap Tikus, collective care, chemosociality, well-being, youth



Shapiro, Nicholas, and Eben Kirksey. 2017. “Chemo-Ethnography: An Introduction.” Cultural Anthropology 32 (4): 481–93. https://doi.org/10.14506/ca32.4.01.

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