Culture perspective on colour: What’s your colour?

White, blue, yellow, green, red, or rainbow. These words i.e. colours go beyond the colour of the skin of Indonesians. What?

Well, to start of, this is not about race.

But a competition. A race then? Yes, in a different context.

A race to the House of Representatives.

I mean green? Aliens? No. Blue? Royalty? No. Rainbow? Hmm…

Anyway, nearing the course of a legislative election in Indonesia, in the month of April 2009, most Indonesians will have adopted a colour of their choosing.

Some prefer yellow, or blue, while others choose red, and for some they just adore and like plain white.

How so?

Well, there is a term where ordinary Indonesians are aware of. The term is “GOLONGAN PUTIH” or “golput” an abbreviation that means “the white group”.

Golput is the abbreviation of “golongan putih” or the white group. In this context it is a group that will exercise their democratic right not to vote and therefore remain white or unstained by the process.

Politics in this blog? No.

I’m just pointing out words (colours) in a cultural context in Indonesia and the phenomena people have adopted to embedded themselves to the beliefs of parties i.e. political parties.

A researcher in the Politics and Social Change Department at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, Jakarta noted:

…political observers are increasingly concerned with the increasing prevalence of golput (non-voters).

Hm… this means there will be Indonesians exercising their rights to choose not to choose. Interesting huh?

Anyway, what about other colours?

Yellow for example, ini the Jakarta region connotes not only to death but also the Golkar Party. Please see these: Lampu Kuning for Golkar. Blitar Jadi Lautan Biru Demokrat, is the colour of Demokrat party. PPP Tetap ‘Kibarkan’ Warna Hijau relates to the PPP party. And, Yang Merah Itu Pasti yang Kualitasnya Paling Baik is the PDI-P’s Party.

So, Indonesians, what’s your colour?

Lyrics: Rainbow Country

Portuguese Influence in Indonesian (Bahasa Indonesia)

Portuguese in Indonesian do have a place. I’ve always wondered to which extent the loan words from the land of Portugal came to the Indonesian language.

To my surprise, there appears some words from Portuguese. There was a research conducted by Antonio Pinto da Fran├ža (1970) and later published in the book titled: “A Influencia Portuguesa na Indonesia”. This book later was translated into Indonesian by “Pustaka SH” publisher in the year 2000. It was called: “Pengaruh Portugis di Indonesia” (translation: Portuguese Influence in Indonesia).

The words such as:

armada, bola, pena, roda, ronda, sisa, tenda, tinta

became Indonesian (armada, ball, pen, wheel, rounds, remnant, tent, ink).

There are also vocabularies that have changed the way they sound such as:

algojo (algoz), bangku (banco), bantal (avental), bendera (bandeira), biola (viola), bolu (balo), boneca (boneca), jendela (janela), gereja (igreja), kaldu (caldo), kantin (cantina), kemeja (camisa), kereta (carreta), meja (mesa), mentega (manteiga), pesiar (passear), pigura (figura), pita (fita), sepatu (sapato), serdadu (soldado), cerutu (charuto), tolol (tolo).

So, I can say Indonesian is a rich potpourri and will borrow and adopt any other words from any languages as the language (Indonesian) see fit. But, I guess this works in any languages that utilizes other languages to enrich the vocabularies.