I was just browsing through some pages on Facebook until I came across something that caught my eyes and made them glitter. A group or rather a few support groups have been set up in my hometown for the Javanese people who were born on that island, the younger generations especially to re-learn about their culture, especially on the language.
Oh how pleasing! I like the discussion thread most, where they post some Javanese words a day and we can all learn from each other. The group is also coming up with Gamelan lessons and Javanese Language courses as well, in addition to the other performing arts of the Javanese. Trips to villages in Java to trace back the roots of their forefathers are also in the in the planning. Although I am out of the island already and looks like I would be out for a long, long time more, I am still very excited that work is being done there. That is one thing I really like about my fellow country mates. When they want to do something, they are sure to go all the way out in it. It is a real pity I cannot join in their activities but support them I will !
Here are the groups I found on Facebook. So if you are in Singapore, and your identity card states that you are Javanese under the race segment, but you know nuts about the culture, language and heritage, AND you have a facebook account, do join them. You’ll be surprised at how much of your roots you are set to discover!!!
Orang Jawa di Singapura
This group is meant as a platform to gather Singapore-born Javanese whose families used to reside in the kampungs or ‘barracks’ at Bukit Timah, Kampung Jawa (Farrer), Marsiling, etc.
An exhibition on “Javanese Arts: Traditions and Innovations” is in the works and hopes to showcase the preservation of Javanese Arts in Singapore.
Another purpose of this group is to begin the collecting and archiving of memories about the history of Javanese in Singapore.
The future projection of this group:
The aim is to see who identify themselves as Singaporeans of Javanese descent..the target is to find 200 people at least. This is down from the earlier target of 1000 as generally Malays of Javanese descent do not identify as being Javanese ethnically. Its sad but it’s true.
This is also to bring to the fore the fact that the Javanese in Singapore has had a presence here since over a century ago. Some indications would be place names like Kampung Pacitan, Kampung Jawa, Kampung Tempe in Pasir Panjang, Kampung Khaji, Masjid Wak Tanjong to name a few as well as the existence of the Persekutuan Jawa Al Masakin which was established 105 years ago.
Its aim is to get younger generation Malays of Javanese descent to be more aware of their roots by exploring its traditions, language, food & arts. In the past many Javanese were concentrated in Arab Street & worked as brokers for Hajj pilgrims. There were also gardeners, drivers & those who worked in a whole spectrum of jobs contributing to society in various ways.
Presently alot of us have achieved success in terms of education & careers. We should also preserve our culture & contribute to the symbiosis as well as the continued survival of everything Javanese but also contribute to the wider Malay Muslim community at large.
We also warmly welcome people who have little or no Javanese ancestry but who have interest in Javanese culture, arts, traditions & of course the glorious food to join this group because every contribution is valuable.