Religion and Culture in the Betawi Wedding

Title: Religion and Culture in the Betawi Wedding: the Negotiation between Religion and Culture in the Betawi Wedding in Babelan Subsdistrict of Bekasi

Author: Siti Hunainah (CRCS, 2005)

Keywords: religion, culture, negotiation, wedding


The interaction between religion and local culture is an undeniable fact in the community; specifically it happened into the Betawi people. The Betawi wedding tradition is one pattern whereas both religion and local culture influences each other and it also gave some nuances in that procession. Interestingly, there is no one culture among others that represented when the Betawi people expressed their tradition. It means that the Betawi culture is an inclusive culture, and this possibly making the space of dialogue and negotiation with other cultures. Therefore, in Betawi culture unsurprisingly founded other elements of culture, such as Arab, Chinese, Sundanese, and Javanese culture. There are many stages in the Betawi wedding that is touching within Islamic religion and local culture. For example, maulidan, ziarah, paketan, etc. besides, there are many symbols in the procession itself, such as giving expenditure that symbolized by mosque miniature. It means that giving describes the money that gave by the husband to the wife for house needed, and this money obtained by legal method. There is also a tradition namely the barrier house opening tradition that is symbolizing the unflawed life of the house. It means that the couple marriage will face such conflict in their life. In addition, Betawi people still have the inheritance animism and it showed in the marriage procession. In every marriage celebration (keriaan), the celebrator firtly usually celebrate the ritual and giving offerings (sesajen) altogether. The offerings (ancak) put dawn into the forth angles of house. It is convinced to give the food to the spirit who settle in the village or their ancestral. By preparing the offerings (ancak) mean to save and to avoid the unwillling thing along the celebration. Certain aspect in the Betawi wedding showed the negotiation whereas the elements of religion and local culture found the meeting point.


The technical of collecting data that is used in the research are observation, deep-interview and documentation. The approach that is used is a combination both ethic and emic. It means that the ethnographic data not only obtained from the information of Betawi people in Babelan, but it also obtained from the idea of anthropology. The purpose of research is trying to know how the religion and local culture influenced each other in the Betawi wedding and to see also critically the patterns of negotiation between religion and local culture in the Betawi marriage. The result of research shows that the pattern of relationship of religion and local culture in wedding procession in Babelan sub district of Bekasi very cooperative and appreciate each other. It means that both of poles positioning their selves and the types of negotiation process is influences without decrease and vague the meaning of the legal wedding itself.

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