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Unique Facts About The Betawi People

There are about three hundreds different ethnic groups in Indonesia that spread across the archipelago. Each of these ethnic groups has distinct and unique characteristics that make them different from one another. Each city in Indonesia has its own indigenous ethnic, including Jakarta. The Betawi people and its culture have been made famous by the hit TV series “Si Doel Anak Betawi” in the nineties. This week, Burufly would reveal the uniqueness that Betawi has, so you can learn more about their culture.


Generally, Betawi language is based on Indonesian language. However, what make their language unique is the dialects. There are two different dialects in Betawi language; one is Betawi Tengah, which uses the letter “E” on their pronunciation and Betawi Pinggir, which uses the letter “A”. For example, the word “kenapa” will be pronounce “kenape” by Betawi Tengah and Betawi pinggir will pronounce it the same.


You can feel the influence of Chinese and Arab in Betawi music, such as Gambang Kromong and Rebana that are quite distinct. Their music is quite well known, such as Keroncong Tugu, Lenong, Tanjidor, and their famous traditional song “Kicir-Kicir”.

Dance and Drama Culture

In addition to variety of musical art, Betawi also has dance and drama as its hallmark. There are several kind of Betawi dance, namely Topeng Betawi and Yapong that influenced by Jaipong of West Java. The distinctive feature of Tari Betawi lays in its dynamic movement and a cheerful expression that makes people excited to watch. Not much different from its dance culture, their drama culture also brings a lot of excitement, such as Lenong Tonil, depicting the everyday life brought with a typical Betawi humor and verses with their unique dialect making it one of Indonesia’s favorite play.


Each ethnic in Indonesia has its own folklore, and that include Betawi. One of the most famous Betawi folklore is “Si Pitung”, a story of one hero who bravely fights the Dutch colonial rule. Betawi folklore is characterized by its tough life and bravery.

Characters and Norms

The majority of Betawi people are Muslim. As they are the descendent of both local and Portuguese, Betawi people are highly social and strongly hold their religious and cultural, values and they has a high tolerance towards other ethnic groups. They have managed to maintain their culture and proud of it. / 

Source : Valadoo

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