By: Benazir SitiNur Putri Lero
Mentor: Fiky Firmansyah S.S
Every country that is generally located on the continent and has the same race have similarities in culture, language, and physical characteristics. English and French have the same skin color because they share the same race, Caucasoid. Similarly, Indonesia and Malaysia also have similarities as both country once were one big nation called Nusantara, an archipelago nations. Located on the same continent as well as having geographical proximity, makes these two countries have similarities in culture, language and also physical characteristics. However, both countries have a different point of view towards the meaning of culture. Malaysia interpreted that culture is a tradition that hereditary in the country, no matter where the tradition comes from. Whereas, Indonesia interpreted that culture is a tradition that hereditary which came from the country and developed. The different views on cultural understanding maybe the cause of some conflicts about recognition of Indonesia’s cultural heritage by Malaysia.
Indonesia and Malaysia once had some conflict such as when Malaysia admitted that batik was originated from that country, where actually came from Indonesia. However, it eventually recognized as Indonesian culture after Indonesia successfully registered it at UNESCO. Although there were conflicts related to the cultural issues, Indonesia and Malaysia are still good neighbors, that have many similarities above the differences between the two.
The first similarities Indonesia and Malaysia have are in marriage custom. Indonesia and Malaysia have significant similarities start from proposing event until wedding procession. Wedding procession in these both countries starting from proposal process, in this case, Malaysia calls it Merisik, which requires a man to visit a woman’s home for a serious talk about marriage. This similarity happened due to both countries were highly influenced by Islamic culture, in which the woman must have a blessing from her guardian (wali) – her father or male siblings. The unique thing about both countries is they have custom form Seserahan, a tradition that the groom gives some stuff or typical foods to the bride, which means the seriousness of the groom. Moreover, both of these countries also have the same marriage solemnization.
The second similarities of Indonesia and Malaysia are in their language. Both of these countries have the same language source, that is Austronesia. Indonesia itself is a derivative of Malay language which is currently used by Malaysia as its national language. However, according to Prof. Dr. Khaidir Anwar, Most of Malay language used by Indonesia is from Riau-Malay language. Therefore, we found so many similarities in terms of vocabulary although the meaning may be different for both countries. For example, Indonesia calls a language with Bahasa, while Malaysia uses Bahase; Boleh in Indonesia means to allow whereas Malaysia interpret it as be able to. Although both of these countries have the base similarity in language, it does not mean that Indonesia and Malaysia’s language are exactly the same. There are some differences in Indonesia and Malaysia language, especially because of the impact of absorption from other languages. Unlike Malaysia’s Malay that is highly influenced by foreign language, Indonesian language is influenced by its local languages such as Sunda, Java, Minang, Riau, etc. Making the language as lingua franca (common language) for Indonesia.
The last similarities that is interesting to be discussed is traditional houses. The traditional house of Malaysia is generally traditional house of Malay with unique design and feature. This traditional house is similar to a traditional house of Minangkabau, Gadang house. On the other hand, there is also a traditional house of Malaysia which is similar to a traditional house from Sumatra. Both houses are on stage or usually called Stage house. If Malaysia has Limas Johor house, Indonesia has Betang house from west Kalimantan.
- Betang house from West Kalimantan Province
- Limas Johor house from Malaysia
The reason why some of Indonesia’s traditional house is similar to Malaysia’s is because both are countries have Malay culture.
In short, Indonesia and Malaysia have some similarities and differences in culture. The first similarities impact by Islamic culture so that their customary marriage looks similar. Then, the same language source also induces both of these countries to have some similarities in language. While the impact of Malay culture and also one of the shapes makes Traditional House by both of countries have similarities.