Influence Of Indian Culture In Indonesia

Indonesian citizens did not form Indonesian culture alone. Influence from around the world helped shaped Indonesian culture. One country that influenced the majority of Indonesian culture was India. Indian explorers were sent to Indonesia for the sole purpose of trade. Trade between India and Indonesia opened a pathway for Indonesians to be aware about the different aspects of Indian culture through Indian Hinduism. Indonesia’s awareness of Indian Hinduism influenced the order of Indonesian society in such a way that changed the different aspects of Indonesian art and religion. Indonesia’s social stratifications have differed in different areas around the archipelago because of how India shaped them. Indonesia’s social stratifications were …show more content…
During the period of Indianization, wayang have been brought to a new level where they portray complex Hindu dramas, or lakon (“The Spread of Indian Civilization”). This was proved through how “the convergence of Hindu mythology with the traditional practice of revering ancestors through the performance of shadow plays may have led to the development of wayang kulit…” (Sedyawati 13). Wayang kulit was a shadow dance (Nayyar) that was commonly used to portray Hindu mythology through complex Hindu dramas. On top of that, Indonesia adopted Hindu-Buddhist motifs that originated from India. A commonly used motif in Indonesia was the lotus, simply considered as the padma, that symbolizes the universe, compassion, the truth, and the holiest one seated above everyone else. Other motifs that were adopted were the swastika and the kalamakara. The swastika symbolizes energy and harmony while the kalamakara represents time and symbolizes the primary source of life (Sedyawati 12). Furthermore, in Indonesia, double-ikat textile ornamentation techniques, which simple, double-ikat techniques were applied in Donggala, or Sulawesi, and Palembang, while complex forms of double-ikat were applied in Bali, seem to have originated from the influence of traders from western India during the 16th and 17th centuries (Sedyawati 13). Based on how Indonesia’s performing and visual arts have been greatly influenced by India, one might say that these pieces of Indonesian art would not exist in modern day society if the Indians never traveled to Indonesia. If India never came to Indonesia, Indonesian music would not be compromised of gamelan music, which is a percussion type orchestra compromised of bronze and wooden xylophones, kecapi, a string instrument, gendang drums, flute, iron gongs, and angklung, a bamboo-made frame (Nayyar). Without a direct influence from India that can

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