West Sumatra's Cultural Identity In Indonesia

1602 Words7 Pages
Indonesia is an archipelago with thousands of islands. Those islands are divided into 34 provinces, each with distinct cultural identities. West Sumatra is one of those great provinces. West Sumatra has one of the most influential cultural identities in Indonesia. A myriad of cultural identities of West Sumatra, such as its spicy Padang rice, have been exported throughout Indonesia. West Sumatra’s cultural identity is unique in aspects such as exotic culture, customs, traditions, savory cuisine, intricate clothing, melodious music, exquisite arts, and lively festivals.

Tourists from all around the world are filled with awe when they watch the natural beauty of West Sumatra. A scenery of quaint villages and shimmering lakes attracts photographers and tourists alike (Berkmoes 419). West Sumatra, which is
…show more content…
The Minangkabau society is matrilineal, in which women inherit properties and lands instead of men (Kaufmann). Boys join a surau (a prayer house and community center) at the age of seven where they study about Minang culture and religion (Kaufmann). When boys become teenagers, most of them leave emigrate to other provinces and study in schools to prepare them for adulthood (Kaufmann). After finishing their studies, they return to West Sumatra to manage family and community affairs (Kaufmann).

Minangkabau houses truly reflects the cultural identity of the Minangkabau people. Rumah gadang, which translates to big house in Minangkabau language, are the traditional homes of the Minangkabau (Kaufmann). A rumah gadang functions as a place of living and a place for family meetings and ceremonies (Kaufmann). The houses have a prominent curved roof and its walls are carved with beautiful floral images (Kaufmann). Windows with shutters are built into the walls. Rumah gadang usually refers to large traditional houses, but small houses can also possess similar elements
Open Document