NICT Building, UIN NEWS Online—Betawi Study Center (PSB) UIN Jakarta officially launched in National Information and Communication Technology (NICT) building, Wednesday (30/09). Its’ presence expected could be a pioneer in exploring and developing the wealth of Betawi art and culture. Besides research and academic publication, PSB will run the advocacy program for developing this ethnic culture.

Filled with workshop titled “Deepening Brotherhood, Strengthening National Identity through Loving the Culture”, a number of Betawi figures whose also include in PSB management were presented. Among them, the Member VII of State Audit Agency (BPK), Prof. Dr. Bahrullah Akbar MBA, CMPM, Figures of Betawi Society, Major General (Retired) H. Ramli SE, Vice Rector for Cooperation of UIN Jakarta, Prof. Dr. Murod MA, and Vice Mayor of South Tangerang, Ir. Nur Slamet.

In his presentations, the speakers delivered about diversity of Betawi society. Ranged from historical, cultural, religious, and progress from generation to generation, including the condition of society and Betawi culture which began to erode modernity.

Nur Slamet, for example, reveals his childhood experiences that illustrate the proximity of Betawi culture with Islam. After sunset, he and his friends shall learn to read al-Quran and Islam (mengaji). “After that, we are obliged to learn beksi as Betawi martial traditions,” he recalls.

The proximity between Betawi and Islam were justified by Murodi. Professor of History of Islamic Culture said, Islam as a frame of life for Betawi society. In Betawi culture, for example, someone who visited Haramayn (the hajj) occupied an important position in society.

Other proximity, like Banten and Bugis, Betawi people also have a number of clerics who are quite prominent in the teaching of Islam. Some of them are Guru Marzuki, Guru Mughni, Guru Mansur, Guru Majid, Guru Mahmud dan Guru Khalid.

As the tribes with diverse background, betawi grows as the tribes which wealth of cultures with various influences. Music, for example, Betawi has Gambag Kromong as influences of Chinese, Rebana as Arab influences, Orchestra Samrah as Malay influences, Kroncong Tugu as the influence of the Portuguese-Arab, and Tanjidor as Dutch influence. Some leaders of Betawi artist are also quite popular as the late Ismail Marzuki, Haji Bokir, Mandra, and Mastur.

Meanwhile, Director of PSB, Prof. Dr. Ahmad Rodoni MM, said the establishment of PSB in UIN Jakarta is the right decision. “Besides being established in the region culturally and geographically included in Betawi, the establishment of PSB in UIN Jakarta also based on an amount of academics whose has Betawi background,” he said.

Rector of UIN Jakarta, Prof. Dr. Dede Rosyada MA, who opened the formal ceremony of PSB hoped that the existence of this facility could be the initiator of development and exploration of Betawi cultures. “Hopefully this can encourage the exploration and development of Betawi culture as part of the promotion of the nation in the future,” he said. (SM/LRF/ZM)

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