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Osing Ethnic and Their Uniqueness – Let’s Get to Know Even Further

Osing Ethnic and Their Uniqueness – Let’s Get to Know Even Further

Banyuwangi is definitely a unique region in Java Island especially in the province of East Java. Despite the fact how the exposure of technology along with all its impact, Banyuwangi is among a few regions in Indonesia which can still highly respect its tradition. Related to this matter, Banyuwangi is often compared to Bali which is also still dense with the values of its tradition and culture.

Further about the tradition in Banyuwangi, we can’t put aside the existence of Osing ethnic. For your information, Osing ethnic is the “native” people of Banyuwangi. Until now, they are also still called as the people from Blambangan. Blambangan it self is the name given to the region before it turned into Banyuwangi. And historically speaking, Blambangan is the part of Majapahit Kingdom which is well-known as one of the biggest kingdoms in Java Island during the ancient time. The fact that Osing ethnic still lives with the ancient tradition which is derived from the ancestors from hundreds of year before is totally amusing and intriguing, right?

Source: Batikisoen Instagram

The Language

Like any other ethnics which can be found in Indonesia, each of them has their own language. It also applies to the Osing ethnic. Osing people still use Osing Language during their daily life activities and such language is derived from the old Javanese Language. If you think Osing Language is simple, you’re wrong. There are two classes in how the language is spoken. The first class is called regular Osing Language. And the second class is called goko-krama. Regular Osing is used between two people or more who are within the same age. Or it can also be used by the older people towards the younger ones. Meanwhile, in the case of goko-krama, it’s used as a kind of honorifics. It’s spoken by the younger people towards the older ones to give the respectful sense. There’s barely any grammatical difference between those two classes but they use different dictions or wordings. For instance, the word “bengai” (which means “night”) is actually the part of regular Osing Language. But in goko-krama class, the word transforms into “ndalu”. If you are the younger person and you say “bengai” to the older people, you will be valued as a rude person. That’s how Osing Language is being used by the community.

Another unique thing about Osing Language is related to how it’s pronounced (phonological matters). Like what has been mentioned before, Osing Language is derived from old Javanese Language. And in Javanese Language, basically the word for “night” is “bengi”. Nonetheless, in Osing community, the sound “i” is turned into diphthong “ai” and it creates “bengai”. Such transformation in Osing Language often happens from various Javanese words especially the ones which has “i” sound as the last sound.

Ilustration By Air8Studio.Com

Other Unique Facts about Osing Ethnic

Similar to the other ethnics in Indonesia, Osing Ethnic also has their special festivals ceremonies. Among them, the most popular one is called Tumpeng Sewu. It’s often valued as the huge feast for the community. Tumpeng Sewu is held during hajj month. If you don’t know about hajj month, is the month when Moslem people do their hajj in Mecca. For those who don’t go there, especially for the Osing Ethnic, they hold this ceremony with the intention to celebrate the month and to keep them away from disasters. Well, you can see how acculturation among Islamic, Hindu, and Javanese values can be seen from this single ceremony.

Osing Ethnic also has its own traditional clothing, musical instrument, and house. For the traditional clothing, to be honest, it’s still quite similar to the traditional clothing of Javanese people in common. The use of kebaya and jarik is often worn by female Osing. As for the male, they usually use a set of clothing called “surjan”. Quick fact about Osing Ethnic’s traditional clothing, it has become the part of uniforms worn by the civil service in the region of Banyuwangi. As for the musical instrument, Angklung Paglak is the one. This instrument is made of some bamboos cut in certain length and there’s hole in every piece of the bamboo. They way how Angklung Paglak is played is by hitting the bamboos to create harmonies of the tones. Normally, Angklung Paglak is played during harvesting moment.

Source : Kopai_Osing Instagram

And lastly, about the traditional house of Osing Ethnic, it’s also similar to the regular Javanese traditional house which is called Joglo. But, there’s a slight difference and it can be seen from how the roofing is made. There are two sides to construct the roofing and they are called “cerocogan”. Cerocogan represents the unification of men and women in a sacred bond of marriage. Each side has three parts to support the roofing called “tikel balung” which represents the hardships in family life. As for the roofing itself, it’s called “baresan” which symbolizes how those hardships are handled properly.

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