Indonesian National Costume
Indonesian men usually wore sarongs (typically with a checkered design) in the home. In public, this dress is only worn when attending Friday prayers in a mosque. For official national occasions, men tend to wear batik shirts along with trousers or teluk beskap, an arrangement of the Javanese coat and sarong. For formal events, Indonesian women tend to wear the kebaya – a gorgeous, figure-hugging embellished blouse worn along with a batik sarong which is generally dyed with beautiful flower motifs in vivid colours. On these events, women often tie their long hair into a bun, or attach a fake hairpiece. Moreover, they might drape an extended stretch of cloth known as “selendang“, on one shoulder. This material can be utilized as a head shawl on less formal events, used to fetch objects or babies. Indonesia has 300 different racial groups; each has their individual conventional dress modifications. The Minangkabau ethnic clan is native to the moorlands of West Sumatra. Their conventional dress comprises silk robes with hard thread woven in the fabric. Their headdress is formed like buffalo horns. While Toraja individuals live in the hilly regions of South Sulawesi. The women’s conventional costume features complex tassels and beadwork.
A Kebaya is actually a traditional blouse-dress arrangement worn by several women in Indonesia, Burma, Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore and even southern Thailand. It is occasionally made from total material and generally worn with a batik kain panjang or sarong, or other conventional woven dress like songket, ikat with a colourful design. The kebaya is in fact the national costume of Indonesia, though it is more precisely common to Javanese, Balinese and Sundanese people. Women’s costume in Islamic culture is actually based on a code of female modesty. Traditions of the time, social class and place of the woman in Indonesia influence what she may wear. Some alternatives comprise hijab – or self-effacing, movable clothing with a scarf on the head and beneath the chin – and burka, a more inclusive covering of the face, body and head. The motive for this austerity is so that woman is guarded from the lustful look of men. She should not draw attention from men in any way. However, it is allowed for a man to grasp the eye of a woman, it is haram (illegal) for a man to actually look twice as this stimulates lustful thoughts.
There is much supposition as to where kebaya could have come from. There are some individuals who say that kebaya originated in Middle East, while others dispute that it might have come from China. It is derived from Arabic phrase kaba meaning clothing and then introduced in Indonesia through the Portuguese lingo; the word kebaya has been referred to a dress whose origins look like a blouse. It was initially worn in Indonesia during some time in the 15th and 16th centuries. This dress is identical to what is categorized as an extended, fitted and flared kebaya called kebaya panjang actually worn in the 15th century by Portuguese women.
Characteristics of Indonesian National Costume:
- batik shirts worn with trousers or teluk beskap
- kebaya worn with batik sarong
- kebaya worn with batik kain panjang
- songket has a colourful desgn
- ikat has a plain design