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Why Prabowo-Sandi Lost: Caught by the Javanese Tsunami Part 1
PLAYING WITH STEREOTYPES
The second reason why Javanese backed Jokowi, was Prabowo and Gerindra looking down and stereotyping people in Central Java. Prabowo uses the politics of fear, and he has been doing this since 2014, and it has worked pretty well .In 2019 Election Prabowo upped his game by stereotyping the Central Javanese, some of it was unintentional like the Boyolali incident
, others wasintentional like saying farmers in Central Java committed suicide
. Moreover, many Javanese started to see attacks against Jokowi personal attributes and religion as attacks against them, because they realized they played on stereotypes many other Indonesians have of Javanese. Why would Prabowo "insult" Javanese voters. There are two explanations
- They stereotyped voters in Central Java during the 2018 Governor's election, and they did reasonably well.
- Prabowo knew he would lose in Central Java, but it was to motivate voters in regions supporting him to not vote for Jokowi or PDI-P or you will end up like the Central Javanese.
From the 2018 Governor's campaign in Central Java, Gerindra-PKS coalition tried to place the blame on the poverty of Central Java on the PDI-P. Here is a good example
Dan bagaimana cara kerja mereka melanggengkan dominasi kekuasaan di Jawa Tengah di tengah masyarakat Jawa Tengah yang tetap miskin, (Waketum Gerindra, Ferry Juliantono ) The reality is PDI-P only had effective control over Central Java starting from 2013 when Ganjar Pranowo took ove
r. After Ganjar took over in 2013, there has been big jump in the amount of foreign investment Central Java has been receiving.
Under Jokowi, both East and Central Java economies didn't suffer very much from the drop in commodity prices. Compare to the last 4 years of the SBY period, growth in real per capita income dropped from 5.5% a year to 5% in East Java, while in Central Java it actually rose slightly from around 4.35% to 4.58%.
I am going to talk about Javanese stereotypes, because much of the hate toward Jokowi is rooted in him being a walking billboard of these stereotypes. Many upper middle class outer islander particularly in Sumatra have a negative attitude toward working class Javanese. First, the Javanese were seen as backward, poor, bangsa tempe and servile.
Literacy rate in Indonesia in the 1930s was about 8%, and among the Javanese much lower.
In 1930, some of the lowest adult literacy rates in all Indonesia were recorded in the sultanates of Jogyakarta and Surakarta, and one suspects the feudal social structure and poverty in those regions had militarted against the extension of education for any but the bangsawan (nobility)
In the colonial era, the highest rates were in Christian areas like Batakland, Manado, Ambon and followed by conservative Muslims areas like Aceh and West Sumatra. The Javanese were also poor
The Javanese transmigrants were the poorest and most deprived of the lot -- landless peasants. THe Javanese were also seen as Bangsa Tempe
Kami menggoyangkan langit, menggemparkan darat, dan menggelorakan samudera agar tidak jadi bangsa yang hidup hanya dari 2,5 sen sehari. Bangsa yang kerja keras, bukan bangsa tempe, bukan bangsa kuli. Bangsa yang rela menderita demi pembelian cita-cita,
At the time the only people in Indonesia who eat tempe were the Javanese and Sundanese.
Given the Javanese were also a hierarchical society, those Javanese peasants were easily pushed around by higher status locals. The victims depicted in Joshua Oppenheimer's sequel to the Act of Killing, Look of Silence, was a Javanese farming family
., while the perpetrators were Malays
Because of the hierarchical culture on Java, Javanese women and men were often better suited to be employed as household servants. Up until his second year he became President, Jokowi often acted deferentially toward Megawati.
To older generation of non-Javanese he was the Javanese man servant in his Blangkon and servant uniform asking the lady of the house what type of refreshments should he serve the guests. Even his name "Jokowi" was given by a Westerner which reinforces the image of servility..
To many older outer islanders, Jokowi could only be two things. With his medok accent, his skinny frame and his preference for food of the Javanese peasantry, Jokowi is a reincarnation of the 1960s PKI supporting Javanese plantation worker who wanted to overthrow traditional Malay rulers. Or with his servility toward Megawati, he is stereotypical Javanese butler. The second stereotype applies to working class abangan Javanese is they are childlike and gullible
. First the preference for sweet food among the Central Javanese gives off the air they are childlike. In making the Boyolali comment, Prabowo assumed the people of Boyolali, weren't just poor, but unaware of the wider world around them. This childlike image is reinforced by the tendency of working class Javanese to give their children one name, often very simple, names like Suharto, Sumarti, Wiranto, Mulyono and Suparman, The image of the childlike abangan Javanese is really reinforced by their preference for visual imagery over words whether or oral or written. Jokowi symbolizes this childlike nature by allowing people to use his nickname "Jokowi", his popularity with children and his preference for visual imagery. The third is Javanese are unislamic and Javanese Islam of the NU variety is improper
Prabowo's false statement of Central Javanese hanging reinforces the notion the Javanese aren't Muslim, because committing suicide is a sin in Islam,
First, the popular sentiment that Javanese are un islamic stems from the relative relaxed approach toward Islam found among the Javanese.. Eating dogs, frogs and snakes is popular in Central Java
. Here is a story of a Javanese Muslim pig farmer.
There is a tolerance about converting away from islam to other religions in Javanese society.
Secondly, Muslim Javanese often put interest of non-believers over Muslims, particularly if they are fellow Javanese. Javanese Christians make up the most of the missionaries operating in Muslims areas in Sumatra, and yet there are is little restriction on their activities relative to neighboring countries. In Singapore, a Christian can be arrested for trying to convert Muslims, in Indonesia they can't
Even NU has a habit of bashing Muslim countries over non-Muslim ones, when fellow Javanese are affected.
Ketua Umum Pengurus Besar Nahdlatul Ulama (PBNU) KH Said Aqil Siroj, turut menyikapi terjadinya penembakan terhadap Tenaga Kerja Indonesia (TKI) di Malaysia. Terjadi ironi dalam kejadian tersebut, dimana TKI di negara non-Muslim dinilainya mendapatkan perlakuan yang lebih baik dibandingkan negara berpenduduk mayoritas Islam
As for the opinion on NU style Islam or Islam Nusantara being improper. People like Rizieq Shabib have criticized Islam Nusantara, but even he is careful enough to say it in jest. What many want to say is NU is "deviant", which only people in organizations like HTI would say openly. What Malay in Malaysia say about Indonesian (Javanese) is what Conservative Sumtrans Muslim think about the Javanese in the deep recess of their consciousness, but don't dare say. The forth stereotype is the Javanese close association with non-Muslims or even secretly being non-Muslim.
These reasons are rooted in history and political considerations.
First, the diffusion of Islam among the Javanese was slow and ad hoc. In the 19th century, in the interior regions of Java, among the abagan peasants, religion was most likely a combination of hindu-buddhism, folk religion and Islam. It didn't help that Quran wasn't fully translated (Kitab tafsir) into Javanese until the last decade of 19th century. Many Muslim Sumatrans, particularly the Acehnese, view the Javanese tolerance of Christianity as a Javanese weakness and servility to the West.
Secondly, outside of Habibie, who's father wasn't Javanese, all of Indonesia's Javanese Presidents have been slandered for having non-Muslims family members or being accused of being non-Muslim themselves, whether real or not. Sukarno's mother was Balinese Hindu
, and many believed she had remained Hindu and died a Hindu, Sukarno had to release a photo showing her Muslim funeral ceremony. Tien Suharto was often accused of being born a Catholic
. Suharto himself was rumored to be the bastard offspring of a Chinese merchant .Even SBY wasn't immune, there was rumors flying that Ibu Ani was Christian, since her maiden name was Kristiani Herrawati and she went to Christian University of Indonesia
. Jokowi's daughter in law was Christian, and luckily for Jokowi the national press,
which is controlled largely by Chinese Indonesians, didn't mention her former religion or her conversion to Islam.
Thirdly, Jokowi and Suharto like the Sultans before them use non-Muslims advisors. The Sultan often kept Balinese political and Chinese economic advisors
. A Balinese advisor would know the intricacies of the Sultan's relations with various noble houses, but because they weren't Muslim, wouldn't pose a threat. One of Suharto most trusted advisors was Benny Moerdani, and Luhut Panjaitan serves the same function for Jokowi.
Fourthly, the Javanese have complicated relationship with Chinese Indonesians. Relations with Chinese and the javanese were generally good until the late 18th century, when the Dutch and Sultanate of Yogyakarta and Surakarta started sub-contracted the collector of tolls to the Chinese, as non-Muslims they didn't pose a political threat, and the Chinese would act as scapegoats.
After independence, Javanese Presidents have preferred to leave Chinese businesses alone, or favored them over Muslim outer islanders. The reasons are two fold, as non-Muslim, Chinese Indonesians don't pose a political threat, and because the Javanese as an agricultural society don't have a large business class. In contrast, other predominately Muslim ethnic groups in Indonesia, like the Minang and Bugis do, and see the Chinese as competitors. This is the reason why Suharto had no problem giving monopolies to Sudono Salim, at the expense of pribumi businessmen.
If you look at relations with Singapore/China/Chinese Indonesians, Habibie had the most distant relationship. While Suharto's enacted discriminatory policies toward Chinese Indonesians, his close relations with Chinese Indonesian businessmen negated this in the eyes of many Indonesians. While Sukarno, Megawati and Gus Dur might have better policies toward China and Chinese Indonesian than Jokowi, their personal connections with the Chinese isn't as strong as Jokowi. Jokowi as a furniture exporter had a lot of business in Singapore, Taiwan and Hong Kong. He sent his two sons to Singapore to study for both secondary school and university.
Because the relaxed nature of Javanese Islam and Javanese are the work horses of Nusantara, they often work for non-Muslims. Most of the staff working in non-halal Chinese restaurants are Javanese. Javanese maids prefer working in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore, while Muslim maids from other ethnic groups in Indonesia prefer to work in the Middle East or Malaysia.
Jokowi is attacked so viciously is 1) He comes from a working class Javanese abangan, a pagan people only recently "tamed" by Islam 2) He is a member of the PDI-P, which many conservatives believe is a reconstituted PKI.
We know Jokowi's father was Muslim. But what about his grand father and great grandfather. Jokowi could claim they were Muslim, but how Muslim were Javanese peasants in the Central Java interior in the early 20th and late 19th century? The Javanese sultan never cared if ordinary Javanese under his rule didn't convert to Islam. Secondly, because the Sultans felt the pesantrens threatened their authority, and until the 20th century restricted clerical activity on their lands.
For the Acehnese, Minang and Malays, the abangan were just a step above the Christian Batak, a people they have a long history of conflict with. The same with Malays vs Dayak, The Batak
would raid Acehnese and Minang settlements in head hunting expeditions, and the Acehnese and Minang would retilate by raiding Batak settlements for slaves. The Dayaks
also launched headhunting raids into Malay settlements, . The Dayaks more often served as slaves and occupying menial jobs in Malay communities in Kalimantan
The two other ethnic Javanese Presidents of humble birth, Suharto and SBY avoided this scrutiny by doing exactly that. Suharto did so by being the architect in purging hundred of thousands of mostly Javanese abangan for this membership in the PKI. Or in the case of SBY marrying into the family of the lead figure in the purges in Central Java, Sarwo Edhie Wibowo. Jokowi hasn't done anything that reassures his detractors of his loyality.
CULTURE CLASH: INDONESIAN CAMPAIGN VS JAVANESE CAMPAIGN
The third reason why Prabowo-Sandi lost heavily to Jokowi in Tanah Jawa, is Prabowo ran a Indonesian campaign, while Jokowi ran a Javanese campaign. ECONOMIC MODEL
Traditionally the Javanese and Sundanese traded rice, a labor intensive crop, for land intensive crops of the outer islands. In the 18h century new lands were opened up on Java, and cash crops were planted, this expanded greatly in the 19th century under the cultivation system. When land ran out on Java,, the Europeans opened plantations in the outer islands (Sumatra). The British did the same in Malaya. Both the Dutch and British imported labor from Java, China and India for the plantations and mines. When Indonesia became independent, this economic system of extracting natural resources and trading them continued. Transmigration program exported Javanese and Balinese to serve as the manpower for newly opened lands.
Gerindra is comfortable with this economic model and its analogies. For Gerindra it all comes down to lack of strong and wise leadership. First they assume land and natural resources is Indonesia's most valuable resource, but resources need tp be better managed
. Secondly, it has a confused economic message. It argues Java is reaping all growth and development, but calls Central Java poor. The accusations, Java is benefiting more happens every time there is a commodity crash.
Thirdly, there is a assumption working class Indonesians will take up any job they want them to do.
In the first term, Jokowi has promoted tourism and creative industries (e-commerce, film). In his second Jokowi plans lay the ground work for improving Indonesia's manufacturing base, particularly in East and Central Java. The reason why Jokowi given a priority to these industries is there are labor intensive and the majority of Indonesia's population, particularly on Java, don't live in areas blessed with land and natural resources. You need as much foreign investment and expertise as possible, and that is why Jokowi has opened them up.
Even during the campaign stops in Central and East Java, Prabowo hammered at the natural resource theme
. Its shows a lack of understanding Java's economic history . In the 1930s, Java was the second largest exporter of sugar in the world after Cuba, In Java and Cuba's case the reason for the decline was nationalization and mismanagement, but the real reason was competition from Brazil.
Also starting from the 1970s, sugar cane farming moved from Java to the outer islands. Brazil wants to repeat what they did to Java in the 1950-60s with Palm Oil
The Javanese have been sending people abroad to work for 150 years, whether within Indonesia or in other countries. Unlike other ethnic groups like Minang or Bugis, where most migrants are men, lower class Javanese women also migrate in search of work, in some cases in greater numbers than men. The priority for the Javanese is breaking this cycle of migration.
Javanese society has an agrarian working class mentality, not a trading mentality. They don't care whether they work for a foreign or local company, the most important thing is they get paid on time, which Prabowo doesn't have a habit of doing with his own companies.
To your average working class youth in small town in East Java, what is the difference between working in Sumatra vs Taiwan? There are 270,000 Indonesians working in Taiwan, a good % of them are working in factories. How do you convince the Taiwanese factory owner to move his factory in Central Java? Prabowo-Sandi offers no credible solutions to getting the factory owner to move the factory. NATIONAL CAMPAIGN VS REGIONAL CAMPAIGN
Prabowo ran a national campaign with the same 2014 message, of elites and foreigners stealing Indonesia's natural resources, and he is the only one who can stop them. The difference this time was the added veneer of Islam, His last campaign rally in Surakarta, it looked like it could have been taken place in West Sumatra or Banten
. In contrast, Jokowi campaign rallies were tailored to the region. In Surakarta, PDI-P red dominated and you had dangdut singers performing
, while in more conservative cities in East Java, supporters from NU dominated
It was noticeable in advertising. The difference between Prabowo's music videos this year
and in 2014
. It was like Prabowo decided to change his sex and become a born again Muslim all at the same time. Nevertheless, Prabowo's video are like a typical music video, you have background and singers signing a catchy campaign tune
. Jokowi's Goyang Jempol campaign video has a storyline mixed in with the song
, which is typical of Javanese music videos produced by groups like Guyon Waton and Pendhoza. Goyang Jempol gives the impression you are in some 3rd tier town in Central or East Java, while in Prabowo's videos they could be anywhere in Indonesia. The characters are dressed how working class Indonesians would dress when going to the market . Lastly, they also mix in common Javanese words most Indonesians would understand. ARCHETYPES
The final problem with Prabowo-Sandi's campaign in Tanah Jawa was they went in with Indonesian archetypes. Archetype is defined as a typical example of a person or thing. For our purposes archetype is representative voter persona. The problem with the Indonesian media is they refuse or too scared to acknowledge certain archetype exist. A typical Indonesian archetype might not necessarily resonate well with Javanese voters. The PDI-P and NU, being primarily Javanese organizations, know and target those archetypes. Even in mature democracies people can miss out on archetypes. In the book "Great Revolt" about Trump's 2015 election win, the authors into depth about archetypes
. People talk about social media advertising as a conduit for creation of hoaxes. But the true value of social media advertising is marketing to archetypes.
Certain archetype exists in one society, but not in others. Many Sumatran ethnic groups don't have a large working class, people who work for a wage for non-relatives. In Javanese society because of its size and social conditions, there is a large Javanese working class. When you think of Indonesian maid, you don't think of a Acehnese or Minang woman named Siti Fatimah, but a Javanese woman named Sumiarti. When you think of a carpenter or word carver its usually a Javanese fellow name Mulyono or Balinese man named Nyoman, not Ahmad Nasution..
The Javanese are experts are creating archetypes. The wayang characters are all archetypes. Soekarno created a modern archetype in mythologizing his childhood maid, Sarinah.
Now, I will show you how the Indonesian media and Prabowo-Sandi approach a particular archetype, and why it fell flat in the Javanese context. During the election Prabowo-Sandi used the emak-emak archetype for Indonesian women. An emak-emak is defined as
Long before the recent sensation around the term, emak was understood by many Indonesian women (especially middle-aged women) to imply power, agency, toughness, mobility, freedom, resilience, independence, as well as stubbornness.
There have been a lot of memes about emak-emak. Prabowo's Sandi's side was done a campaign video with emak-emak
. Sandi: Kita Tidak Boleh Remehkan The Power of Emak-Emak
. The emak-emak video is a good example of how they approach archetypes.
Jokowi's camp was caught off guard, and wanted to use the term emak-emak, but Jokowi backtracked
Two weeks ago, the Indonesian Women’s Congress (KWI) denounced the use of the term emak-emak,(link is external) and declared a preference for Indonesian mothers to be called ibu bangsa (mothers of the nation). Reflecting how politicised this debate has now become, Jokowi soon after tweeted in support of ibu bangsa,(link is external)
First emak-email falls short in Javanese society for several reasons. First, it reminds people of Suharto era archetype of women largely as mothers.
Secondly, Javanese society has organizations that place women's role as equal or close to equal as men. PDI-P, Indonesia's largest political party, is organization dominated at the top by Javanese women. NU and PKB have strong women's branches. In East Java's the governor and the mayor of the largest city are women. In Jokowi's cabinet, the Finance and Foreign Affairs Minister are Javanese women tHE Sultan of Yogyakarta and his daughter IS trying to upend centuries of tradition. Among lower class women in Indonesia, Javanese women, because of labor surplus, have a long history of travelling to other regions in search of work
Thirdly, the Sandi-Prabowo camp doesn't have room for single women and fallen women
. In the Indonesian context, fallen women includes divorced women, women who marry non-Muslim men, women who convert and women in the entertainment industry (dangdut singers, bargirls etc). A good example is Susi Pudjiastuti, even though she is Sundanese, she is from Pangandaran, a region with a lot of Javanese influence. It is next door to Central Java, and this region acted as launch pad for Mataram Sultanate invasion of West java
. It is culturally similar to regions on Jalur Pantura, in the North Coast of Java. All these regions have a seedy underbelly.
RISING JAVANESE IDENTITY
Lastly, Prabowo-Sandi's loss in Tanah Jawa was due to a rising Javanese identity. There are three factor to this rising identity. The first is rising availability of cheap broadband in Central and East Java, this allows the Javanese to use their preferred medium and social network, videos and Youtube. This enables people to connect and expresses themselves outside the national media. The second, is the sentiment which Javanese culture and language has reached a critical juncture, and more must be done to safeguard it. The last is decentralization which contributed to the rise of modern regional politicians like Jokowi.
Since Jokowi became President in 2014, you see a rise in Javanese popular culture whether the rise in popularity of singers who sing in Javanese with Nella Kharisma and Via Vallen being the most popular. Last year the first full length Javanese film, Yowis Ben
was released. While musicians who sing Javanese Dangdut or Campursari have been popular like Didi Kempot, their image was kitschy and old fashioned. However, what is more important is what is happening online, particularly on youtube. Bayu Skak, Yowis Ben's director and lead actor, got his start on youtube. Youtube has extended the reach of existing Javanese singers. People might not want to buy a cassette or CD, but won't mind listening to one song. Some of the new Javanese musicians like Guyon Waton
, Pendhoza and NDXAKA primary distribution channel and revenue model is youtube. The importance of youtube, doesn't just extend to popular culture, but as channel for voices that aren't fully represented in the national media. Javanese Kyai, some known to the national media and others less well known, use youtube as a medium to release sermons and discussions. There are youtube channels of life in contemporary rural Java, farming, channels by maids working overseas
Youtube channels are like reliefs in Borobudur,
The bas-reliefs in Borobudur depicted many scenes of daily life in 8th-century ancient Java, from the courtly palace life, hermit in the forest, to those of commoners in the village. It also depicted temple, marketplace, various flora and fauna, and also native vernacular architecture. People depicted here are the images of king, queen, princes, noblemen, courtier, soldier, servant, commoners, priest and hermit.
Javanese are introverted and like to communicate visually and through storytellimg, because you can express yourself without confronting people. Many of these youtube channels were started within the last five years. If you watch enough of these videos, you being to realize why Jokowi resonates with his fellow Javanese. A theme found in Javanese Dangdut songs, whether in lyrics or the videos, is work and struggle. Laoneis Band - Ayo Kerjo
, Pendhoza - Aku Cah Kerjo
, NDXAKA - Pamit Kerjo
. Even music videos that aren't about work, the characters in the video are seen working like Guyon Waton Korban Janji
and DARBOY GENK - BALUNGAN KERE
. The theme of work play heavily in Jokowi's image and slogans. Kabinet-Kerja and the slogan Kerja, Kerja, Kerja Loss of Culture
Idur Fitri is upon us, and people have arrived in their hometowns. Javanese families in Jakarta will take their kids to see the grandparents in Tenah Java. One refrain will be heard tens of thousand times across Central and East Java, will be grand parents scolding parents for not teaching their grand kids Javanese. There is this youtuber, Budi Sarwono, who did a series of videos in Suriname talking to Javanese there. Here is the top rated comment
on one of the videos
The efforts to attract foreign investment in Javanese home provinces is to stop migration which often leads to culture and language loss. Even in East and Central Java teachers are worried about the declining use of Javanese among young people, and are trying to reverse the trend
. Its also the reason why groups like Pendhoza and Guyon Waton
are invited by schools to hold concerts. Javanese is the most widely spoke n language in the world without official status
There is a long held view among many Westerners and many people in the outer islands, that Indonesia is a Javanese Empire. However, the Javanese didn't force anyone to learn Javanese, instead they learned Malay, If regions in Indonesia decided separate and form individual independent countries after independence, cultureally those in Sumatra and Kalimantan wouldn't look too different to what we have today. A Sundanese or Javanese state would be culturally very different from what we find in their respective regions today. Its why Sumatrans and Malaysia embrace Islam so strongly, because their "language" is protected. While Minang is different from Malay, its not fundamentally different the way Javanese is. In his 1966 work The Language of Indonesian Politics Benedict Anderson explains how different Javanese is to Malay
When discussion were held as to what language to use as a national language, the Javanese had much lower literacy rates than people in Sumatra. Most of the schools setup by the Dutch on Java were still teaching in Malay. Not only was Malay easier to learn than Javanese, it also had the advantage of a much larger pool of teachers spread out across the country. In the 1910s some Javanese tried to setup modern Javanese schools like Taman Siswa
, and the Dutch setup Kartini schools
which taught Javanese and Dutch. If there was more literate Javanese there would have been a greater push to make it the national language. I suspect the priority for Javanese leaders was to educate the millions of illiterate landless Javanese peasants, to speak Malay, so they could integrate more easily with Malay speaking communities in Sumatra and Borneo.
JOKOWI: THE JAVANESE MUSE AND STORYTELLER
The decisive factor in Prabowo-Sandi horrible loss in the Javanese homeland was they faced Joko Widodo, Indonesia's most potent base politician she has seen -- a base politician is a politician who draws the bulk of his support from group of people. Jokowi is the most Javanese of all of Indonesia's Presidents. Jokowi got 56% of the vote, 15% points comes from non- Javanese Muslim voters, 11% points from religious minorities and 30% points come from his fellow Javanese. Jokowi won over 70% of the Javanese vote.
Jokowi is the embodiment of Javanese hopes, struggles, frustrations and injustices. While Sukarno could inspire ordinary Javanese, he never had the same emotional connection Jokowi had with ordinary Javanese. Unlike Soekarno and Prabowo, Jokowi doesn't manipulate people's emotions, but channels them. In Yogyakarta on March 26, 2019, Jokowi made an angry speech
Sudah empat setengah tahun saya difitnah, dijelek-jelekkan, dihujat, dihina, saya diam, tetapi hari ini di Yogya, saya akan lawan, ingat, sekali lagi, saya akan lawan,
If you look at the angry crowds in East and Central Java jeering at FPI convoys, Jokowi was channeling that anger.
Unlike in 2014, in Jokowi spoke more Javanese, wore the Blangkon
more often, and used more Javanese symbolism. But more importantly, from the start he was much more combative, like he was leading his people to
Selamat siang. Segala sifat keras hati, picik, dan angkara murka hanya bisa dikalahkan dengan sikap bijak, lembut, dan sabar.
For Javanese traditionalist (aka 80 year old Javanese grandmothers), Jokowi is the epitome of Javanese manners, good behavior and respect for elders. Older people in Dharmic cultures like the Sundanese and Balinese see Jokowi attitude toward Megawati and how he treats people older than him, regardless of class, as a virtue
. Its why Jokowi polls extremely high among people 71 and over, 65% to 19% compared to Prabowo, and if you go back to 2014 it is the same
. Even the Western press consider Prabowo mentally unstable and explosive, how do you think your average 75 year Javanese would feel?
Jokowi is a stereotypical Javanese. He is introverted, more comfortable with symbols and visual imagery than words. Sukarno and Prabowo communication style is stereotypical Malay, not Javanese, with their speeches being bombastic and fiery. The same could apply to Rizieq Shibab, who is more bite than bark. This is in sharp contrast to a Javanese-Arab like Abu Bakar Ba'asyir. Being bombastic and fiery is one Malay speaking style, another is putting word play above action, a good example is Fadli Zon and Anies Baswedan. WIth Prabowo and Anies you remember what they say, with Jokowi you don't, but you remember him from images, like this
As I said before, Jokowi presidency can be defined by the slogan "Kerja. kerja, kerja". Some people have criticized this slogan as Ketua Umum Pengurus Pusat (PP) Pemuda Muhammadiyah, Dahnil Azhar Simanjuntak said
Menurut saya ini tradisi buruk, kata-kata kerja, kerja, kerja itu cuma ungkapan untuk menganulir pikir, pikir, pikir. Karena nggak bisa mikir, maka pilihan katanya adalah kerja, kerja, kerja. Karena nggak bisa pidato, maka pilihan katanya adalah kerja, kerja, kerja untuk menutupi ketidakmampuan yang sesungguhnya,
What Simanjuntak wants to say "Is what does a working class abangan carpenter know about government, its not like making a coffee table for the Nonya" While the national media didn't criticize the slogan, but they didn't put much thought into it. As I said before, for working class Javanese, there is a strong connection. Unlike most other ethnic groups in Nusantara, the Javanese have a long history of working to the bone. Jalur Pantura which was built over one year, and which thousands of forced Javanese and Sundanese laborers died building it
. Even with Jokowi, this work to death culture is reflected in the number of workers killed in accidents due to disregard for safety
While Trump's medium is twitter, Jokowi's medium is photos and youtube. Jokowi communicates visually through symbols and storyboard (video), Ganjar Pranowo , the governor of Central Java, also has a video channel as well as that official channel. In a previous comment I described the significance of Jokowi's taking up the hobby of archery and the photo with his wife
. His youtube channel is like a modern version of the relief panels in Borobudur. Imagine Jokowi is the lead stone mason in Borobudur, he is sculpting the grand story, like the life of the Buddha, through his youtube channel. Or he could telling the story of Arjuna was inspecting his kingdom before the battle with Rawasa in the Javanese Kekawin Arjunawijaya, His videos of him visiting finished tolls roads, dams, airports is like Arjuna on an inspection tour. While junior stone masons are working on reliefs panels of ordinary Javanese life, just as hundreds of ordinary Javanese are telling their life journey through youtube. Why Prabowo-Sandi Lost: Caught by the Javanese Tsunami Part I
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