The in society. Behavior in cultures is one that

The main role of youth in preserving the traditional
Indonesian culture to face the threat of diffusion from globalization in the
digital era


Muhammad Iriandru
Pradipta Putra, Industrial Engineering

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Faculty of

Sebelas Maret Surakarta

Email: [email protected]



has been known as a nation with remarkable artistic works and traditional
cultures. Traditional culture expressions in Indonesia have been so vary
because many ethnics are living in Indonesia with higher level of artistic
creativities and traditional culture expressions. In the
development of national cultural life it is necessary for the youth to have a
positive perception and need to participate in an effort to preserve the
national culture.  But, they are more
proud to follow the foreign culture that enters into their lives and they are
reluctant to preserve our own culture. Imagine the our children in the future
do not recognize the culture that we have, they only know the foreign culture that
growing rapidly. In this essay also discusses the influence of globalization in
the digital era on national culture which is the diffusion process will occur
quickly. Lack of awareness of the preservation of our culture leads to an
indifferent attitude toward the development of our culture and effect to our
culture that obscured by incoming foreign culture. Surely, we also do not want
the national culture that still exist also dissapear.

Key word:
Culture, National cultural, Difussion, Youth



















            Along with the rapid development of the times there
have been many changes on lifestyle in society. Behavior in cultures is one
that changes. Nowadays, society prefer to use incoming foreign cultures rather
than using our own culture which has existed for a long time. It makes our
culture difficult to grow and even disappear. Majority of society now assume
that foreign culture is much better and freely from the rules of our own
culture. This is also possible because of our lack of filtering out the culture
that goes into our environment, so that foreign culture freely circulated among
us without through the screening process first. Coupled with globalization that
makes foreign culture easier into Indonesia.

Globalization bring many positive and negative
influence. The positive impact of globalization, technology and transportation
are more advanced, science is also evolving. But, because of the influence of
globalization, there are many foreign cultures also come to our country.
Because of that, many youth prefer foreign culture rather than traditional
culture. It is because of their mindset that if foreign culture is more modern
and more popular, so their awareness in preserving traditional culture is vanished.

Because of that, we as
society should be worrying about the existancy of traditional culture. In the
past, the traditional culture in our country was uncountable because of its
wide variety. Traditional dance, traditional language, traditional musical instruments,
and many more. But nowadays, there is just a few traditional culture in our
country. It is rare now to see youth willing to concern the traditional culture
of our country. Because their beliefs about traditional culture are wrong. They
are ashamed to admit if traditional culture is their culture.

If we are filtering out
the incoming foreign culture wisely, then traditional culture has the greater
opportunity to grow. We can not imagine if the foreign culture entered without
any limitations. Our existing culture will be lost and abandoned. It will be
different if we can restrict the incoming foreign culture then our existing
culture will still be used because there is still space to grow among the
community itself.


Literature Review


is the social behavior and norms in human societies. Culture is considered a
central concept in anthropologhy, encompassing the range of phenomena that are
transmitted through social learning in human societies. Some aspects of human
behavior, social practices such as culture, sxpenssive forms such as art,
music, dance, ritual, and religion, and technologies such as tool usage,
cooking, shelter and clothing are said to be cultural universals, found in all
human societies. The concept of material
culture covers the physical expressions
of culture, such as technology, architecture and art, whereas the immaterial
aspects of culture such as principles of social organization
(including practices of political organization and social institution),
mythology, philosopy, literature (both written and oral), and science comprise
the intangible heritage of a society.

in English is similarly as “budaya” in Indonesian. The word “budaya” itself
roots from Sanskrit “budhayah” meaning as thought or intellectuality. In
general, culture may be defined as a something produced by the thought and
intellectuality of humans when they develop and maintain their life within
their environment.

Cultural Diffusion

In cultural anthropology and cultural geography, cultural
diffusion, as conceptualized by Leo
Frobenius in his 1897/98 publication Der
westafrikanische Kulturkreis, is the spread of cultural items such as
ideas, styles, religions, technologies, languages, and etc. Between
individuals, wther within a single culture from one culture to another. It is
disticnt from the diffusion of innovations within a specific culture. Through
cultural diffusion, horizons are broadened and people become more culturally
rich. The mixing of world cultures through
different ethnicities, religions, and nationalities has only increased with
advanced communication, transportation, and technology.


Globalization is the increasing interaction of people, states, or countries
through the growth of the international flow of money, ideas, and culture.
Globalization is primarily an economic process of integration that has social
and cultural aspects. It involves goods and services, and the economic
resources of capital, technology, and data. The steam
locomotive, steamship, jet
engine, and container
ships are some of the advances in the
means of transport while
the rise of the telegraph and
its modern offspring, the Internet and mobile
phones show development in telecommunications infrastructure. All of these improvements we enjoy in
the modern era have been major factors in globalization and have generated
further interdependence of economic and cultural activities.


Society is
a group of people
involved in persistent social interaction, or a large social group sharing the
same geographical or social territory, typically subject to the same political
authority and dominant cultural expectations. Societies are characterized by
patterns of relationships (social relations) between
individuals who share a distinctive culture and institutions; a given society
may be described as the sum total of such relationships among its constituent
of members. In the social sciences, a larger society
often evinces stratificationor dominance patterns in


            Youth is the time
of life when one is young, and often means the time between childhood and adulthood (maturity). It is
also defined as “the appearance, freshness, vigor, spirit, and etc.”. Its definitions of a specific age range varies, as youth is not
defined chronologically as a stage that can be tied to specific age ranges.
Youth is an experience that may shape an individual’s level of dependency,
which can be marked in various ways according to different cultural


Indonesia is really a big
country. From Sabang to Merauke, Indonesia
has an estimated 17,508 islands, but only around 6.000 islands are
inhabited.  It comprises five main islands, which are Sumatra, Jawa,
Kalimantan, Sulawesi, and Papua (the western half of Papua New Guinea). With a
population of 258.316.051
(CIA World
Factbook, 2016)
people, Indonesia is considered as the
fourth most populous nation, and 58% of its people live in Java Island. The
large population also brings about the diversity.

Indonesia has grown rapidly
since independence 72 years ago. Not only because of its vast area, Indonesia
is also known as a country that has magnificent nature. Lots of very beautiful
tourist destinations, even one of them have entered as the world seven wonder. Indonesia
also has various ethnic group that widespread everywhere throughout the region.
Each ethnic group has different languages, food, customs, traditions and etc.
The culture of each ethnic group in Indonesia is very diverse, from culture that
held annually, to culture that held daily. Ninety-five
percent of over 300 ethnic groups in Indonesia are of native Indonesian
ancestry. The ethnic groups in Indonesia, in order of size, are as follows:
Javanese, which makes up nearly 42% of the total population; Sundanese, 31%;
Malay, 3.7%; Maduranese, 3.3%, and others, 26%.  The Javanese live mostly
in Java Island, but due to government transmigration programs, millions have
migrated to other islands throughout the archipelago. There are also ethnic
Chinese populations, which make up 1% of the total population. Indians and
Arabs live mostly in urban areas. However,
they can live together peacefully with spirit of “Bhinneka Tunggal Ika”.

Indonesia is known
for its diverse cultures. There is no exact number that can be mention the
number of cultures in Indonesia. Around hundreds of cultures are widespread
throughout Indonesia. Traditional culture in Indonesia can form traditional houses,
dance, singing, clothing food, and etc. Only few people just know the widely
known culture such as Padang, Java, Kalimantan and others. In addition, there
are many areas that have cultural diversity. Lack of information of the others
cultures makes only few people know about that. Traditional culture has evolve
until now.

Indonesian culture and art reflects regional histories,
relegions and influences of the archipelago’s mind-boggling array of ethnic
groups. Indonesia arts can be classified in to the three main streams within
Indonesia. The first, is that of the outer Indonesia, the islands of Sumatra,
Kalimantan, Sulawesi, Sulawesi, Nusa Tenggara, Papua and Maluku, which have
strong animist traditions. Carvings, weaving, pottery etc, have developed from
a tribal art in which art objects are part of worship. The second stream is
that inner Indonesia, the islands of Java and Bali that have come under the
greatest influence from Hindu-Budha tradition. The Technique and styles that
built Borobudur and the Indian Epics
such as The Mahabarata, that form the basis for wayang theatre are still a
major influence in arts. The third influences is that of Islam, which not so
much introduced its own art & crafts traditions, but modified existing

In history,
Indonesian culture has existed since the time of the empire. Beginning around
the 2nd century, there are many empires in our country. The Kutai Empire,
Tarumanegara, Singasari, Majapahit, Demak, Malaka and others are some large empires
that had grown in Indonesia, even the Majapahit Empires is the largest empire
in Indonesia. Stretching form Java, Sumatra, Kalimantan, peninsula Malaya, until
east. Majapahit was one of the last major empires of the region and is
considered to be one of the greatest and most powerful empires in the history
of Indonesia and Southeast Asia. The
Majapahit Empire influenced many Indonesian cultures from building to literary

The culture
continues to grow until now. However, the development of culture in Indonesia
has fluctuate in its journey. That cultures, should be preserved by us because
of that is a valuable treasure that will make our country keep beautiful at its
way. As youth, we also should be proud to the traditional culture.

But lately, the culture
has begun to be forgotten along with the emergence of a foreign culture, also
we can say a modern culture. Technological advancements coupled with the easier
of access that can allow the foreign culture into Indonesia. In the current era
of globalization, access to foreign cultures in Indonesia is getting easier. Many
foreign life and foreign culture which is for youth as modern culture, can
eliminate indigenous culture of Indonesia.

Fidget spinner,
slime, party, hip-hop music, and even Korean pop or Korean drama are some
examples of foreign cultures that enter Indonesia and spread to everywhere.
Many of youth even kids just enjoy the trend. They think it will be cool if
they follow the trend. Some of them, willing to spend a lot of money just to
follow the trend. Actually, if we act ordinary to this trend and not too
excessive then the bad consequences will not happen. The fact is quite
different, they follow this trend even they think this trend is everything.
Because youth  are more attracted to
these things, traditional cultures are threatened since youth prefer foreign
cultures beside of their own culture.

As mentioned
before, one of the key factors in the degradation of Indonesian culture is there
are no future generations who care about Indonesian culture. Many of youth
prefer foreign cultures that they think more cool, modern, and not ancient. Compared
to youth, adults are knowing more about traditional culture and actively
preserving them. Usually we see traditional dance or traditional music players that
are those who are no longer young. They always try to introduce traditional culture
to the public in the hope that there will be future generations who spirit to
participate in preserving traditional culture.

If we not doing
anything, then that conditions will make the traditional culture vanished from
the life of society. Even though, traditional culture is a very valuable asset
and needs to be preserved. Traditional culture will lose with technology
advances, that may be more interesting when compared to our culture. With technology
advances, people can easily get entertainment that makes them happy than just
preserving traditional culture.

Living in the
digital era is a good advantage but can become very dependent to it. Most of
the youth today can not be separated from that kind of technology in daily
life. Actually,the  technology advances
is good if used for activities that are beneficial and in reasonable portions.
The use of internet for lifestyle is one of them. Asosiasi Penyelenggara Jasa
Internet Indonesia (APJII) make a national survey of Indonesian internet users
in 2016. The results show that the number of Internet users in Indonesia in
2016 is 132.7 million users or about 51% of the total population of Indonesia.
Mostly, Internet users are on Java Island with a total of 86.339.350 users or
about 65% of the total use of the Internet. Compared to the users of Internet
Indonesia in 2014 there are 88.1 million users. There is an increase of 44.6
million within 2 years (2014 – 2016) and this number will continue to grow
every year.

The advancement of
information technology or communications technology has been trigger the
cultural diffusion, while also becoming an alternative to get entertainment for
the society especially youth. As a result, there is no interest to enjoy the
traditional performing arts. For the example is the traditional art of wayang
orang on Balekambang Park Surakarta. Wayang orang is one of the traditional
culture which is usually played with two until ten people, the show should be
very interesting. But in Balekambang, there is just a few people that enjoy the
show and there is no youth in there. This is unfortunate since the wayang orang
is one of traditional Indonesian art that we can get the moral messages from
the story.

Wayang orang is a
small example of the traditional arts that began to be forgotten due to the
incessant foreign culture entering Indonesia. It could be that this phenomenon
is not only experienced by traditional Javanese arts, but also in various
expressions of traditional art in various places in Indonesia. Globalization
seems to be a boomerang in the cultural aspect for our country.

Slowly but sure,
globalization has caused the traditional culture vanished. Youth choose spend
their time accessing the internet than the learn of traditional dance from
their own culture. They will feel proud can imitate the foreign style and
consider the traditional culture are not cool and very ancient.

If we reviewed through a global aspect, globalization
coupled with the rapid advancement of technology becomes a challenge for all
aspects of life as well as those associated with culture. This era, demands our
readiness to adjust the future and be able to take every opportunity.
Traditional culture in Indonesia is actually more creative and not imitative,
which becomes a problem is to maintain the identity of our nation. As a simple
example, the culture in Indonesia is now almost eroded, people live
individually and do not want to know with others is a reflection that seems

Culture should be
priceless, but now it becomes not valuable in the society. This disrespectful
attitude has a bad effect on the development of traditional culture in our
country. One of the way to preserve traditional culture is the attitudes and
behavior of their own people, especially youth as the next generation. If in
every person there is a strong nationalism spirit, preserving the traditional
culture is a pride, but the youth generation today assume the opposite. They
believe that strive to preserve the culture its a compulsion. So the sustainability
of the traditional culture also depends heavily on the youth who have
nasionalism spirit.

But, society also
do not necessarily close themselves from the world. We must keep our mind open
and always be prepared if there is a greater wave of globalization. Always
follow the positive trend and technology advances is also needed so that
Indonesia is not getting worse. Globalization will always provide change, we
must choose wisely whether these cultures are positive or negative. That way we
can accept foreign cultures smartly by emphasizing nationalism

As youth, we must be
smart in exploiting the technology advances. Actually technology advances can
be used for preserving traditional culture. Such as creating an application
that contains about the culture of Indonesia and packaged with attractive
content. So, the children who since they born are in the digital era can
participate in preserving traditional culture at least introduced them to traditional
cultures. If youth are not wise in using technology advances, of course it will
make the culture of Indonesia will gradually dissapear because the next generation
is prefer digital entertainment and choose to imitate the foreign life which is
they see in their social media. If that is allowed, not only the traditional
culture that will disappear but also make the pride of the country is reduced.
They became a person who forgot his identity as a society who live in Indonesia.

For the younger
generation, who will be successors of Indonesia, have big spirit of nationalism
are needed evenits a must. Not only for the sake of politics that we are
required to have nationalist spirit, but in maintaining and preserving the
culture is also needed. We need to be aware to maintain the historical heritage
that is not easy, it takes a great sacrifice too. A few of youth is not enough,
need all of youth in Indonesia to move together to save traditional culture, togetherness
to support each other and fill each other is needed too. In other words,
preserving the traditional culture is also required compactness and support
each other to block the negative impacts from globalization in digital era.



Indonesia is a large country with all its uniqueness
and cultural diversity that is widespread from Sabang to Merauke. Traditional
Indonesian culture is an ancestral heritage that has existed since long time
ago. However, the existence of traditional culture began to erode because most
youth who are the next generation of the nation prefer foreign culture than its
own culture. This is exacerbated by the big wave of globalization and rapid
technological advances so that youth prefer digital entertainment beside of
traditional culture.

Living in the digital era is challenging. Society,
especially youth, must be smart in respond the wave of globalization. All of
youth should be smart in choosing which foreign culture are positive and which
are negative. By filtering it first, then the traditional culture will still
alive but also remain aware the trend. Youth must be creative in exploiting technological
advancesin order to preserve the traditional culture. Coupled with the spirit
of nationalism, youth must grow up with a pride being the next generation of