The Violence Cocktails: The Relations on Cultural Expression, Alcohol Drinking Practice and Violence in Solo and Yogyakarta after Reformation Era

Irfan Nugraha (Center of Anthropological Studies, Universitas Indonesia)


This article wants to describe the relations on cultural expression, alcohol drinking practice and violence in Solo and Yogyakarta after reformation. The cultural expression of Java generally framed in exotic sense that is captivating in look-alike ancient and traditionally forms. It is reflected to the frozen imagination of society’s social relation which is collateral-oriented and appears to be practicing in their present daily-life yet is always being dynamic. The alcoholic drinking culture could be depict as a reversal, such ciu (sugar molasses fermentation distillation) and lapen (mixture medical alcohol and other substations: pesticide, food flavoring and expired drugs) are to be a cohesion to general “look-alike” Javanese material culture and also have a function as a catharsis for cultural expressions as seen anomaly. The existence of alcoholic beverages in tayuban ceremony could be a perfect description for its function. However, the risen of the radical Islamic movement in Java after reformasi had been altering the relation between cultural expression and alcoholic drinking practice. While I am doing research, the alteration was happened due to the usage of physical violence by radical Islamic movement groups. The drinkers cannot publicly consuming local alcoholic beverages and changing the most of earlier alcoholic drinking practice. However, the usage of violence is not creating a symmetrical causality. Despite being loosened their religiosity relations, interestingly, some of drinkers have more closely association within Islamic revival organization and intensified their religious practice but still stick on the alcoholic drinking habit. In conclusion, despite the habit in practice is altering to more private, the alcoholic drinking practice is still function to express a daily cultural tension. The drinkers also aware to incorporate with some Islamic association as a respond to usage of violence as a new a disciplinary social mode in Javanese culture discourse.

Keywords: cultural expression, alcohol drinking practice, violence and Javanese culture discourse