Again, Javanese culture is a culture that able to enlarge the ‘sense’ in understanding life, and then use it into daily activity, the inter-human relationship, human and nature, and the more, human and the God. It is more to the spiritual aspect than the physical, and the consequence is, this culture is little difficult than other countries cultures. Spiritual aspect needs more understanding and time, and that is the factors why people (also Javanese people) sometimes are don’t want to learn their culture.
Actually, the secret of Javanese culture is hidden on language, the Javanese letter (see my older post: Javanese Letter….), that have meaning for each letters. That is the one way to get knowledge about culture, because there are many ways to learn Javanese culture. One thing, when we want to learn it, we have to consider that this is important and we must step by step, and in the certain step, we must have guider to guide us. We cannot learn by ourselves about something abstract (spiritual aspect), because this is the central. Although, for example, we are smart in school, in this area, we are inexperienced.
One interesting thing is about Semiotic Study (a study of sign or symbol). Semiotic study that introduced in west countries about many years ago, and furthermore, because of the work of Roland Barthes, this study learnt by many students around the world. Javanese people have their own way to read symbol without learn Semiotic or signifier, significant, etc. Before Semiotic was found and then develop, many years before Javanese people are able to read symbol. Based on Linus Suryadi on his book “Dari Pujangga ke Penulis Jawa”, he states that Javanese culture is started from 8th century (p. 5), although the first kingdom in Java island was in 1st or 2nd century, Salakanagara.
From the example above, now we know that this (Javanese culture) is one of ancient culture, and still exist until now. One way to keep this culture is we, as the young generation, must learn more about this. Maybe we can start by read, but that is for warming up, to get what the point, and then we have to find the teachers to guide us. Because without teachers, the chance to confuse is bigger, and the worst, we will lost to find the right purpose.
Maybe we can read some literatures about it, but it only for a while; because there is something we cannot understand by ourselves. We will stuck at the one point, and the result is we will feel that is too complicated, too difficult, and finally we stop the learning process. This is the importance of teacher, they will guide us about what, why, and how culture is.
Even, Sri Paduka Paku Buwono IV wrote about the importance of teacher through a song:
Nanging yen sira nggeguru kaki, amiliya manungsa kang nyata, ingkang becik martabate, sarta kang wruh ing kukum, kang ngibadah lan kang wirangi, sokur oleh wong tapa, ingkang wus amungkul, tan mikir pawewehing liyan, iku pantes guronana kaki, sarta kawruhana.
To choose a teacher, we have to consider some things, such as becik martabate (good attitudes to the all of the God’s entities), kang ngibadah lan kang wirangi (that believe there is only ONE GOD – ALLAH SWT), ingkang wus amungkul (smart), and tan mikir pawewehing liyan (without thinking the humans’ reward).
That is the ideal teacher to guide us to learn our culture, because we are the keeper of this culture. Now, our country are in west culture aggression, and in some cities, the west culture is success to influence the people’s mind. To face it, we must continue to learn our culture, because our culture is one of the ancient cultures, and the world still need our culture to maintain the humans’ attitude that getting worst every day.