The Definition of Acculturation and Assimilation and Their Examples

Understanding Acculturation and Assimilation and Examples – In an increasingly modern era, not only humans and technology are developing, but culture is also developing. Cultural development usually occurs because of the mixing of cultures, both cultures from abroad or cultures from within the country. Therefore, with the mixing of cultures, it is possible that a new culture will be born.

Mixing of cultures occurs because of many things, such as globalization, technology, human interest in other cultures, and so on. In addition, the mixing of cultures is classified as very fast so that every member of society must be ready and able to adapt to or adjust to the mixing of cultures.

Mixing cultures in an area can be a positive thing or a negative thing. Therefore, every member of society must be wise in responding to the mixing of cultures. Community members who are wise in responding to cultural mixing can be a positive thing.

In Indonesia, the mixing of cultures is often known as acculturation. Meanwhile, adaptation to changes in a culture is known as assimilation. This article will discuss the meaning of acculturation and assimilation as well as examples of acculturation and assimilation. Matobers, happy reading.

Understanding Acculturation

In the Big Indonesian Dictionary (KBBI) acculturation is the process of the entry of foreign cultural influences into a society, some selectively absorbing or many elements of the foreign culture, and some trying to resist that influence.

Meanwhile, in the Continuing Professional Development Module book, acculturation is a social process that arises when a group of people with a certain culture is confronted with elements from a foreign culture in such a way that the elements of foreign culture are gradually accepted and processed into the culture. itself without causing the loss of the personality of the culture itself.

In simple terms, acculturation is the presence of a foreign culture that enters its own culture so that it will slowly be accepted by members of the community without having to lose the character of the culture itself.

However, the presence of acculturation in an area can raise several problems, such as problems in recording acculturation in society; the problem of elements that are acceptable and elements that are not acceptable to society; the problem of changing elements that are easy to replace and difficult to replace; and issues related to inter-community disputes.

Definition of Assimilation

In the Big Indonesian Dictionary (KBBI) assimilation is adjustment (fusion) of one’s original characteristics with the characteristics of the surrounding environment. Whereas in the book the Continuing Professional Development Module assimilation is a social process that arises when there are groups of people with different cultural backgrounds who meet each other for a long time so that they can replace old cultural elements and be replaced with new cultures.

In short, assimilation is a cultural change that occurs because of individuals or groups with different backgrounds living in the same environment or area.

The emergence of assimilation in the midst of society can be caused by several things, namely the existence of individuals or two or more groups with different backgrounds; The occurrence of social interaction between individuals and groups that occur repeatedly; culture that is present in the midst to adjust its development.

Acculturation Process

Acculturation can occur because of the mixing of one’s own culture with a foreign culture. This acculturation process can occur in various fields, such as culinary, clothing style, architecture of a building, and others. In the acculturation process, the time needed is not a moment or it can be said that it takes years for this acculturation process to occur.

As we know that this acculturation process cannot be separated from foreign culture. Foreign culture that enters the community environment is not immediately taken for granted. Therefore, the acculturation process takes a long time.

The process of acculturation is also influenced by societal factors because it is the people who build culture in the country. In other words, not all cultural mixing can be accepted by all people, especially those in the region.

In addition, foreign cultures do not just enter or it can be said that foreign cultures that enter are brought by foreign people who have lived in an area for a long time. Therefore, foreign society cannot be separated from the process of acculturation. For example, when the Dutch colonized Indonesia, almost every building at that time had Dutch decorations.

Therefore, this acculturation process can be said to be a mixing of two or more cultures, so that a new culture can emerge. The existence of a new culture will add to the cultural diversity that is owned by Indonesia.

Assimilation Process

The process of assimilation can be caused by several things, the first is the existence of community associations with different cultural backgrounds. Second, social interaction between individuals with one another. Third, people who mingle with new cultures

The existence of community associations with different cultural backgrounds, things like this often happen in our immediate environment, be it the school environment, home, and others. Therefore, when carrying out social interactions, it cannot be separated from the cultural character that has been instilled long ago, for example, we can see in someone who has a certain regional accent.

Even when we gather with people from different cultural backgrounds, it doesn’t mean we have to compare one culture to another. Things like this can give rise to what is called assimilation or a social process born of people who have different cultural backgrounds.

With social interaction between individuals with each other, assimilation in an area can occur. Basically, every human being cannot be separated from social interaction, especially in the association of a society.

From the community association, it will produce an association between individuals. In fact, this relationship can last for years. Long enough association that can lead to assimilation. This is because each individual will see the character of other individuals.

People who mingle with new environments, things like this usually happen when we move from area A to area B. In the process of moving we need to adapt and adjust to the new environment so that we can interact with people in the new environment and can maintain a harmony.

It is adaptation and adjustment to the new environment that indicates that the assimilation process is taking place. In adapting, adapted to one’s personality. In other words, there are people who are quick to adapt and there are people who are difficult to adapt.

After discussing the process of assimilation, assimilation can be said to be a cultural dissolution that occurs in society.

Acculturation Driving Factors

In the process of acculturation can not be separated from the driving factors. The following will explain the driving factors of acculturation.

1. Advanced Education

Advanced education is a driving factor for acculturation in an area. Advanced education will open people’s minds about foreign cultures. By getting to know foreign cultures, it can advance the nation’s civilization so that it can be even stronger in facing the times. Therefore, we must prioritize education.

Thus, in dealing with the times, we must be able to carry out cultural acculturation. If we do not carry out cultural acculturation, it is likely that our nation will find it difficult to face the times that are moving so fast.

2. Attitudes and Behavior of Mutual Respect for Culture

Respectful attitude and behavior must be possessed by every individual because with this we can relate well with other cultures. Therefore, the attitude and behavior of respecting culture can be said to be a driving factor for cultural acculturation. Without these attitudes and behaviors it can lead to mutual ridicule of one culture with another, so that it can thwart the occurrence of cultural acculturation.

3. Tolerance of Other Cultures

In social life, we cannot be separated from various cultural backgrounds. Therefore, to maintain good relations with other cultures requires tolerance towards other cultures. From the attitude and behavior of tolerance will give rise to cultural acculturation, so that this attitude and behavior of tolerance can be said to be a driving factor for cultural acculturation.

4. There is a Heterogeneous Society

Heterogeneous society can be said to be a driving factor for cultural acculturation because within the community there are different cultural backgrounds. Many cultures in a heterogeneous society will make it easier for one individual and another to learn various cultures.

The more often we learn other cultures, the acculturation of cultures will occur more quickly. With cultural acculturation, we will strengthen the nation’s character.

5. Oriented To The Future 

It feels like thinking into the future has become something that really needs to be done by every member of society. By thinking to the future, we will have a plan, so that the future can be faced with full readiness. Thus, thinking into the future is one of the driving factors for acculturation.


Acculturation Inhibiting Factors

The existence of factors driving acculturation means that there are also factors inhibiting the occurrence of acculturation. The following are the inhibiting factors for acculturation.

1. Science is Slowing Down

Education that is not moving or even moving backwards will make science slow down. Science that moves slowly can be the cause of delays in the process of acculturation in an area.

2. Traditional Community Attitudes

People who adhere to traditional culture will always think that the inclusion of foreign culture can eliminate the privileges of the original culture itself, so that foreign culture will be difficult to accept. Therefore, people who still adhere to traditional culture can be an inhibiting factor for acculturation.

3. New Things Are Considered Bad

It is difficult to accept or even have a bad opinion of new things that can be an inhibiting factor for cultural acculturation. Such individuals or groups will find it very difficult to accept the entry of a new culture, so that the acculturation process becomes hampered.

4. Customs or Habits

For some groups, indigenous peoples or habits have been instilled since childhood, so that when they accept a new culture they will be seen as something foreign. If you already think like that, it will be difficult to introduce a new culture. Therefore, customs or habits become one of the inhibiting factors for acculturation.

Assimilation Driving Factors

The occurrence of assimilation is also influenced by several driving factors including:

1. Accustomed to Open Yourself To New Cultures

Openness to new cultures, whether from information or when practicing it. Openness to new cultures, then we will easily accept the entry of new cultures into us. Therefore, the attitude and behavior of self-openness towards new cultures is one of the factors driving assimilation.

2. Marriage Between Different Cultural Groups

When carrying out marriages with different cultural groups, there will be every individual who will feel the assimilation of one culture with another. This cultural assimilation can be regarded as a form of assimilation. Therefore, marriage between cultural groups is one of the factors driving assimilation.

3. Respect and Appreciation of Foreigners and Their Culture

As good individuals, we should respect each other and respect foreigners who bring their culture. By carrying out attitudes and behaviors like that, we have given encouragement to cultural assimilation.

4. Have Equal Opportunities In Economic Aspects

Every individual has the same opportunity in economic activities, so that the economy can be maintained. Apart from maintaining the economy, equal opportunities in the economy can encourage assimilation.


Assimilation Inhibiting Factors

Assimilation can be hampered due to several factors. Below, the assimilation inhibiting factors will be explained.

1. Fear of Facing the New Culture

For some individuals or groups there are still those who are afraid to face a new culture. Fear of a new culture should be eliminated immediately because it can hinder the process of assimilation in an area.

2. The Existence of Minority Groups

It is undeniable that in every region there must be such thing as a minority group. This minority group finds it difficult to accept the new culture for fear of being ridiculed by the majority group.

3. Lack of Knowledge of Foreign Cultures

If we don’t have a lot of foreign cultural knowledge, it will be difficult for us to learn the foreign culture. Things like that can make it difficult for individuals or groups to accept foreign cultures, so that the assimilation process will be hampered.

4. Differences in Physical Characteristics

Differences in human physical characteristics can cause other people to be afraid to learn foreign cultures. A foreign culture that is difficult for any individual or group to accept, so that assimilation is difficult to achieve.

Difference between Acculturation and Assimilation

We can see the difference between acculturation and assimilation through their definitions. Acculturation is the mixing of cultures without having to eliminate the original culture. Meanwhile, assimilation is the existence of two or more cultures in the community, so that a new culture can emerge.

Acculturation mixes a foreign culture with a new culture. Meanwhile, assimilation gave rise to a new culture and the original culture slowly began to disappear from community groups.

Thus, we can see the difference between acculturation and assimilation by whether the culture in a community group is lost or not.

Example of Acculturation

1. Houses With Ancient Chinese Architecture

Houses with ancient Chinese architecture are a form of acculturation. You can see examples of this acculturation in the Rembang and Lasem areas, Central Java.

2. Kromong xylophone art

Gambang Kromong art is a mixture of Indonesian culture and Chinese culture in a musical performance.

3. Menara Kudus Mosque

This mosque can be said to be a form of acculturation because the architecture of the Kudus Tower mosque is the result of mixing Islamic culture with Hindu culture.

4. Mahabarata Puppet Story

Wayang is one of Indonesian culture that has existed since ancient times. In fact, now wayang is already known by many countries. Usually wayang stories are taken from the Mahabharata story that comes from India. Therefore, wayang and Mahabharata stories are a form of cultural acculturation.


Assimilation Example

1. Dangdut Music

Dangdut music comes from the influence of Indian music and Malay music. Mixing Indian music with Malay which produces dangdut music is an example of assimilation.

2. The use of Koko clothes in Indonesia

At first, koko clothes in Indonesia were very identical to men’s clothes worn by Chinese citizens. However, over time this assumption changed to koko clothes identical to men’s Muslim clothes.

3. Betawi wedding attire

Betawi wedding dress is heavily influenced by various cultures, such as Arabic, Chinese and Malay. Therefore, the Betawi wedding dress is an example of assimilation.

4. Valentine’s Celebration

Valentine’s celebration does not originate from Indonesia, but many Indonesian people celebrate it.


The development of the times will always be related to humans and culture because human personality will not be formed without culture. Likewise with culture that would not exist without the presence of humans.

In the development of the times, there will usually be acculturation and cultural assimilation. These two things need to be done in order to strengthen the personality of the nation in facing the times. In addition, acculturation and assimilation cannot be viewed negatively because these two things have different effects on society and its environment.