Understanding Cultural Acculturation for the Advancement of the Nation – The sociology community recognizes the concept that in this world nothing is eternal. This proves that anything related to humans and culture will never stop moving.
Change will always occur, a society that is open to change will survive. The concept of change is in the form of the concept of social change. Acculturation is a form of social change that is easy to find around us.
Etymologically, acculturation is a word that comes from the Latin word acculturate which means “to develop and grow together”. Acculturation can be eaten as an effort to develop and grow together. Starting from the change of the individual, then move to affect the group.
Koentjaraningrat said that cultural acculturation can occur when social interaction is created between the original culture and the immigrant culture and then merges into a new culture without losing the characteristics or characteristics of the old culture. In short, acculturation, namely the mixing of foreign cultures or indigenous cultures, has succeeded in becoming a new culture.
According to the Big Indonesian Dictionary (KBBI), acculturation is the process of the entry of foreign cultural influences into a society, some selectively absorbing a few or many elements of that foreign culture, and some trying to reject these influences. In conclusion, acculturation was born as a result of human interaction in the form of intercultural encounters that intersect slowly into new cultural forms.
Rapid changes in technology and information have a major influence on the changes that occur in society. Information posted on social media, mass media, podcasts, television, radio and so on has contributed to accelerating change for the people who consume the content.
It is undeniable that the information presented on social media and contents from gadgets carry certain cultural elements. When the information is received and understood by someone, indirectly the cultural elements can influence the individual or group.
Cultural change in a society can be a positive thing or a negative thing. This needs to be considered by every member of society to be wise in dealing with the culture that comes.
Acculturation occurs due to mixing foreign culture with one’s own culture. Some of the fields where acculturation occurs most often are culinary, clothing styles, architecture of a building, and others. As stated above, the process of acculturation is very slow. Acculturation takes years to produce a new culture in society.
We know for ourselves that the process of acculturation cannot be separated from foreign cultures or cultures from outside society. Foreign culture that enters the community cannot be immediately accepted.
Community factors greatly influence whether or not a culture is accepted in society. As a result, not all cultural mixing can become social change. That’s what makes acculturation process takes time and process.
Acculturation Driving Factors
Cultural acculturation occurs slowly and takes quite a long time, there are several factors that can drive acculturation. The following are factors that support the process of cultural acculturation:
1. Advanced Education
One of the main driving factors of acculturation is advanced education. Advanced education can open people’s insights about cultures outside their current culture. The introduction of foreign cultures will result in the imagination advancing civilization to become stronger in facing the times. In addition, education can also make people better understand the social impact of culture that comes from outside and culture that already exists in society.
2. Attitudes and Behavior of Mutual Respect for Culture
In an effort to create good relations with other cultures, people need to have attitudes and behaviors of mutual respect towards other cultures. Attitudes and behaviors that respect culture are undeniably one of the driving factors for cultural acculturation. People who do not have cultural attitudes and behaviors will find it difficult to be influenced by culture from outside them. This can lead to hatred or dislike between cultures, so that cultural acculturation will not materialize.
3. Tolerance of Other Cultures
Every society is born from a different cultural background. In the midst of this situation, cultural tolerance has an important role to give birth to acculturation. Tolerance makes meeting and mixing of cultures easier and smoother. This is because tolerance creates an open society, without any fear of losing the characteristics of its own culture.
4. There is a heterogeneous society
The fastest driving factor for acculturation is a heterogeneous society. Heterogeneous societies can bring together different cultures. This will make it easier for one individual and another to learn various cultures.
5. Oriented to the Future
The future is something that society will definitely face. Therefore, people who have a future orientation will be familiar with plans and preparedness, thus encouraging people to always be open to the development of cultures outside of themselves.
These five factors are factors that encourage internal acculturation of culture. In addition to internal factors, here are some external factors that can encourage cultural acculturation. These external factors occur from outside the group or individual, so they must carry out cultural acculturation.
1. Changes and Natural Phenomena
One of the external factors driving the occurrence of cultural acculturation is change and natural phenomena, such as earthquakes, floods, and so on. Some natural phenomena require the surrounding community to move because their area can no longer be used as a place to live. This forces people to go and acculturate their culture to a new place of residence.
2. Foreign Cultural Influence Through Diffusion or Dissemination Process.
People who do not have advanced education are slow enough to understand cultures from outside. As a result, having people who travel and spread culture will greatly support acculturation.
3. International Conflict
War can be a driving force for acculturation, if people have the same feelings as victims of war.
In addition to the driving factors, there are also inhibiting factors. Not all regions or communities can undergo a cultural acculturation process, so that their culture still looks authentic. Inhibitors of cultural acculturation consist of several factors, namely:
Acculturation Inhibiting Factors
1. Science is Slowing Down
Science that is moving slowly will significantly affect the quality of education. Undeveloped science and education will produce a stagnant culture. This greatly hinders acculturation because people as cultural actors do not have sufficient insight and knowledge regarding cultures outside of them.
2. Traditional Community Attitudes
Traditional societies will always adhere to their culture and assume that the arrival of foreign cultures or from outside them can threaten the continuity of their original culture. As a result, it is very difficult for traditional societies to accept foreign cultures. Traditional societies tend to close themselves off from foreign cultures or new cultures because they feel that their culture is the most superior.
3. New Things Are Considered Bad
Cultural acculturation will never happen if people think that everything new is bad. New things mean change. A person or society that finds it difficult to accept a new culture will become an obstacle to the changes that occur in society, so that acculturation will never be created.
4. Customs or Habits
Customs or habits that have been instilled since childhood are one of the inhibiting factors of acculturation. As a result, when people encounter a new culture, they will be perceived as something foreign. Usually, people who have strong customs or habits will find it difficult to accept a new culture.
Example of Acculturation
Examples of acculturation in the lives of Indonesian people are actually easy to find. This is due to the diversity of ethnicities, cultural entities, religions, and ethnic groups owned by Indonesian people. Some examples of acculturation that occurred in Indonesia:
1. Langgar Tinggi Mosque, Pekojan, West Jakarta
The Langgar Tinggi Mosque is the result of acculturation of Chinese and Javanese culture.
2. The Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Pugeran, Yogyakarta
The Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Pugeran is the result of acculturation of traditional Javanese and European architectural cultures.
3. Cekepung Theater Arts
Cekepung theater art is the result of acculturation of Javanese, Balinese and Lombok cultures. This art is usually performed in Bali.
4. Semarang Gambang Art
Gambang Semarang art is the result of acculturation of Javanese and Chinese culture.
5. Pelabuhan Ratu, Sukabumi, West Java
Ratu Sukabumi Harbor is the result of cultural acculturation of the Bugis and Sundanese people who are located in Sukabumi, West Java.
Bakpao is not authentic Indonesian food, it turns out that bakpao is the result of acculturation of Chinese and Indonesian culture in food
7. Sweet Soy Sauce
Sweet soy sauce that we use as a food topping is the result of acculturation of European, Chinese and Indonesian cultures.
8. Legit Lapis Cake (in the Dutch colonial era it was called spekkoek)
Lapis legit cake is one of the traditional foods of the Indonesian people. It turns out that the lapis legit cake is the result of acculturation of Dutch and Indonesian culture.
Various soto in Indonesia are the result of acculturation of Chinese culture and Indonesian regions (such as Java, Makassar, Medan).
10. Milk Pie
Pie Susu, which is usually used as souvenirs for tourists from Bali, turns out to be the result of acculturation of European (English and Portuguese), Chinese (Hong Kong) and Indonesian (Bali) cultures.
Forms of Cultural Acculturation
The process of cultural acculturation also occurs in several forms. Acculturation that occurs in a society does not have to be the same. Acculturation gives birth to its own uniqueness for each culture. As a result, acculturation for every society is not necessarily the same as for other societies. The forms of cultural acculturation that occur are:
Substitution is the acculturation process of old cultural elements being replaced by new or immigrant cultural elements, as long as people get added value and benefits from that culture.
Syncretism is the process of creating a new culture due to the mixing of original and foreign cultural elements.
Addition is a cultural acculturation process aimed at adding value and benefits to a new culture as a result of a combination of original culture and immigrant culture.
Deculturation which means replacement has a meaning in which the old culture is completely replaced by a new culture.
The acculturation process in which the immigrant culture enters and brings significant changes to the original culture of the community
Cultural Acculturation Theories
Cultural acculturation can occur because people can benefit from mixing foreign or immigrant cultures by modifying their original culture. Some of the fields most often affected by the acculturation process are language, science, technology and the arts.
Acculturation occurs due to cultural relations between individuals from two different groups. however, the process of cultural acculturation is usually seen as a whole or in part by members of community groups. The process of cultural acculturation also varies, but nothing happens quickly and suddenly. Social change can be said to be successful if individuals or groups unconsciously carry out the habits of a culture for a long time.
Cultural differences make an interest so that the adaptation process can occur into various forms of culture. This is motivated by the progress of the times and also the needs of each group to be able to survive and also be able to continue to develop.
Dr. Trina Harlow from the University of Central Arkansas considers acculturation as a way to maintain one’s own culture while learning to understand the existence of other cultures.
Meanwhile, according to sociologists Gillin and Raimy acculturation is a cultural process in a society that is modified by another culture. The acculturation process is realized due to social contact from one culture to another, native culture to immigrant culture.
That means, acculturation is the steps to create a culture by doing habituation but still maintaining the old culture. As a result, the acculturation process runs dynamically and openly, not single and closed.
Dr. Trina Harlow provides an interesting analogy regarding the process of acculturation. For him acculturation is like a salad bowl. In one bowl it contains various types of food ingredients which vary but are mixed and mutually enhance each other’s positions. Regarding the acculturation process itself, there are various theoretical debates on how the acculturation process is carried out by individuals or groups.
Devereux and Loeb say that acculturation is a group process without reference to individual roles. If it is based on a group it is used as a constituent interest in a culture.
Meanwhile, Dohrewen and Smith revealed that although groups are important elements in acculturation, they have an influence on individual acculturation opportunities.
The above debate was finally reaffirmed by Gillin and Raimy, and Eaton that acculturation can occur in both groups and individuals. Referring to the group level analysis, acculturation shows changes in value orientation and also the adoption of other group values.
However, this is not the main condition needed for acculturation to be created. Acculturation was born from human instincts to create benefits for humans, as a result interventions cannot produce acculturation.
The times are bound to happen. Over time, humans will develop as well as culture. Human personality will not be created without culture, as well as culture which will not be born without the presence of humans.
Cultural acculturation brings better social change. Cultures that are open to foreign cultures are proven to be stronger and ready to face the times. However, without wisdom, cultural acculturation can become a threat to the original character of society.
Like the social science quote that humans are social creatures, acculturation proves that humans who can be in solidarity can survive for a long time. In Yuval Noah Harari’s Sapiens, he repeatedly says that human civilization can be better than other species because humans can work together. The main human strength is cooperation. Collaboration gives birth to the imagination to do something bigger.