What is Cultural Acculturation? Driving Factors and Process Occurrence

Cultural acculturation will certainly occur in almost all regions in the world. Where cultural acculturation becomes a counterbalance to life that is absurd, but is actually very systematic. One of them is the environment and also the culture of this pluralistic Indonesian society. There is a lot of cultural acculturation that occurs naturally. These forms of cultural acculturation then encourage interaction, customary habits, and also cultural beliefs. In this article, we will discuss more about what cultural acculturation is and the factors that cause it.

What is Cultural Acculturation?

In language, acculturation is a word that comes from the Latin word “acculturate” which means to develop and grow together. Acculturation can be called an effort to develop and grow together. Starting from individual changes, then moving to affect a group.

This cultural acculturation occurs between two different cultures, then meet and merge to become harmonious and peaceful. The combination of these two cultures can give birth to a new culture. Even though there is acculturation of two different cultures, it will not cause the old cultural elements to disappear. The original cultural elements or old elements will still be there, so we don’t need to worry about cultural acculturation. Generally, cultural acculturation occurs between the community or indigenous people and migrants from other areas.

Understanding of Cultural Acculturation According to Experts

The following are some definitions of cultural acculturation according to experts, including:

1. Diaz & Grainer

According to Diaz and Grainer, acculturation is an individual who adopts certain values, culture, beliefs, and also practices into the new culture they have.

2. Koentjaraningrat

According to Koentjaraningrat, cultural acculturation is a social process that usually arises due to the inclusion of foreign cultural elements and occurs continuously. So that these foreign cultural elements will gradually be accepted and become part of the culture itself.

3. Redfield, Linton, and Herskovits

According to him, acculturation is a phenomenon that can occur in individuals or groups. Where they actually have an old culture, then a new culture emerges that is interconnected and sustainable. Therefore, the impact will be a touch of change. Whether it’s a change in the original cultural pattern or a change in the two groups themselves.

4. Berries

According to Berry, acculturation is a process of cultural and psychological change resulting from contact between two or more cultural groups and their members. The acculturation of this group involves intuition and social structure. While the occurrence of individual acculturation will involve behavior.

Those are some definitions of cultural acculturation according to some experts. From this explanation, we can conclude that cultural acculturation is a phenomenon that is born when there are individuals or groups who have different cultures. These differences will lead to changes in the original culture and the new culture. The cultural acculturation that occurs will lead to linkages and continuity with one another. It is a form of acceptance of change.

Whereas if there is a rejection of cultural acculturation from the start, it is clear that acculturation will not be possible. Because, one of the conditions for the formation of acculturation is openness to the influence of other cultures.

Acculturation Process

Acculturation itself occurs because of the mixing of foreign cultures with their own culture. Some fields that often experience acculturation are culinary, fashion, architecture, and so on. As explained above, the acculturation process occurs very slowly or slowly. Where acculturation requires quite a long time, namely up to years in order to produce a new culture in society. As we understand, the acculturation process cannot be separated from foreign cultures or cultures from outside the community.

Foreign culture that enters the community cannot be directly accepted. Community factors are still very influential on the acceptance or rejection of society in a culture in the community. Therefore, not all cultural mixing can become social change. This is what makes the acculturation process take a long time and process.

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Meanwhile, when viewed from the process of cultural acculturation, it can be caused by several factors. Among them are those who fulfill some of the elements below.

1. Substitution

It is said to be a substitution because cultural acculturation will replace the old culture with new cultural elements. For example, past and present culture of communication. In the past, long-distance communication would only use telecommunication shops or e-mail. Meanwhile, nowadays, we can communicate super fast using only the internet network. If in the past culture people used kentongan to call residents, now we only need to use a short message application to announce something to many people in an instant.

2. Addition

Addition is a mixture of old culture and new culture that directs society to modernity and convenience. For example, in the past, public transportation only used animal power, such as gigs, carts, or horses. Nowadays, transportation can use public transportation, motorbikes, cars, ships, and also airplanes.

3. Origination

The process of acculturation of origination culture is an element of culture that enters and is really the first time. So, when new cultural elements enter, it will cause quite prominent changes. For example, when electricity first came to the village, there used to be no electricity at all in the area. So that it changes the behavior of local people fundamentally. Not only can they enjoy the light from the lamp, but they can also watch television, listen to the radio, even now we can also cook using electricity.

4. Syncretism

Syncretism is a mixture of two cultural elements, namely the new culture and the old culture. For example, religious teachings from ancestors in Indonesia before the arrival of Islam. The average Indonesian will adhere to the teachings of Hinduism and Buddhism. When Islam began to enter the homeland, acculturation of beliefs began to occur. Where the teachings of Islam in Indonesia become a Javanese belief system due to the fusion of new culture and old culture.

5. Deculturation

Maybe many of us are still unfamiliar with the term deculturation. So, deculturation is cultural acculturation that occurs due to the process of losing old cultural elements and being replaced with new cultural elements. For example, in the past, the Indonesian people met their needs for rice from the harvest directly by pounding it in a mortar, only then could it be cooked into rice. But now, from the harvest it can be directly processed using a grinding machine.

6. Rejection

While what is meant by rejection is the process of rejection. Usually the rejection occurs because the community is not ready to make social changes. For regions that are still not ready for change, this can have a negative impact.

Well, those are some of the elements of the process of acculturation. Of these several elements, have you ever felt any of the social changes above?

Factors Driving Cultural Acculturation

Cultural acculturation can occur slowly and requires quite a long time. There are several factors that can drive this acculturation. Below are several factors that support the process of cultural acculturation, including:

1. Advanced Education

One of the main factors driving acculturation is advanced education. Education can open people’s insight into cultures outside their current culture. The introduction of foreign cultures will have an impact on the imagination of advancing civilization to become even stronger in the face of increasingly advanced times. Not only that, education can also make people more aware of the social impact of culture that comes from outside or culture that already exists in society.

2. Attitudes and Behavior of Mutual Respect for Culture

In an effort to create a good relationship with other cultures, people must have attitudes and behaviors of mutual respect between cultures. The attitude and behavior of appreciating this culture cannot be denied as one of the driving factors for cultural acculturation. People who do not have this will be difficult to be influenced by culture that comes from outside. This can lead to feelings of hatred and dislike between cultures. So there will be no cultural acculturation.

3. Tolerance of Other Cultures

Everyone is certainly born from a different cultural background. In the midst of these conditions, cultural tolerance has an important role in giving birth to cultural acculturation. Where the attitude of tolerance makes meeting and mixing of cultures easier. This happens because tolerance can create a more open society, without the fear of losing the characteristics of their own culture.

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4. There is a Heterogeneous Society

The driving factor for cultural acculturation which is quite fast is a heterogeneous society. Where people can meet different cultures. This will make it easier for individuals to learn from different cultures together.

5. Oriented to the Future

The future is indeed one thing that everyone will definitely face. Therefore, people who have a future orientation will be more familiar with various plans and preparations. So that it can encourage people to always be open to the development of the times or cultures outside of them.

The five factors above are factors that encourage internal acculturation of culture. But besides internal factors, below are some external factors that can encourage cultural acculturation. These external factors occur from outside the group or individual. So they have to carry out cultural acculturation, including:

1. Changes and Natural Phenomena

One of the external factors that drives cultural acculturation is change and also natural phenomena, such as floods, earthquakes, and so on. Some of these natural phenomena require local people to move because their area can no longer be used as a place to live. This will force people to go and carry out cultural acculturation to a new place of residence.

2. Foreign Cultural Influence Through Diffusion or Dissemination Process

People who do not have advanced education will be slow to understand cultures that come from outside. Thus, the presence of people who travel and spread culture will greatly support this acculturation to occur.

3. International Conflict

War can be one of the drivers of cultural acculturation if people have the same feelings as victims of war. Apart from being a driving factor, there are also inhibiting factors. So, not all people in an area can undergo a process of cultural acculturation. So that their culture still looks original.

Acculturation Inhibiting Factors

The following are some of the inhibiting factors of acculturation in an area, including:

1. Science in Slow Motion

Science that moves slowly will greatly affect the quality of education. Where knowledge and education that do not develop will produce a stagnant culture. This greatly hampers acculturation, because people as cultural actors do not have sufficient insight and knowledge about cultures outside of them.

2. Traditional Community Attitudes

Usually, traditional people will always adhere to their own culture and assume that the arrival of a new culture can threaten the sustainability of their original culture. Therefore, traditional society is very difficult to accept foreign culture. Traditional societies will tend to close themselves off from foreign cultures because they feel that their culture is the best.

3. New things are considered taboo

Cultural acculturation will never happen if people judge that all new things are bad. One of the new things is change. People who find it difficult to accept a new culture will be a factor inhibiting the changes that occur in society. So that acculturation will never happen.

4. Customs or Habits

Customs or habits that have been instilled since childhood are one of the inhibiting factors of acculturation. Therefore, when people encounter a new culture, they will perceive it as something foreign. Generally, people who have strong customs tend to find it more difficult to accept a new culture.

Example of Acculturation

Examples of cultural acculturation in the lives of Indonesian people are actually very easy to find. This is due to the diversity of ethnicities, cultural entities, religions, and ethnic groups owned by the people of Indonesia. The following are some examples of acculturation that occurred in Indonesia:

a. Semarang Gambang Art

Gambang Semarang art is the result of acculturation of Javanese and Chinese culture.

b. 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.

c. 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.

d. Soto

Various soto in Indonesia are the result of acculturation of Chinese culture and Indonesian regions (such as Java, Makassar, Medan).

e. 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.

f. Meatbun

Bakpao is not authentic Indonesian food, it turns out that bakpao is the result of acculturation of Chinese and Indonesian culture in food

g. Langgar Tinggi Mosque, Pekojan, West Jakarta

The Langgar Tinggi Mosque is the result of acculturation of Chinese and Javanese culture.

h. The Sacred Heart of Jesus Pugeran Church, Yogyakarta

The Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Pugeran is the result of acculturation of traditional Javanese and European architectural cultures.

i. Cekepung Theater Arts

Cekepung theater art is the result of acculturation of Javanese, Balinese and Lombok cultures. This art is usually performed in Bali.

j. Sweet soy sauce

Sweet soy sauce that we use as a food topping is the result of acculturation of European, Chinese and Indonesian cultures.

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