Introduction This chapter offers insights into the domains of young people in Solo, Central Java, one of our two main field sites. The historical background and contemporary descriptions offered below show how adolescents remain of their time, place and context, even while they keenly embrace certain aspects of global youth culture. As we stated in Chapter One, they filter influences of the decadentWest and accept what suits their local milieu, to which they remain deeply attached. As countless researchers on Indonesia have pointed out, people identify strongly
with their specific culture and place of origin. Young Indonesians of today are no different. A young person in Makassar listening to Asian super-band 2NE1 on earphones will still tell you emphatically that he or she is Buginese, and that South Sulawesi is the best place in the archipelago. Duplicated millions of times across this nation of many islands and many different cultures, it is evident that to be Indonesian is always at a deeper level to belong to a distinct cultural group and to ‘belong’ to a certain locale, even if temporarily relocated. Young Solonese are very proud of their city,
Solo is a unique small city which has two palaces. They are Kraton Kasunanan and Kraton Mangkunegaran. Both of them still influence a lot of the tradition and fine arts of Solo. That’s why Solo is called a culture city and has the motto ‘Solo is the Spirit of Java’.