Transculturality through Industrial Space: Cembengan at the Colomadu Sugar Factory




transculturality, industrial space, Cembengan, Colomadu sugar factory


The research aimed to explain Cembengan celebrations held at the Colomadu sugar factory, Karanganyar which was built in 1861. This celebration was held every time the factory would start milled processing sugar cane into sugar. The word “cembeng” itself came from the Chinese word “Cengbeng”, which was a ritual to commemorate deceased ancestors. Cengbeng was held every April 5th by cleaning graves and placing food and prayer tools such as incense and candles. Meanwhile, the Cembengan tradition itself as a ritual also commemorated the ancestors, but its function had turned into a ritual to start the production process at a sugar factory. This ritual was considered important so that it was carried out continuously for hundreds of years in a Javanese industrial space. This ritual was also attended by Dutch officials when it was still under the control of the Dutch East Indies. The research investigated the intersection between space, capital, and culture, which formed an ‘invented tradition’. The method used was through historicity approach and analyzed the relationship between space and the formation of Cembengan tradition in the Colomadu sugar factory. The results show that the transcultural aspect no longer consults the origin but rather cultural practices that merge cultural boundaries.

Author Biography

Ade Ariyani Sari Fajarwati, Bina Nusantara University

Interior design, cultural studies, furniture


Ardhiati, Y., Damayanti, S., Anggita, D., Wibisono, A. I., Isna, R., Fajarwati, A. A. S., & Lestariningsih, A. (2020). De Tjolomadoe: From cultural heritage to Industry 4.0. Journal of Applied Sciences and Advanced Technology, 3(1), 1-8.

Bhatia, S. (2012). Lost in translation: Cultural hybridity, acculturation, and human development: Commentary on de Haan. Human Development, 54(6), 400-407.

Birsyada, M. I., Wasino, W., Suyahmo., & Joebagio, H. (2017). The business ethics of royal family: Mangkunegara IV, sufism and economy in Java. International Journal of Applied Business and Economic Research, 15(7), 33-57.

Farkas, I. (2016). Reconstructing tradition: The debate on “Invented Tradition” in the Japanese modernization. Acta Asiatica Varsoviensia, 29, 31-46.

Fauzi, H. I. R., Saddono, K., & Rakhmawati, A. (2019). Symbolic meaning of food names in offerings at mantenan tebu traditional ceremony in Tasikmadu Karanganyar. Humanities and Social Sciences Reviews, 7(6), 470-476.

Fauzi, H. I. R., Saddhono, K., & Rakhmawati, A. (2020). The ritual “Mantenan Tebu” and its role as the promotion media of inherited Indonesian culture. Proceedings of 4th International Conference on Arts Language and Culture (ICALC 2019). pp. 548-555.

Hobsbawm, E., & Ranger, T. (1986). The invention of tradition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Knight, G. R. (2000). The sugar industry of colonial Java and its global trajectory. South East Asia Research, 8(3), 213-238.

Knight, G. R., & Brown, C. (2016). Commanders and subalterns: Foreign capital, the sugar industry, farmer, and workers in rural Java, 1931-1959. Indonesia, 101, 85-102.

Nugroho, P. S., Yuliastuti, N., Rukayah, Nugroho, R. S., Untung, R., & Joko, C. (2020). Identifikasi pabrik gula sebagai industrial heritage di Jawa. Arsitektura: Jurnal Ilmiah Arsitektur dan Lingkungan Binaan, 18(1), 119-128.

Pemberton, J. (2003). The specter of coincidence. In J. Siegel & A. Kahin (Eds.), Southeast Asia over Three Generations: Essays Presented to Benedict R. O’G. Anderson (pp. 75-90). New York: Cornell University Press.

Pemberton, J. (2018). Jawa on the subject of Java. Yogyakarta: Matabangsa.

Pontjowolo, H. D. (1992). Tradisi slamatan giling (cembengan) PTP XV-XVI (Persero) P.G. Colomadu dan Tasikmadu tahun 1992. Surakarta: Reksa Pustaka Pura Mangkunegara.

Ranger, T. (2012). The invention of tradition in colonial africa. In The Invention of Tradition (pp. 211-262). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Rigney, A. (2018). Remembrance as remaking: memories of the nation revisited. Nations and Nationalism, 24(2), 240-257.

Rosanawati, I. M. R. (2018). Makna simbolik upacara mantenan tebu pada tradisi Cembengan di Tasikmadu. Widya Sari: Jurnal Ilmiah Pendidikan, Sejarah, dan Sosial Budaya, 20(2), 11-18.

Sawega. (2000, June 2). Cembengan, Nayuba n dan Obsesi Administratur. Kompas, pp. 28.

Trimerani, R. (2020). Tradisi selamatan cembengan dalam mewujudkan keteraturan sosial (Studi deskriptif di PG-PS Madukismo). Jurnal Sosial Humaniora, 11(2), 203-213.

Wasino. (2005). Mangkunegara IV, Raja-Pengusaha, pendiri industri gula Mangkunegaran (1861-1881). Humaniora, 17(1), 31-37.

Wasino. (2015). Modernisasi budaya politik Mangkunegaran. Sejarah dan Budaya: Jurnal Sejarah, Budaya, dan Pengajarannya, 9(2), 257-263.



Abstract 76  .
PDF downloaded 22  .