Colors in Indonesian Culture – The Hidden Meaning

Indonesia is a country where many people from different cultures meet and live in one country. Each culture has its own uniqueness and characteristics. For people outside Indonesia, this is an interesting topic to discuss. Here, we will discuss about colors in Indonesian culture.

White in Indonesian Culture

In almost all parts of the world, the white color is used to represent pureness and cleanliness. In Indonesia, several cultures use this color for praying as the color represent pureness.

However, in several parts, they also use white color for a funeral. White clothes are used as a sign that there is a funeral of dead people. In several cultures, the grievers are also use white clothes for several days after the death of their family member. 

Black in Indonesian Culture

Internationally, we use the color black to represent sadness or death. That’s why international people use black dress to attend funeral. In Indonesia, some cultures also use black color for this purpose. However, different cultures have their own color for death.

For Tanah Toraja and Bulukumba, for example. They think of black color as the color to represent justice and simplicity. 

Green in Indonesian Culture

In Indonesia, green is also used as a good sign. For example, in traffic light, the green light means that the drivers can go straight.

However, several cultures believed that green is the favorite color of rulers in mythologies. As a result, they forbid people to use green clothes when go to natural attractions, for example when going to the beach, mountain, etc.

Red in Indonesian Culture

In Indonesia, red is used to represent bravery. The red color is believed to be able to raise people’s spirit and emotion. For several occasions, the red color is also used as a warning or sign of danger. For example, the traffic light used red to tell the drivers to stop.

In public areas, the red flag is also used to tell people the dangerous area. In school and other institutions, people also should not use red ink to write documents. This is because red is considered a warning sign. People that write paper using red is considered angry or giving warning to the other party.

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Yellow in Indonesian culture

In Indonesia, yellow is considered as a color that represents fear. They also assume yellow as the color for cowards. In traffic light, the yellow light is used as a sign for the drivers to be careful and slow down the vehicle. 

Colors Used to Represent Social Status in Indonesia

Several colors are used to represent social status in Indonesia. For example green for noble people, purple for widow, red for common people, black for older people and white for the helper.

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That’s all the explanation on colors in Indonesian culture. I hope the information will be helpful for all of the readers. Thank you for reading.