KEBAYA INDONESIA AS NATIONAL IDENTITY PERCEIVED BY YOUNGSTERS IN JAKARTA
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ㆍ발행기관 : 글로벌지식마케팅경영학회(GFMC) ㆍ수록지정보 : Global Marketing Conference
ㆍ저자명 : Effy Zalfiana Rusfian, Ixora Lundia Suwaryono
ㆍ저자명 : Effy Zalfiana Rusfian, Ixora Lundia Suwaryono
영어 초록Fashion has become a major thing worldwide. In Indonesia, especially in big cities like Jakarta, Bandung and Surabaya, fashion is quite evolving. Jakarta is a bustling modern city with international interaction and professional working environment. This atmosphere influences the inhabitants to dress in modern, professional look; as fashion may be seen as visible identity for a person. As a country with more than 300 tribes, Indonesia is also very rich in culture (Tamindael, 2011). Each area has its own traditional clothes, house, food, custom, art, and language. In big cities, those cultural differences have somewhat blend together or rather invisible in the capital city of Jakarta. Despite the modern environment, traditional clothing and religious clothing tried to get substantial segment as well. However, cultural or traditional costume seem to face the adversity to stand out.
Traditional costume can be seen as an identity for a country or specific culture. Like Kimono in Japan or Sari in India, Indonesia actually has kebaya as national costume for women. Kebaya is actually a tight fitting blouse known as originated from Java. Nowadays, with the many modern women seems to wear kebaya only for special occasion, such as wedding reception, national day, or official ceremony. As it was meant for special moment, the kebaya these days are more elaborated, mostly adorned with embroidery and glittery embellishment. Still, whether modest or modern, kebaya is perceived as complicated, out-of-date, and inflexible. This national costume might face the threat of extinction, although the rise of patrimonial awareness made kebaya get more attention these days. Despite kebaya has been appointed as national costume for Indonesian women, many of them, especially youngsters, seem reluctant to wear it in many occasion. This phenomenon evokes the need for research, how Indonesian youngsters perceived the kebaya as national identity?
This research will relate the brand identity with kebaya. Kebaya itself may be considered as a brand, attached to Indonesia as a country. Within the brand identity framework, kebaya would be seen as a brand. However, a brand should be known among its target and how the people or target consumers perceive it. As an initial research, this paper aimed to explore how youngsters in Indonesia perceived kebaya as national outfit. This research will rely on theories about branding. Kebaya is actually a product. However, the term of kebaya can be considered as a brand in the context of Indonesian national costume. This research measures the brand identity and brand imagery within the theory of brand identity from from Aaker (1996) and Keller (2013). The brand identity will be measured using the indicators of brand awareness, and the brand meaning will be measured using the brand associations.
The survey has been conducted to 30 youngsters, from 17 to 25 years old. Whereas two interviews have also been conducted to a founder of Perempuan Berkebaya (Women in kebaya) community and a bussinesswoman who start to wear kebaya everyday. To raise the awareness of kebaya, this community has made some efforts. There was some news coverage on the national medias and outdoor events to show that kebaya is suitable for any occassion. As this research will explore how these young ladies perceived the kebaya, most of them can be assumed to be aware of kebaya. However, they might have different perception and comprehension about it.
All of the respondents from the survey claimed they the national costume of Indonesia. However, the answer were varies when they recall the object. Batik is also mentioned alongside with kebaya. Many people are more accustomed to wear batik clothes, as it can be transformed into different kinds of outfit, such as shirt or dress. Athough all respondents agree for kebaya to be one of national identity, most of them claimed kebaya is not suitable for everyday wear. They argued that kebaya is impractical, and not convenient for day-to-day activities. Some of them believed kebaya is only for wedding or other special occasions, thus will lessen their exclusivity or prestige if they wear it everyday.
The second part of the questionnaire is about the association; how kebaya as a brand would match or associate to certain group of user, usage situation, experience, and values. Many people seen women wearing kebaya in rural areas, worn by grandmothers and door-to-door jamu (herbal drink) sellers, thus have an ancient or traditional look. This is in line with result from the survey. This kind of association is actually in contrast to the image of kebaya for special occasion. Thus, to outsmart the out-of-date association, many modern women avoid humble kebaya to wear in many occasions; they rather opt for more expensive kebaya to wear at special events.
How the youngsters perceive may be arguable. They see kebaya as something unique which they don’t see, let alone wear it, every day. This explain how they value kebaya as an exclusive outfit that may elevate the look of the wearer. The excuses whether to wear or not-to-wear kebaya as daily outfit seems endless. There may be a slight hesitation toward the kebaya which associated to old fashion or outdated, but some would opt for modern cut of kebaya. In the end, kebaya should build strong image as national identity; where every Indonesian women, no matter their age nor social class, will be proud to wear it.
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