Pribadi Wicaksono (Contributor), Yogyakarta – The Yogyakarta Culture Agency expressed objection to the extravagant 'wedding' of a pair of Alaskan Malamutes dogs using Javanese traditional customs in Pantai Indah Kapuk (PIK), North Jakarta.
"We lament the dog 'wedding' using Javanese traditional procedures," the agency head Dian Lakshmi Pratiwi said on Thursday evening, July 20, 2023.
Dian underlined that Javanese traditional wedding ceremonies, especially Yogyakarta, both the procession and the value, have been legally protected by the state through Law No. 5 of 2017 concerning the advancement of culture and the Yogyakarta Regulation No. 3 of 2017 concerning the culture preservation and development.
"In Yogyakarta, the Javanese traditional ceremony is also designated as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Indonesia in 2017. It's titled Palakrama Life Cycle Ceremony," Dian remarked.
Preserving culture, she added, is not only about its physical form but also non-physical ones concerning its value and dignity. This is included in the process, specifically Yogyakarta Mataraman Clothing as a cultural work, which is also designated as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Indonesia in 2020 with the certificate number 12945/MPK.F/KB/2020.
"So when this customary procedure is used in a different nature, for a different purpose, [which in this case] for dogs, that is surely unnecessary," Dian concluded.
However, the Yogyakarta Culture Agency would not bring the case to court. "Our obligation is limited to rectify the degradation and distortion of values occurring in society because things like this will lead to deviations and cause cultural identity bias," Dian said.
As widely reported, two wolf-like dogs named Jojo and Luna were wedded in Pantai Indah Kapuk (PIK) on Saturday, July 15, 2023. The 'wedding' celebration reportedly cost Rp200 million and was attended by 100 guests and 50 pet dogs. The pair donned traditional Javanese costumes alongside their owners.
The Yogyakarta Culture Agency hopes that a similar event will not recur in the future.