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Looking for help about Indonesian terms for Muslim groups in history

Hi! I was wondering if anyone can help clarify some terms for me.
I'm trying to do research about Muslims in Indonesia 1920s-60s and there are a lot of terms for different groups. Can you tell me if I am correct here?

Santri -> these were educated Muslims who wanted to get rid of traditional Javanese aspects and follow a modernized form of Islam influenced by what was going on in the Arab world at the time.

Abangan -> these are just peasant or working class Muslims in Java, they follow traditional beliefs that mix hinduism with Islam, they don't want to be harassed too much about following strict Islam. Is "abangan" connected to "abang" the term for a young guy?

Priyayi -> Javanese nobility who served the Dutch, they also mixed Islam with traditional Javanese beliefs.

So if I come across books that are talking about modernist Muslim leaders, are they always Santri? How about "traditional" Islamic leaders, is there a term for them? How do Ulema and Kyai fit into this?! thanks!

For learning: Indonesian
Base language: English
Category: Culture



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    Best Answer - Chosen by Voting
    Are you reading The Religion of Java now? :)

    In this context, "Abangan" is originally from a Javanese term that means "red". Meanwhile the other "Abang" that refer to a young guy is from Betawi language (people of Batavia). So I don't think that they are both connected.

    As far as I know "Santri" is a term used for people who learn about Islam (Either it's modernized or traditional) in Pesantren (Pesantren is like boarding school for people who learn about Islamic way).

    Priyayi is a term used for highborn, and yes they work with the Dutch.

    As for Abangan and Santri, you can differentiate them from their behaviors and their way of life. Santri are the one who follow the Islamic way, and Abangan are the one who doesn't really care about living in Islamic way.

    As for Priyayi, it actually wasn't defined by their faith but more to their blood line. Most of the Priyayi learn the Islam that mixed with traditional Javanese beliefs, but some of them also learn about modernized Islam.

    The same thing also applies to Santri, some of them learn the modernized, and the other learn the one that mixed with traditional Javanese beliefs.

    Another term for Muslim leaders are Ustad, Kiai (be careful, although lot of people write it with "Kyai" the correct pronunciation is using 'I' not 'Y'), Ulama, Ajengan and Buya. (Though most peple usually use Ustad, Kiai, and Ulama).

    Hope this is help! :)

    Ulama is people who are experts in Islamic religious knowledge. They are called "kyai" or nowadays we call them Ustadz for man and ustadzah for woman.
    And about Indonesian traditional muslims leaders, "Wali Songo". They were 9 men who spread Islam in Java.

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