|Twee Soendanese vrouwen in halfnaakte pose op West-Java 1910|
I got the above picture from this link. For the whole pictures, you can click here
I can say that this post is the continuation of my own post at my other blog (in Bahasa Indonesia) here.
These pictures in fact showed me the proof that women in the 'old' Nusantara archipelago were indeed topless. It was their culture at that time so it was not considered as indecent. But as we know that Nusantara was colonized by the Netherlands, for sure, those Dutch people sent to Nusantara area brought their culture here. One of them was wearing top clothes. People say that those Dutch people thought women at that time 'uncivilized' due to not wearing top clothes. They forced Indonesian women to cover their top bodies in order that they became 'civilized' and the Dutchmen would not get tempted (sexually?). :) If we look at all pictures in the link I gave above, not all women were topless. We can say that of course some women got influenced earlier than the others. Usually they came from high social classes who apparently got along with Dutch people more often than women who were from lower social classes.
In my post here, I cited a friend's comment where he believed that being topless (especially for women) was not Indonesian local culture because he opined that the coming of Islam to Nusantara around 12-15th centuries must have brought Arabic culture too to cover women's bodies. Even this picture could not convince him about local culture about women getting dressed. So, whose culture was it? :)
We can roughly conclude that the coming of Islam to Indonesia around 12-15th centuries did not directly change Indonesian's way of getting dressed. The Dutch colonial government did it.
After Indonesian's independence in 1945, Indonesian women wore 'western' as well as local clothes. By the end of the 20th century, many Indonesian women started wearing jilbab that in fact can be said as Middle East countries' culture.
Why did it not happen since Islam brought to Indonesia many centuries ago? :) As always, everything needs time to process; sometimes it needs a very short time, but at other times, it needs quite a long time. :)
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