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Jakarta Field Station > Projects > Language Contact > Cina Benteng Malay

Cina Benteng Malay


"Cina Benteng" is the informal appellation of members of the Chinese community of Tangerang in northwestern Jakarta. It is widely considered to be the oldest Chinese community in the region. The Cina Benteng used to be distinguished from the Chinese community of Batavia by the fact that they had long shifted to Malay as their first language. (Language shift affected the Chinese of Jakarta only later.) The Malay dialect spoken by the Cina Benteng is different from the Malay of the surrounding community phonologically, syntactically, and lexically. This is at least partially due to a substratum of their original Chinese speech. The rich Cina Benteng culture is comparable to that of Malaysia and Singapore's Baba Malays, and include elaborate dress, music, theater, and cuisine, which combine elements of Chinese and indigenous cultures. Members of the younger generation, however, have little interest in maintaining either the culture or the language of the community. Our project documents and analyzes this vanishing dialect.


Last modified: 3 June 2003
Location: http://lingweb.eva.mpg.de/jakarta/cina_benteng_malay.php