People and Culture in Oceania
Online ISSN : 2433-2194
Print ISSN : 1349-5380
Relationship between Customers and Jamu Gendong in Central Java, Indonesia: Focusing on the Use of Herbal Beverages in Daily Life
Sugino YoshimiHertiani TrianaRoosita Katrin
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2023 Volume 38 Pages 51-67


Indonesia has a pluralistic health system. Among traditional medicines available in Indonesia, jamu is a popular Javanese herbal medicine. Jamu beverages sold by local peddlers called “jamu gendong” are commonly used by local people in their daily lives. This study aims to explore the relationship between local Javanese people and jamu gendong in a village in Central Java, focusing on how customers use locally made jamu in their daily lives, based on participatory observation and interviews. Women constituted the majority of customers of female jamu gendong and used to select different types of jamu beverages according to their life stages. Women-specific problems are rarely discussed openly in the traditional Javanese society; choosing jamu beverages based on interactions with peddlers reduces insecurity and anxiety among female customers. The jamu gendong involved in the study gained knowledge and skills from her mother, through her own experiences, and public training programs. As customers’ family members and neighbors have been consuming jamu and interacting with the jamu gendong for many years, customers have independent opinions and tend to make their own choices. Jamu gendong and jamu beverages are a part of the Javanese society and have been closely related to customers since birth.

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© 2023 Japanese Society for Oceanic Studies
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