Thursday, June 8, 2023 | 09:31 WIB

Angke Mosque, the epitome of cultural diversity and acculturation


Jakarta, IO – As the most populous Muslim-majority country, Indonesia holds traces of the history of Islamic civilization. They take various forms, ranging from the culture that is rooted in the community to ancient mosques that still stands today.

One of them is the Jami Al Anwar Mosque or also known as Angke Mosque. Established in 1761 AD, this mosque is one of the oldest in Jakarta, reported Detik, Saturday (6/5).

One of its unique characteristics is its architecture which combines various cultures such as Javanese, Balinese, Arabic, Chinese and even European.

Even though it is more than 250 years old, this mosque still functions a place of worship. This unique building has been designated a protected cultural heritage. Even though it is only about 15×15 square meters, it is seen as a representation of the diversity of people who inhabit Kampung Angke.

The mosque’s caretaker Abyan Abdillah said that the fusion of cultures can be found in the details of the mosque’s ornaments. One of the most prominent features is the entrance to the mosque. This door is in Javanese style but there are Balinese carvings on the sides.

Another example can be found in the mihrab (prayer cubicle) which features Arabic or Moroccan style. While its pulpit has European and Chinese elements that make this mosque even more unique.

Abyan said that the acculturation at Angke Mosque cannot be separated from the diverse backgrounds of the people who live in Kampung Angke. In ancient times, said Abyan, the location of the mosque was once the center of Islamic development in Jakarta.

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“This place used to be the center of the development of Islam from the Kingdom of Demak, Cirebon. So don’t be surprised that the tombstones here are not the same, that means they are not from one area, not from one place, which represents the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia,” said Abyan.

The acculturation was also influenced by the Chinatown riot in 1740. At that time, this mosque became one of the places where the fleeing ethnic Chinese were protected by the residents of Kampung Angke. (un)


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