Penulis : Dinda Pranata
“Gowok” is an uncommon word for Indonesia’s young generation, but the term was famous and used to Javanese ancestors. Gowok was be a sex education tradition for unmarried man. What is Gowok tradition and How does gowok tradition in Javanese society?
Gowok Tradition was came from name of A Chinese Woman
Yes, Gowok tradition came from a Chinese woman who was named Goo Wok Niang. She came to Java with Admiral Cheng Ho. Since the name’s pronunciation was so difficult for Javanese so, she was called Gowok. As long as she lived in Java, she introduced sex education at there. The sex education that she thought actually came from China and was done by nobleman before he married. In China, the tutor of this sex Noeducation was done by 20-40 years old unmarried woman.
A woman tutor of the Gowok tradition is an unmarried woman and still a virgin. She also called with nyai gowok. She did not have a family but she got the respect and trust of the village officer to take care of a young unmarried man. The young unmarried man would stay one day or a week in Gowok tutor’s house to learn what they should do after marriage, how to make a woman be happy in married life and everything they need to know about women. How long a young man lives in a tutor’s house depends on an agreement between his family and the tutor.
The Dilemma Between Prostitution And The Value Of Kindness.
This tradition phenomenon is recorded in ethnic themes literary such as Ahmad Tohari, Budi Sardjono, etc. As time went by, many people left this tradition because it was considered not in accordance with religious norms (at that time Islamic religion came to Indonesia), ethics and politeness values. In an ethical perspective, this tradition contains things as prostitution in which there are transactions, agreements, services and users. On the other hand in a different perspective which is called the emic perspective, this tradition can be a solution for a young man that will become a husband who has responsibility.
Reflecting on the value of that perspective, a dilemma arises to preserve this tradition. At the one side, this tradition contains act of prostitution. On the other side the tradition also contains values about the importance of the meaning of a marriage. Before it disappeared, the people in Purworejo and Banyumas still held this tradition as a legacy from their ancestors, then after the 1960s this tradition no longer existed. Who would have thought that the people in the past already thought how important sex education was for married life? And who would have thought that in modern era convincing people to give sex education is still so difficult and taboo? What do you think? Let’s share your opinion in the comments column!