UNS Cultural Course is held to accommodate those who want to know more about Indonesian and Javanese culture. Java has many cultural icons, items, places, and interests, and one of them is the beverage. There is one kind of traditional drink in Java that people usually consume named Jamu. It is a medicinal drink made of combination of several natural ingredients extracted from plants. Different combination usually serves for different merit.
On the third day of the course, Thursday, August 11, 2016, the participants had a chance to learn how jamu was made. They met Prof. Sahid Teguh Widodo S.S., M.Hum., Ph.D. from UNS Javanology Institute in the classroom. In the occasion, he told them about the specialty of jamu for the Javanese people, that lots of people in the past consumed jamu for different reasons, although mainly for medicine and physical performance advancement. He also mentioned that due to the natural ingredients used in jamu, it was good for health, unlike modern medicines which uses many chemically constructed substances. This was one of the reasons why Javanese people were somehow healthier and could live longer.
To deepen their knowledge of jamu, the participants then visited Jejamon Nglebak Tawangmangu, an educational recreation site of homemade jamu in Tawangmangu, Karanganyar. This place was organized by Mrs. Indah Yuning Prapti. She had been running the business with her staffs and partners since her mother passed away and left her with the place.
Mrs. Indah welcomed the participants of UNS Cultural Course 2016 and gave a brief introduction about the place. She then explained to them about the ingredients, the merits, and the process of making jamu. After that, she guided them to the garden where various plants used for the ingredients were planted. At the end of the session, they experienced preparing instant jamu produced by the house. It was unfortunate, however, that they couldn’t witness or participate in the original process of creating jamu. They were satisfied enough though, when they finished preparing the jamu and tasted it. Ayako from Japan said it was a good experience and the jamu tasted nice.