By Frances Barns (Semester 2/Feb 1996),
Chances are sometime you’ll get invited to somebody’s house. There’s a few Java etiquette rules that are handy to know, although people always forgive you if you don’t. Usually you are invited to sit down in the front sitting room. As a guest you should sit with your back to the window facing into the house.
People always bring you something to drink, usually really sweet tea, which is pretty awful if, like me, you don’t take sugar in your tea. Sometimes they leave you sitting for ages while they go and prepare you a drink. Before they bring you a drink you should say “jangan repot-repot Bu” although they still will. Don’t start drinking straight away. Wait until they say “Mongo” or “diminum”. Depending on how ‘Jawa‘ your hosts are you should sometimes wait for them to say it two or three times. If you have come with an Indonesian watch them. The same thing applies for food.
You have to drink at least a little bit of your drink. If you don’t, they will insist you do before you leave. Don’t finish your drink, leave a little bit in the bottom. If you drain your glass that means you want more and is also a bit rude. Before you leave make sure you say ‘nuwun pamit’ to any neneks or kakeks in the house.
That’s all. Happy Visiting