Minangkabaunese Tradition of Out-Migration (Merantau) in Indonesia: Hamka’s Novels on Reality

Ikhwanuddin Nasution, Pardi Pardi, M Manugeren, Hidayati Hidayati, Devi Pratiwy, Sri Wulan


The study aims at identifying and describing the phenomena of out-migration (merantau) conducted by the Minangkabaunese in Hamka’s novels Tenggelamnya Kapal van der Wijck and Merantau ke Deli as a reflection of reality. Etymologically, the word merantau does not simply mean migration; it is a concept with cultural values and norms and having no equivalent meaning in another language. The research holistically is done by means of descriptive qualitative research method on consideration that the discussions and the analysis are concerned with societal portraits which are to be revealed to improve the thinking horizon of the public about out-migration (merantau). The data are taken from the novels supported by the research instrument in the form of interview. The results show that merantau has become a cultural heritage for the Minangkabaunese caused by economic, social and cultural factors. The major characters in the novels experience financial difficulties as the space to find decent work is very limited in their hometown. The paradigm that every man has to do out-migration (merantau) has become social and cultural factors signifying their matrilineal system and in order to get a bright future they have to be well educated while proper education is not yet available in their place. Therefore, the summing up of the goals of out-migration (merantau) is to gain knowledge, experience, social status, prosperity as well as to conduct a cultural mission.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/wjel.v13n6p119

World Journal of English Language
ISSN 1925-0703(Print)  ISSN 1925-0711(Online)

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