Javanese Lady: Story behind Raden Roro Follow blog

rrsahara ra ra Hey Sari, whats RR mean? Why is your first name RR? How you spell it? is it “rrree….” or “errrr” or just RR? That’s a few questions people always asked me when they know my first name is RR. Rr is the shortened name of Raden Roro. It’s not my first name. It’s a title given to a woman of royal blood in Indonesia. Raden Roro is the Javanese equivalent to the title of Lady in the UK.
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Javanese Lady: Story behind 'Raden Roro'


Hey Sari, whats RR mean? Why is your first name RR? How you spell it? is it “rrree….” or “errrr” or just RR?

That’s a few questions people always asked me when they know my first name is RR.

Rris the shortened name of Raden Roro. It’s not my first name. It’s a title given to a woman of royal blood in Indonesia. Raden Roro is the Javanese equivalent to the title of Lady in the UK.

                  So, you are a princess? Really? No way!!!!!!

     Ummmmm…. let me explain to you about the history of the Javanese Lady :)


The story of the Javanese title

Priyayi (former spelling: Prijaji) was the Dutch-era class of the nobles of the Robe, as opposed to royal nobility or bangsawan (Indonesian) or ningrat(Javanese), in Java, Indonesia’s most populous island. Priyayi was a word coined in Javanese for the descendants of the adipati or governors, the first of whom were appointed in the 17th century by the Sultan Agung of Mataram to administer the principalities he had conquered. Initially court officials in pre-colonial kingdoms, the priyayi moved into the colonial civil service and then on to administrators of the modern Indonesian republic. The priyayi class used an elaborate title system. Some of the commonly used titles among Javanese nobility were:


The order of precedence for male nobility title is - a simple Mas is the lowest, followed by simple Raden, and then the higher titles are compound titles of Raden Mas, Raden Panji, Raden Tumenggung, Raden Ngabehi and Raden Aria. These title were hereditary in some extents; a son will inherit a title one level lower than his parent, unless it is already of the lowest rank. The honorific Raden is related to the Malagasy noble titles of Randriana or Andriana, both of which are derived from the word “Rahadyan” (Ra-hadi-an), meaning “Lord” or “Master” in Old Javanese.


The story of my family

My grandfather is the ninth descendant of Sunan Kalijaga. Sunan Kalijaga (1460–?), born as Raden Mas Said, son of a Regent of Tuban in East Java, Indonesia, was one of the “nine saints” of Javanese Islam (Wali Sanga). Initially a grass salesman, the “Kalijaga” title was derived from an orchard known as “Kalijaga” in Cirebon. Others note that the name Kalijaga derived its nature from the Arabic notion of qadli dzaqa which means “holy leader” in the sultanate. Sunan Kalijaga witnessed the downfall of Majapahit, the kingdoms of Demak, Cirebon, Banten, and Pajang in 1546. Among his missionary activities (dawah), he built two mosques - Masjid Agung Cirebonand Masjid Agung Demak. His main mentor was Sunan Bonang, another of the Wali Sanga. Kalijaga’s beliefs and teachings are more sufistic than salaf, applying arts and culture as medium for his dawah. He was also tolerant to local tradition. His exegesis from the Quranic perspective led him to believe that people will keep away from dakwah if their personality is questioned. In this premise one should consider a step by step approach to his people by the principle of following yet influencing. To him, if Islam is truly/fully understood, then people will gradually give up their old habits. This method can be seen in Indonesian artworks, particularly in carvings, shadow puppets (wayang kulit), gamelan (javanese traditional musical performance), and singing. From this idea he popularized Baju Takwa (a traditional dress custom for Indonesian Moslem), Sekaten (a festivity), and Grebeg Maulud, amongst others.

My grandmother was also the third descendant of Kanjeng Gusti Pangeran Adipati Arya Mangkunegara III. Kanjeng Gusti Pangeran Adipati Arya Mangkunegara III is the third king in Kadipaten Praja Mangkunegaran. His birth name is Bandara Raden Mas Sarengat, while the other titles are “Prince Riya” and “Prince Arya Prabu Prangwadana”. He is the grandson of Mangkunegara II, through his daughter (from the empress) B.R.Ay. Sayati, who is married to Kanjeng Prince Aria Natakusuma. The reign of Mangkunegara III lasted from 1835–1853. He died at the age of 50 on January 27, 1853 (Thursday Legi, 25 Rabingulawal 1781 Jimawal windu Kunthara), and was buried in Astana Mangadeg, Karanganyar regency, Central Java. He was succeeded by his cousin who also became his son-in-law, K.P.H. Gandakusuma, as Mangkunegara IV.


Sunan Kalijaga, my grandfather and my grandmother were buried inKadilangu southeast of Demak.


My Father was born with the name Raden Mas Toni Koeshartono binti Tandyosugondo. He was born in Surakata on December 1947. My father was married with a Javanese woman who was not from the royal family.


My birth name is Raden Roro Sari Harasti Ramadayanti (I know it’s a long name). When I was in primary school, all of my friends always made a fun of me by calling me “a blue blood girl”. I grew up in strict Javanese family, with so many rules you can not break that sometimes drove me crazy. Becoming a Javanese girl who held this title is the most difficult thing I have ever accepted. I left my house and have been living by my own since 2013. Don't get me wrong, I love my family beyond words and I feel so lucky to hold this title. I just don't like life in the system. I mean, I'm gonna living on own fucking system, and I am my 'why' and not my 'what' and my integrity doesn't have a fucking price tag.   


Until this second, some people still asking me 'Are you an RR? Are you from the blue blood family?! How does it feel? Why you're not getting married? Why you working?' and my reaction is  'it feels FREE and yes, I'm working, I bust my ass because I'm a BADASS Princess"


Last but not least, being an RR is not that special as you think. I mean, it just a name and the most important thing is you don't have to put that in light to get attention. 


April 6, 2018, 3:24 a.m. 0 Report Embed 1
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