Madura is an Indonesian island off the northeastern coast of Java. The island comprises an area of approximately 4,078.67 km sq(administratively 5025 km sq). Madura is administered as part of the East Java province. It is separated from Java by the narrow Strait of Madura. The administered area has a density of 720.9 people per km², while the island itself (3,332,284 people in 2010 count) is higher at 817/km sq.
Madura has a population of about 3.65 million, most of whom are ethnically Madurese. The main language of Madura is Madurese, one of a family of Austronesian languages, which is also spoken in part of eastern Java and on many of the 66 outlying islands.
Madurese: a large ethnic population in Indonesia
, numbering around 20 million inhabitants. They come from the island of Madura and surrounding islands, such as Gili Raja, Sapudi, Raas, and Kangean. In addition, many Madurese living in the eastern part of East Java, commonly called the Horseshoe, from Pasuruan to the north of Banyuwangi. Madurese in Situbondo and Bondowoso, and east of Probolinggo
, Jember, and rare in number at most who speak Javanese, also including North Surabaya
, as well as some of Malang
On the whole, Madura is one of the poorest regions of the East Java province. Unlike Java, the soil is not fertile enough to make it a major agricultural producer. Limited other economic opportunities have led to chronic unemployment and poverty. These factors have led to long-term emigration from the island, such that most ethnically Madurese people do not now live on Madura. People from Madura were some of the most numerous participants in government transmigration programs, moving to other parts of Indonesia.
Madura is famous for its bull-racing competitions, where a jockey, usually a young boy, rides a simple wooden sled pulled by a pair of bulls over a course of about 100 meters in ten to fifteen seconds. Several towns on the island hold races in August and September of each year, with a large final for the Presidential Trophy held in Pamekasan in late September or October.
Music And Theater:
Several forms of music and theater are popular on Madura, particularly among poorer people for whom they provide an inexpensive form of entertainment and community-building. The topeng theater, which involves masked performances of classical stories such as the Ramayana and Mahabharata, is the Madurese performance art best known outside the island, due to its role as a representative Madurese art form at exhibitions of regional cultures from all over Indonesia. However, performances of it are rare on Madura, and are generally restricted to entertainment at large official functions. The less formal loddrok theater, where performers do not wear masks and perform a wider range of themes, is more popular on the island.
The gamelan orchestra, best known as a classical Javanese instrument, is also played on Madura, where several of the former royal courts, such as at Bangkalan and Sumenep, possess elaborate gamelans. Tongtong music, more exclusive to Madura, is played on several wooden or bamboo drums, and often accompanies bull-racing competitions.
The Madurese used to be excellent sailors. Madurese vessels loaded with cargoes of wood from other islands, like Borneo, used to ply their trade between Indonesia and Singapore
. Traditional vessels of Madura, include the golekan and the leti-leti (or leteh-leteh).