What is arisan in English ? Well, it’s like, you join in a group of people who pay amount of money monthly, then every month, everybody have a chance to get his money back. If it is not on this month, could be next, next, and next month (in a periode of a year). Arisan is like a save deposit in communal deposit. In term of sociology, arisan is a social capital i.e. strong social relation among people to hang on. The amount of arisan is depends on group agreement. For example, there are arisan start from 10.000 until 3.000.000 IDR. Much money you pay, you’ll get bigger. If in this period you got the money, then next period you’ll be the host of next arisan and you’ll treat the arisan member.

I learnt the term of arisan when i took a part on my college research. But here, I have to take a part in lots of arisan. Why ? what happened? That is my first question, and I’ll tell you the conclusion I got so far.

Arisan is a medium to gain people. Because they pay monthly, then they will get money back by lotre. If you came, there will be any possibility you get the money. So because lots people come, we can discuss anything needed to discussed. Indeed, we will discuss about hot issues, problem of community, problem of organization, planning of family day, until what will we cook for Christmast celebration.

In other arisan mode (in Java), you could learn another recipe or sharing information. For example, there are practice of making some dish. There you could ask the expert (arisan member) whatever you want to know about the recipe and the tips of cooking. There could be a demo of product that you could buy and pay 3 times (not cash) too.

I found that arisan could be the media to borrow some money and pay it back in next arisan time. If you didn’t pay the money you’ve owed, you’ll get punishment (loan and social punishment from the arisan member). So sometime people borrow money from arisan  A to pay money owen in arisan B, and next month She must pay in arisan B with borrow money from another arisan. Waw…! People involve not only in one arisan, but in 3, 5, or 7 types of arisan, depend on social status they have, from elite until common arisan member.

But if you have a problem with other arisan member or with arisan organization, arisan could kill you. This is a hell meeting that you want to ignore, even hear your enemy’s name.

So I see, this is the social capital. Arisan give a chance to hang on, hang out, chit chat, find the problem solving, and get the money. You need to come to arisan cause you need to meet your friend, you’ll get a delicious food, and you’ll get the money.

Anyway, my husband said that there were arisan in amount of 3.000.000 IDR per month in transmigran area. Once, you got 45.000.000 IDR… waw !


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