The Madurese are misunderstood, says a Dutch anthropologist.
Speaking at a conference in Sumenep discussing Madurese culture Dr Huub de Jonge says the view that Madurese people are rough and uncultured is false and is used for certain purposes. There are good and bad people, and cultured and rough people, everywhere.
Madurese people were little different from Javanese or Balinese, he said, everyone must respect other cultures, and it could be proven that Madurese were not unpleasant.
Dr Huub de Jonge said he had lived in the eastern town of Sumenep for ten months in 1976-77, along with his wife, and people accepted him and researching Madurese culture was easily done. No one bothered him and people often took him into their neighbourhoods and homes.
Before going to live in Sumenep a chemist in Surabaya, on Java, had warned de Jonge about how dangerous Madura was because the people were violent. Even some people in Sumenep were concerned about the safety of the researcher and his wife. Once someone there warned de Jonge's wife not to go to the bank alone. These people were misguided, he said. 
You are right sir.
I am one of loyal customers of those sate hawkers who are Madurese.
They are nice people. As long as you pay right.
I think just like any other communities, race, religions, or any groups for that matter, there’s always bad apples whose bad traits, behaviour, or name affect the goodness of most of the group if not as a whole. I am sure there are many more nicer Madurese than the bad.
Well, it’s not hard to offend the Javanese, is it?
I think de Jonge doesn’t really understand the problem.
The Madurese living outside of Madura (Banyuwangi etc), so those unrooteds, are actually afflicted with those negative attributes.
And according to tendencies of human, the whole madurese are “linked” with these problems.
The main question is: why the unrooted (emigrated) Madurese are frequently afflicted with violence, while a. e. Javanese living outside the javanese areas usually associated with tough, diligent etc.
(Maybe the short posting above doesn’t express his anthropological “report” completely, Patung?).
This is, to my opinion, a frequent problem of anthropology. The researchers live in a certain area and watch the living (read: culture) there (frequently they don’t even master the language (not only “speak it good”)) and their conclusions are then used to evaluate or to analize the whole ethnic group.
It is like the case of C. Geertz, who lived 1-2 years in a village in East Java. His book is nowadays seen as the book about the javanese culture. But we know (aren’t we?) that there are many variations of the “javanese” culture (Yogya, banyumas, Banyuwangi, Ponorogo etc). It is problematical to talk about the javanese culture.
I think Dr Huub de Jonge should try to really live in Madura for a few years. And not as a single researcher if possible. Then we’ll talk again.
Well, were in Malaysia also heard about Madurese people are revengeful one. That is why I am reading online to read more about Madurese people as my new maid is from Tanah Merah, Bangkalan province. I need to know more about Madurese people especially from her place of birth. Anyone can help? Is Tanah Merah area very poor? What should I know? Please help.
Maddie, don’t give her access to sharp objects.
“as my new maid is from Tanah Merah, Bangkalan province”
ask her about ‘gaya Madura’….
I’m very disappointed to see that everybody was very mature and didn’t mention the elephant in the room topic of the Madurese female of the species
Sumenep is the location of the kraton or the palace, so I guess the people in the town are the well-mannered type of Madurese. My dad’s family came from Sumenep and people can’t even tell that my dad is Madurese because he’s more like a Javanese to them.
@maddie: i’m from Madura and i know Tanah Merah. Tanah Merah isn’t poor area. There are many trees and i think thats beautiful place…no pollution in Tanah Merah. Isn’t good?