Ciu Bekonang as a Traditional Alcoholic Drink: Sociohistorical Phenomena and Health Concerns
Ciu is a traditional alcoholic drink known by the enthusiasts from generation to generation in Bekonang district, Sukoharjo regency, Indonesia. The objectives of this study are to examine sociohistorical phenomena underlying the presence of Ciu Bekonang in the Bekonang district from Mangkunegaran sugar factory in 19th–20th century to the present, in addition to determine the social and personal effects caused when a person or community has a drinking habit consuming Ciu Bekonang. This study found that the Ciu Bekonang has long been manufactured. Its presence is inextricably linked to the presence of sugar factories in the history of plantations in Surakarta. Consuming Ciu Bekonang to get drunk is illegal, even if the community around it shares the Bekonang community’s drinking habit and many community leaders, including religious leaders and elders, still revere and adhere to the standard. However, because of the process of distillation, the Bekonang region produces 90% of its alcohol as a means to promote health. Additionally, the use of alternative medicine in the Bekonang district is equivalent to that of Surakarta and other parts of Central Java. This study eventually suggests that the stigma associated with the manufacture of alcohol in the Bekonang region needs to be overcome in the perspective of others in the community.