: This paper attempts to critically discuss on how the Acehnese in history, while trying to embrace the modern world, have made every effort at preserving their traditions. As an ethnic group which has a glorious past, Aceh has strongly been connected to “identity”; and this is expressed in various means, including “social memory.” For this very reason, “traditions”, including those of the past, are explored and preserved. Yet, the challenges of modernity are also apparent. It is in this context that the Acehnese are trapped at the crossroad. On the one hand, they tend to preserve their traditions, yet, on the other, they need to embrace modern lives. The Acehnese seem to have encountered considerable obstacles on this issue, for they tend to focus more on historical “romanticism” (nostalgia) rather than historical “awareness” (consciousness). Eventually, the “spirit” of the past cannot be brought into light.