Thursday, 4 February 2010



This is the typical tradition of Indonesian society. Halal bi halal name. This tradition is a tradition rooted in Indonesia. Hence, many Indonesian people who make it as an important momentum in the procession of life. It is not known exactly when this tradition started. But that clearly has become a typical tradition of Indonesia, well before Indonesia became more modern. And strangely, although Indonesia's modern society but this tradition seems to not be cracked by the heat and decayed by the rains. Want proof? Try to see how people in Indonesia who are overseas and away from relatives willing to coincide relatives return home only for one thing, make halal bi halal.

It was a touching scene that at the end of Ramadhan, especially in the third or fourth day before the Eid holiday they scramble to get back to their respective regions with the aim of shaking hands and saying on the day of forgiveness that the mujahidin. This is one of the beauty of the local tradition of religious-based, ie they gather once a year to forgive each other and met with relatives near and far in order to enliven the Idul Fitri holidays that always be missed.

In this modern era, could actually saying sorry to each other is through mobile phones, even through facebook, twitter and so on. But the longing to meet each other physically as well as the longing for his homeland was far more important than anything. Therefore, before the holiday all crowded public transport. Buses, trains, ships, aircraft, and full of passengers. Even private vehicles like cars and motorbikes on the crowded highway. Even sometimes they have to risk one's life. It's the holiday has great magnet for the Indonesian people to celebrate.

Islam that we know are very stressed about forgiveness. Sins to God can be requested directly to His forgiveness. But the sins of mankind should be to concerned to forgive each other. If they do not forgive each other, then that sin will not be forgiven by God. Islam as exemplified by the Prophet Muhammad is the religion of brotherly love.

This is the power of brotherhood of Islam in the building not only to fellow Muslims but also to fellow human beings. There ukhuwah Islamiyah and there ukhuwah basyariyah. There was a fellow Muslim brotherhood and sisterhood of humanity there. Such concepts are later captured by the Indonesian people to the conception and implementation of these Halal bi halal. Hence, this tradition is expected to be a unique and continue to be implemented. Onslaught of modern technology through information and communication technologies, it is also not able to eliminate this tradition. Hence, in the middle of the information technology bubble harder still found millions of people who crowded to celebrate Lebaran in his homeland.


Wednesday, 3 February 2010


NGABEN: Bali Cremation Ceremony

Hindu funerals in Bali are intensely suggestive ceremonies of great cultural and religious significance. Funerals are centred on cremation of the body requiring a complex apparatus and characterized by a large following known as ngaben or pelebon. This practice is considered essential if the 5 elements making up the microcosm of the human body are to be returned to their original residence, the universe’s macrocosm.

The five elements, Panca Maha Bhuta, are the earth (pertiwi), water (apah), fire (teja), air (bayu), and ether (akasa). Since the primordial dimension can only be attained through water and fire, the ashes are dispersed in the water of the sea or if the distance is too great, in a river. The funeral ceremony is generally led by a priest and punctuated by a lavish offering of gifts. For the occasion, a large bullock-shaped wooden structure is built and then entirely covered with white drapes if the deceased belongs to a priestly caste--in black.

There are ceremonies for every stage of Balinese life but often the last ceremony--cremation--is the biggest. A Balinese cremation can be an amazing, spectacular, colourful, noisy and exciting event. In fact it often takes so long to organize a cremation that years have passed since the death. During that time the body is temporarily buried.

Of course an auspicious day must be chosen for the cremation and since a big cremation can be very expensive business many less wealthy people may take the opportunity of joining in at a larger cremation and sending their own dead on their way at the same time. Brahmans, however, must be cremated immediately. Apart from being yet another occasion for Balinese noise and confusion it's a fine opportunity to observe the incredible energy the Balinese put into creating real works of art which are totally ephemeral. A lot more than a body gets burnt at the cremation.

The body is carried from the burial ground (or from the deceased's home if it's and 'immediate' cremation) to the cremation ground in a high, multi-tiered tower made of bamboo, paper, string, tinsel, silk, cloth, mirrors, flowers and anything else bright and colourful you can think of. The tower is carried on the shoulders of a group of men, the size of the group depending on the importance of the deceased and hence the size of the tower.

The funeral of a former rajah of high priest may require hundreds of men to tote the tower. A long the way to the cremation ground certain precautions must be taken to ensure that the deceased's spirit does not find its way back home. Loose spirits around the house can be a real nuisance. To ensure this doesn't happen requires getting the spirits confused as to their whereabouts, which you do by shaking the tower, running it around in circles, spinning it around, throwing water at it, generally making the trip to the cremation ground anything but a stately funeral crawl.


Tuesday, 2 February 2010




Sekaten ceremony starts on the 5th day of the Javanese month Maulud. People from Yogyakarta and villages around the city still believe that by celebrating Sekaten, particularly when listening to the sets of the Gamelan music, they will get rewards from the God Almighty, concerning their work, health and future.

The first day of the ceremony starts at midnight with a procession of the royal servant, "abdi dalem" who walk in two rows bringing two sets of Gamelan named Kyai Nogowilogo and Kyai Gunturmadu. This procession leaves from the Ponconiti hall.


The climax of Sekaten ceremony is called Grebeg Maulud, held on 12th of the Javanese month Maulud. This festival starts by a parade of the Palace guard consisting ten units, namely; Wirobrojo, Daeng, Patangpuluh, Jogokaryo, Prawirotomo, Nyutro, Ketanggung, Mantrijero, Surokarso, and Bugis wearing their specific uniforms.

The parade starts from the yard of the northern Kemandungan of the palace, crosses the Sitihinggil, and the pagelaran to the northern square. Grebeg Maulud
The Gunungan, made of food-like vegetables, peanuts, red peppers, eggs, and several delicacies from sticky rice. It is mountain shaped and symbolizes the prosperity and wealth of the Mataram's land.


Tumplak Wajik is held in the yard of Magangan Yogyakarta Palace at 4 PM, two days before the Grebeg ceremony. It marks the beginning of preparing the food used to make the Gunungan. A"Wajik" is a delicious made of sticky rice. Accompanying the ceremony, a "Kothekan" music composition is played by hitting various kind of wooden instruments such as rice mortars, and "Kenthongan" (barrels), which all perform a very enchanting melodious art of folk music.

Numplak Wajik, Bangsal Magangan Kraton Yogyakarta




Stone Jumping 'fahombo batu' has been one characteristic of the people of Nias. Many outsiders who remember or imagine Nias to jump rocks, so there is also a thought that everybody could jump stone Nias compiled until it reaches a height of about 2 m and a thickness of about 40 cm.

Jump stone (stone jumping) is a tradition of South Nias people, especially Telukdalam. This tradition is not usually done by the people of Nias in other regions, and only men who do it. It also has an indication of cultural differences the people of Nias ancestors. What to know more, there never was a woman who jumped stone Nias.

At first, stone jumping is not like what we see today. Both functions and how to command. First jump is a combination of sports and games are free people, not a commercial tradition.

Test of strength and agility

Stone jumping is not just tourist attractions as we see today. Stone jumping is a means and process to address the strength and agility of youth, so having a prestigious heroic souls.

If a son of one family was able to pass a stone that had been set packed in a way to jump, this is one of pride for parents and other relatives and even the whole village community in general. That is why after the boys they were able to pass, then held a simple celebration with slaughtering chickens or other animals. There was even entertained the nobility of his village youth as it can jump to the perfect stone for the first time. These young people will become youth advocates village 'samu'i mbanua or Horo la'imba,' if there is a conflict with other villagers.

Maturity and physical maturity

Seeing the ability of a young man who can jump the stone perfectly, then he is considered to have grown and matured physically. Therefore, social rights and responsibilities as adults are able to run. For example: marriage, to defend their homes or villages joined in the attack the enemy and so on. One way to measure the maturity and the maturity of a man is by looking at motor skills in stone-high stacks! 2 meters.

Technical mastery of the stone jumping tradition

For some pride, every young man not to be outdone by the others. Since the age of about 7-12 years or in accordance with the growth of a person, young boys usually play with jump ropes. They plugged the two-sided pillars, made of stone pedestal, and then jump. From the low, and long elevated. There is also with the help of two friends who hold each end of the rope, and the others jump in rotation. They played with spirit and struggle.

To practice and games, a collection of boys pile of clay and shape it like a stone jump, though not the same height. Starting from one meter. Having made it through that, then they pile of clay to add height. This game has made the children get used to jumping up can jump two meters high stone perfectly. There's even more.

To be more proficient, in the afternoon, when the village youth from the field, so they trooped stone jump training. Especially on a Sunday afternoon or any other big day. Stone jumping is a sport and a fun game for them and attract the attention of the audience.

Not everyone can jump stone

Although the practice continues, it is not all men can jump. There is nothing to hook on. Even some that until the accident, such as broken arms, legs etc.. There is a belief that it is influenced by genetic factors. If father or grandfather was a brave and stone jumper, so among their sons can jump the stone too. If his father was a jumper first stone when he was young, so their kids can jump the stone too even if they have a little exercise. In fact, there are only tried once or twice, then, can jump perfectly without training and warming the body.

The ability and agility of stone jumping are also linked to the old beliefs. A person who is just learning jumping stone, he asked permission first and prayed for the spirits of the stone jumper who had died. He must apply for a permit to the spirits of ancestors who frequently jumped over the stone. The objective is to avoid an accident or a disaster for the jumper when he was on the air, then dropped to the ground. Because many jumper also failed and had an accident.

Conflicts between villages

In the past, stone jumping is a need and also as a preparation to defend ourselves and defending the name of the village. Whatever sacrificed for the honor in his own village 'fabanuasa.' "Öndröra va banuasa, kiri-kiri mbambatö." That's the motto and principles in defending and maintaining the village's name. That is, a sense of patriotism in the home greater than kinship. The incident at one village residents, is the event on all citizens. For example: If one of the citizens of a village A are being hurt by the citizens of a village B, then the other citizens of village A would contribute back. And vice versa. This is a source of conflict between villages and leaving the complex solution hatred 'Horo manana. "

Many of the causes of conflict and war between villages. For example: the land border issues, women and other disputes. This is one village invites attack another village, so that the soldiers 'samu'i' who participated in the attack, must have the agility jump to save themselves.

But first, when the tradition of hunting human heads 'mangai högö' is still running, the battle between the village is also very common. When the hunters chased the human head or running away, then they should be able to jump a fence or fortress villages that have been targets built of stone or bamboo or from tree 'tali'anu' so as not to get caught in enemy territory.

That is also why the villages built on a hill or mountain 'Hili' so that the enemy is not easy to go and not run away fast.

Citadel village

Stunt jump is needed because once every village has a fortress made of stone, bamboo or other materials that are difficult bypassed by the enemy. There is also a hole dug in around the village so that the enemies fell into it while running away or into the target villages.

Rural strongholds formerly composed of stone, was not seen again now, because of human greed. Demolished and taken as a building material.

The young men who returned with success in other villages assault missions, will be a hero in his village. If they win and no one was killed in between them, so before arriving at the village, near the village gate 'bawagöli,' they march and shout while singing "Hoho" victory.

Tourism attractions

Today, remnants of the old tradition, has become a spectacular tourist attraction and able to make Nias known by other tribes. Various action and style of the jumper when he was on the air. There is a brave draw his sword, and there is also pinning his sword with his teeth. The tourists are not satisfied that it has not witnessed this attraction. That also is why, the village youth in the popular tourist destination and activities have made this tradition into commercial activities. On the one hand, they ask, and even the half forcing tourists to see this attraction, but on the other hand they do not want to jump without pay. There was even a request to Rp 100,000 to Rp 200,000 one jump, depending on the bargaining. The jumper has a network of groups and not to sell cheap.

Currently prices range from Rp 50,000 all jumped. But if tourists do not show interest and reject it, the jumper was finally able to accept a lower price. From the money can not, just jump better.


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