one Baduy day

Pe ăsta m-am hotărât să îl scriu în engleză, căci practic chances are zero să-i folosească cuiva din România care ar rătăci pe blogul meu. Insă, cum lumea e mare, poate cineva dă search cu “things to do în Jakarta” sau Baduy tribe and here I am, cu postul inspirational, sper.

Este un articol despre cum să petreci “a different day” dacă eşti around Jakarta. Sau poate Singapore, ţinând cont că e la o oră de mers cu avionul.

baduy jungle

So, if you are an extravagant traveler and you like this part of the world… as I do, you will probably reach one day Java and Jakarta. At around 150 km from Jakarta, which are totally relative in time units considering the traffic (it may be even 3-4 hours drive) you will find a charming community of people in the middle of the jungle.

baduy village

baduy village

They are the baduy, referred as the Amish of Indonesia, living a quite hippie-happy life. Their population of 11,700 is divided into two sub-groups; the Baduy Dalam (Inner Baduy), and the Baduy Luar (Outer Baduy). No foreigners were allowed to meet the Inner Baduy, though the Outer Baduy do foster some limited contacts with the outside world. Or not so limited, since, with an “authorized” guide you can go and mingle with them, as I did.

baduy people

The religion of the Baduy is known as Agama Sunda Wiwitan, a combination of traditional beliefs and Hinduism.  However, due to lack of interaction with the outside world, their religion is more related to animism, the belief that venerated and worshiped the spirit of ancestors.The Baduy also follow many mystical taboos. They are forbidden to kill, steal, lie, commit adultery, get drunk, eat food at night, take any form of conveyance, wear flowers or perfumes, accept gold or silver, touch money (valid for the inner baduy), or cut their hair. Other taboos relate to defending Baduy lands against invasion: they may not grow sawah (wet rice), use fertilizers, raise cash crops, use modern tools for working ladang soil, or keep large domestic animals.

baduy

The population of about 400 Baduy Dalam (inner baduy) consists of 40 families Kajeroan who live in the three villages of Cibeo, Cikertawana, and Cikeusik in Tanah Larangan (forbidden territory) where no stranger is permitted to spend the night. They are probably the purest Baduy stock. The Dalam follow the rigid buyut taboo system very strictly, and thus they have made very few contacts with the outside world as they are considered as “People of the sacred inner circle”.

baduy house

baduy house 1

The Baduy Luar, where I actually went, or the outer baduy, make up the remainder of the Baduy population, living in 22 villages and acting as a barrier to stop visitors from entering the Sacred Inner circle. They do follow the rigid taboo system but not as strictly as the Dalam, and they are more willing to accept modern influence into their daily lives. For example, some Luar people now proudly sport the colorful sarongs and shirts favored by their Sundanese neighbours. In the past the Baduy Luar only wore only their homespun blue-black cloth, and were forbidden to wear trousers. Other elements of civilization (toys, money, batteries) are rapidly infiltrating especially in the villages to the north, and it is no longer unusual for an outer Baduy to make a journey to Jakarta, or even to work outside as a hired hand during the rice planting and reaping seasons.

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Formal education for the children of Baduy is against their traditional customs. They reject government proposal to build educational facilities in the villages. As a result, very few Baduy are able to read or write.

These are the baduy facts. Beyond them, my experience there was a philosophical one, like a breath of fresh air, far from the hectic and confusing civilized world. Is therapeutic to observe life in it’s most genuine and simple manifestations which are so different from what we live. A magic community where adults and children are so alike, the way they smile, work and interact with you.

baduy woman