Baduy, Indonesia: A world within the world

 

Baduy, A World Within The WorldGrowing up in one of the biggest cities in Eastern Indonesia left many questions in my mind. Well, I spoke the same language as many citizens nearby, I shared the same cultural stories every time I met, and experienced a city life like other teenagers in my age every day. There are questions to answer in mind, I have to find differences and I have to experience the other cultures. Then, I decided to wander and left my home 7 years ago to the Western Indonesia in Java island.

During my seven years staying in Java, I can finally realize that I was drawn by curiosities not by books, I always had time to make new friends that speak different languages, I can learn the other cultures, and I’ve finally been in a place where I can’t find traffics, internet connection, no incoming call or even SMS, and no place such a home to stay except a tent while climbing a mountain. But, another curiosities came up in mind, I still can use transportation to visit places, using electricity to turn all my electronic devices on, working with technologies, and still have the same experiences in a city where I grow up and live in as most of my friends had. We were connecting the dots to create almost the same life line.

Early March last year, I packed my backpack, left university, prepared all my stuffs, and traveled alone to find what the answer of curiosities that have been drawn my mind since years ago. Then, I decide to travel but didn’t set up the fixed time when I will end my journey. I was going where the direction guides me. I traveled thousand miles to the North Sumatera, spent more than a month there, moved to East Borneo and spent also more than month. I visited lake, hiking the mountains, jungle forests trekking, sunbathing in the beach, snorkeling to see the coral reefs and marine lifes, city touring to find the histories, and having local interaction in all the places I have visited. Still within a same chapter in the different pages, I need to find a different chapter. I was lucky; while browsing on the internet, I finally found a place called “Baduy, A World within The World.”

Baduy, who call themselves Kanekes, are a community living in the western part of the Indonesian province of Banten, near Rangkas Bitung. It is more than 100 km from the capital city of Indonesia, Jakarta. I was on a train and spent 2 hours to reach the nearest train station from the Village. Then I went to a bus station nearby and go staright to the Village. After1.5 hours on a mini bus, finally a view more steps to go and . . . Welcome To Baduy!

I arrived mid-afternoon inside the village and meet Kang Lambry, a householder who has a wife and one beautiful daughter. I have manythings to know and to find out, and I will figure it out in a long night with Kang Lambry. Well, this house has no electricity just like other houses, its traditionally prohibited to use.

Generally, th Baduy/Kanekes are devided into two groups: The Baduy Luar (Outer Baduy) and The Baduy Dalam (Inner Baduy). They speak Sundanese and become one of the sub-ethinic of Sunda Tribe. Their racial, physical and linguistic traits bear much resemblance to the rest of the Sundanese people; however, the difference is in their way of life and their beliefs.

The people from Baduy Luar (Outer Baduy) are familiar with technology, their housing process is assisted with modern tools, they wear traditional clothes (Black Color) and sometimes they wear T-Shirt, they use modern house furnishing, and some of them have been affected and convert to Islam.

While, the Inner Baduy (Baduy Dalam) hardly prohibit for all those things. Beside that, The Baduy Dalam are also prohibited to use any transportations, footwears, electronic, technology, and even formal Education for the children. They rejected some proposals from government to build facilities in Baduy Dalam, the Baduy still strongly opposed the government. As a result, they still live in their life line and prohibit all things that againts their traditional costums.

By following my curiosity and to wish and turn out priceless later. This place offer me many things I really want to figure it out. I spent 3 days in this village. To visit Baduy Dalam, I hiked 3 hours, passing rivers, lakes, traditional houses of Baduy Luar, forests, bamboo trees, hills, steep tracks, and bridges before finally arrive in the last bridge underneath it a fresh water. This become the last bridge that separate the Baduy Dalam with the outside world. Welcome to a world within the world, Kanekes Dalam.

I finally met the people who don’t know technology, don’t use a lamp to light up their nights, and live in peace in their simpilicty, culture, and costums. It was a long night with thousand stars and a moonlight to a never ending experiences. Lovely place 

If I never left home, I will never find new experiences. If I never traveled, I will never find places that I really love to see. I always trust that somehow the dots connecting my future and I always trust that there are somethings that will connect the dots and give confidence to follow my heart.

About the Author:  Hamka Rasufit lives in Malang and study informatics engineering. He likes to kill the time by staying in his room with comics and internet. A mountain climber who fall in love with sea. Has mission to climb and make his step on seven summits in ten years. “I was born and set to be an adventurer and I can find everything in here, Indonesia.”

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