Baduy Dalam (Inner Baduy): Obeying ancestors, faithful to traditions

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Independent Observer team with local residents of Baduy Dalam (Inner Baduy). (photo: IO/Yoga)

IO, Jakarta –  Weary with the routine of life in a city like Jakarta, sometimes makes you feel you need a short break. It is important for the physical and spiritual refreshment. Baduy travel is an option that can be explored if you need a refreshing break from the fatigue and daily routine.

Baduy is a unique destination at the same time economical. No need to spend much, but you will get to experience simplicity for the soul. Friendliness, simplicity, and everyday citizens of Baduy tribe in interacting with others are memories that will continue to stick with you after you visit there.

From Jakarta, you can take a train from Tanah Abang station heading to Rangkasbitung. This trip takes 2 hours. From Rangkasbitung station you can use a car or minibus heading to the city or even the local angkot from Parigi,Cijahe village.

During this time there are 3 marks of the entrance to Baduy, Ciboleger, Nangrang, and Cijahe. Ciboleger the main door. However, walking distance from Ciboleger to Baduy Dalam (Inner Baduy) takes 6 hours. If you want a relatively short distance, you can of Cijahe to Baduy In. Routes are fastest with a relatively short trekking path which is about 1.5 hours. From the gate Cijahe, many Baduy people will greet and escort you to Inner Baduy.

 Along the way to Inner Baduy, your eyes will be spoiled by the Baduy tribe fields and beautiful scenery while riding down the hills. In the beginning soon after trekking from Cijahe to the border with Inner Baduy, we are still allowed to take pictures with a camera or mobilephone.

For your information, the boundary between the outer Baduy and inner Baduy is just a bridge. On the border of which, is the end point to capture the moment before going into the Inner Baduy, beginning the day without power, technology and all use of chemical-based products.

Inner Baduy which consists of three villages namely Cibeo, Cikertawana and Cikeusik. A bamboo bridge spanning the clear River Swift as a marker into the village Cibeo. You will be greeted with houses on bamboo stilts(huts)that forms a small path down the middle.

Inner Baduy only uses wood, bamboo, palm, and palm tree leaves tied to a rope to set up a home. Each house is allowed only facing north and south. There is no difference in the form of the house, and furniture used by each family of Inner Baduy.

The Baduy citizens for clothes, male wearing a white shirt, black sarong and white headbands as their everyday clothing. Occasionally, during a trip to the Outer Baduy, or outside Baduy, their white clothes is changed into black clothing. As for women, whether Inner or Outer Baduy, using blue batik sarong, strapless blue, long-sleeved white smocks. The girls use the bracelets and necklaces of beads.

Every visitor who wants to stay in homes of Baduy must comply with a number of the bans, including a ban in carrying tape or radio, not using mobilephone, does not capture or kill an animal, no littering, no cutting of trees, do not drink intoxicating drinks, and do not violate the norms of discretion.

Firmness of the Baduy people as they maintain the natural balance exemplary by living in a big city. Prohibition and taboo if examined scientifically that there are positive benefits, such as the prohibition of bathing using soap, toothpaste, and shampoo. The chemicals from the liquid causes water pollution, waste plastic packaging is also easily decomposed by soil and disrupts the balance of nature.

There is an interesting story when talking about marriage. It turnes out that the Baduy people are not allowed to choose and have to accept matchmaking. Many Baduy people marry at a young age. Safri, one of the residents of Inner Baduy, told us that getting married in Inner Baduy is not through courting process but paired directly by the parents. “Usually women aged 17 years and men aged 18 years,” she said.

Marriage can happen even if they have a brotherly relationship. “For example, cousin, son of my father, could marry the son of my father’s sister,” said Safri.

Another unique thing of Inner Baduy is that footwear is not to be used anywhere and may not use any vehicles. If they want to come to Jakarta, they will walk the distance for 1-2 days.

When asked by the Independent Observer, is there is no desire to ride a vehicle? “There is a desire but we must abide by the traditional rules,” said Safri.

Baduy children generally do not know schools. They learn to read and write on their own. Safri told me she learned to read and write at the age of 15. “I self-taught myself, because of the demands. I often went to Jakarta, to deliver orders of honey or typical Baduy crafts. If you do not know how to read, you can not read a street sign,” she said laughing.

Because she taught herself, she did not want to teach her children. “Let them learn on their own,” she said. For her generation, Safri said that already 50% could read and write. “But our parents, mostly only 10%,” she concluded.

For the people of Inner Baduy who adhere to the Sunda Wiwitan belief, the ancestral mandate is everything. (dessy)