Post-Eid Bakajang “cruise ship” tradition in West Sumatra

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Decorated Kajang sailing on Batang Mahek river, Limapuluhkota regency, West Sumatra. (Source: ANTARA FOTO/Iggoy el Fitra)

Jakarta, IO – After Eid starting Thursday (5/5), a number of “cruise ships” are seen sailing the Batang Mahek River, Limapuluhkota regency, West Sumatra. Known as Bakajang tradition, the five-day event signifies a friendship that has been passed down from generation to generation by the five jorongs (hamlet) in Nagari Gunuang Malintang, West Sumatra.

Haji Chandra, a community leader in Nagari Malintang, explained that the tradition is a symbol of respect from nephews and nieces to penghulu (Muslim wedding officiant) and bundo kanduang, Jawa Pos reported.

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(Source: ANTARA FOTO/Iggoy el Fitra)

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“Usually, for each kajang to be included in one jorong, there must be permission from the penghulu or bundo kanduang in that jorong. To ask for permission, one must make a traditional speech or alua pasambahan,” said Haji Chandra.