Indonesia is a very rich country with diverse cultures. Each region, race, tribe must have their own culture and characteristics. Of the many existing cultures, in my opinion, Javanese culture is one that is strong, rich, and unique. Because I was born and raised in Javanese culture, it can be said that Javanese culture has taken root and has grown in the hearts of every community. But there is one thing that I just realized about Javanese culture, that is, Javanese culture develops and also adapts to its own people’s identity.

Islam is the religion of the majority that is embraced by many people in Java. But have you ever heard of “mutih” fasting?

Fasting “mutih” is a fast that is practiced by Javanese culture. “mutih” is taken from the Javanese language itself which means “white”. This fast is carried out in a unique way, namely by eating only white food and white drinks only. I believe this mutih fast has been around for a long time and is still being practiced until today.

Apart from fasting mutih, have you ever heard of “Islam Kejawen”? Yes, Islam Kejawen is a belief held by some Javanese people. Islam Kejawen is a belief that combines religion and culture, namely Islam and Javanese culture. Islam Kejawen is also very unique. These followers of Islam Kejawen do not always open up their identity and beliefs to outsiders. For the Javanese people, Islam Kejawen is believed to be able to perfect the implementation of Islamic values by accommodating local traditions and wisdom. One example of the Islamic Javanese tradition that is still practiced today is their death tradition. This Javanese tradition of Islamic death is done by making “slametan” which is done 7 days after death (mitung dina), 40 hearts (matang puluh), 100 days (nyatus), one year (mendhak sepisan), two years (mendhak pindo) and 3 years (nyewu). This death “slametan” is held by reciting prayers, gathering together, and pilgrimage to the grave. Apart from the death ceremony, another example of the Islamic tradition of Kejawen is “Sekaten”. Sekaten is a tradition carried out to commemorate the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad SAW by walking around the city carrying a buffalo which is believed to be holy and this buffalo is a belief that can bring good luck to them. These buffaloes are the “kyai slamet” buffalo which is believed to have been a human from a member of the kingdom “keraton Surakarta” and was cursed as a buffalo. at this time the buffaloes continued to breed and were closely guarded by members of the kingdom.

Some of the examples above are a small part of how wide and rich the culture is in Indonesia. These cultures will continue to be ingrained and grow in the hearts of every society.

By: Rasya