Tradition in Indonesia

Tradition in Indonesia

Diversity Customs in Indonesia are a hallmark of a pluralistic society.

Indonesia is a country that has cultural diversity. So do not be surprised if the State of Indonesia has a variety of customs.

Customs have a very broad meaning, but in short the meaning of customs is a habit that is carried out and becomes the hallmark of an area that contains norms, values, games, and rules that grow and develop in village communities.

The diversity of customs in Indonesia is caused by many factors such as geographical location, natural factors, Indonesia’s strategic location, public acceptance of foreign cultures, and so on.

The following summarizes some examples of customs in Indonesia from various ethnic groups, namely:

Javanese Traditions

The customs of the Javanese people stem from the inheritance of their ancestors. However, when Islam entered the island of Java, some traditions and customs were assimilated and changed in harmony with religious teachings.

Javanese society has a variety of customs that are very interesting to discuss, for example marriage customs, death, even in everyday life.


Tradition in Indonesia

The sekaten ceremony is generally held to celebrate the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad every year. This event is usually held in the North Square of the Yogyakarta Palace. Thousands of residents attended to enliven even tourists who also witnessed this event firsthand.


Marriage is a sacred process of consent for without 2 people to build a new life together in the household. Sometimes the Wedding Procession is also carried out according to local customs and that is a foreign thing. Likewise in the Javanese. Adat Tribal marriage is considered quite complicated for some people, so most people leave some of these traditions for a reason.

Here we have summarized some points of Javanese wedding customs, First, handover, this is given by the groom’s family to the bride’s family. Second, splash. It aims to cleanse the soul of the bride and is done before the ceremony. Third, paes or cringe. Means removing fine hair on the face of the bride. Fourth, Dodol Dawet. The five Midodareni, Panggih, the seven balangan ordered.

Tedak Siten

The tedak siten tradition is carried out when a baby has started to walk in its implementation, the baby is put in a chicken cage and given goods such as money, stationery and so on. This event was created as an expression of gratitude to God for the health of the baby.

Sumatran Traditions

Sumatra is an island located in the western part of the Indonesian territory consisting of several provinces that have various traditions, for example, the province of South Sumatra has different customs from the province of North Sumatra. Some examples of customs originating from Sumatra are summarized below:

Mangongkal Holi from North Sumatra

The meaning is to dig an old grave and take the bones of the corpse, then move it to a new grave. This tradition is carried out by the Batak tribal community and is still preserved today.

The Batak people believe that people who have died go to a more perfect process in the eternal realm. The spirit can gather with other family members who have died.

Ngobeng from South Sumatra

That is the tradition of entertaining by the people of Palembang, which is still being preserved. Guests will be served food with a variety of menus such as opor, pickles, goat curry, stir-fry, and others. The aim is to respect guests.

Nganggung from Bangka Belitung

This custom which comes from Bangka Belitung is held to support Islamic holidays, for example the Maulid Nabi, Isra ‘Mi’raj, or in welcoming important guests by the local community. In this custom, the community is obliged to bring a tray containing food to the mosque. Furthermore, the contents of the tray will be given a prayer by religious leaders and then eat.

Kalimantan Traditions

The island of Kalimantan also has a cultural diversity that is still being preserved by its citizens. There are 3 examples below.

Aruh Baharin

This tradition is carried out by 5 Balian (as traditional leaders) jog around the shrine while reciting incantations and ringing brass bracelets. This ceremony is carried out as a form of gratitude for the abundant harvest. Generally this ceremony takes seven days.

In this ritual, traditional leaders also invite ancestral spirits to participate in enlivening the Aruh Baharin event, so that various types of offerings are also provided to be enjoyed by the ancestral spirits.

Maccera Tasi

This tradition is still preserved today by the people of Kalimantan. This traditional form is by slaughtering animals in the form of goats, buffalo, or chickens, by the sea. The purpose of its implementation is to obtain abundant marine products.

Tian Mandaring bath

This event is often done by the community for women who are 7 months pregnant. In the process, a fence of mayang is made and inside it is given flower water, water in mayang. And others.

Sulawesi Traditions

Sulawesi Island is inhabited by several tribes that have different cultures and traditions. Here are some customs originating from Sulawesi:


The Mappalili custom is held at the start of the rice planting season. This custom is led by a person called Bissu. The next one will gather at Arajang’s house, which is a place for storing heirloom plow tools which are believed to be sacred.

Pregnancy Traditions

In the early stages of pregnancy until the fourth month, the local people call it angringan. In this phase, the prospective mother of the baby must receive attention and fulfill her wishes from the family. Especially in the form of food.

At the age of 7 months of pregnancy, a stem annyapu event is held. So the Families of both sides prepared various foods which were considered as certain symbols. In the implementation of this event, the prospective mother and father of the baby will be bathed then dressed in traditional clothes and sit side by side then the two are surrounded by families and they both have to choose certain foods.


Ammateang is a term for a mourning ceremony in Bugis society. The process is not much different from the procession for the management of corpses in the Javanese tribe. The activities include bathing the corpse, shrouding, praying and burying the corpse, then at the funeral home a tahlilan is performed.

Bali Traditions

The island of Bali, also called the Island of the Gods, is very thick with things that smell like customs and traditions. Balinese culture and customs even become the main attraction for foreign tourists. Here are some Balinese customs.

Ngaben Ceremony

This cremation ceremony or cremation is an ancestral heritage since hundreds of years ago. This ceremony by the Hindu community is believed to be a process of purification of the corpse so that the soul is calm in heaven. And also the process of this Ngaben ceremony requires no small amount of money.

Omed Omedan

When finished celebrating Nyepi, Hindus will perform an omed omedan ceremony in which men and women aged 18 to 30 years and unmarried will be gathered in pairs. Then they were drenched in water and fought each other ending with a kiss.


This event is held before Nyepi every year. When melasti is carried out, Balinese people will purify themselves by visiting water sources such as lakes, seas or springs that are considered sacred. In this ritual, the community will be purified by means of traditional leaders who will sprinkle water on each person’s head so that the ugliness and impurities of the heart are removed so that they are holy again.

Papuan Traditions

Talking about customs, Papua has various unique features that make it a characteristic of the people there.

Iki Palek

In Papua, there is a tradition that can be said to be extreme which is usually called Iki Palek or the tradition of cutting fingers. This tradition is carried out by members of the Dani Tribe.

Although to most people it sounds scary, this tradition has deep meaning and philosophy for members of the Dani Tribe. This tradition is carried out to show a sense of loyalty and a deep sense of loss towards family members who have recently died.


The Biak tribe in Papua has an interesting tradition of delivering the dowry or Ararem from the prospective husband to the prospective wife’s family. In this tradition, the male family accompanied by the Wor Dance will bring household utensils, traditional plates, and food to the prospective wife’s family home. You can still find this tradition today.


Barapen is a tradition of cooking together with all the villagers by using stones that are burned until smoldering as the main cooking utensil.

This tradition is usually led by a tribal chief who wears traditional clothes and goes around to invite members of his village. Then, after gathering, the villagers hunt for animals in the forest or around their village to be used as main food ingredients.


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