Friday, 27 September 2013

Baduy - Persistence in Preserving Culture


During the journey to Baduy I saw and experienced, the current state of Baduy is very alarming, so many trash caused by irresponsible people, fast economy needs (which shouldn’t be needed). Perhaps it is because many people come to Baduy, number of Bedouin Dalam and Bedouin Luar who become a guide or porter for visitor who wants to down the Baduy and it looks the Bedouin depend their life on tourism sector.

There are positives and negatives of Baduy exposure as a tourism object, positive for their economic life is getting better, but in my opinion there are more negative thing since so many trash caused by irresponsible tourists, money chain activities are very strong and fast, the Bedouin mindset is unconsciously contaminated as the affect of many tourists who visit the Baduy. From the aspect of a way of life, they have undergone a lot of changes, especially about how to dress. Bedouin Luar is identical to black clothes, using a blue headband. But now many of young generation who dressed like other people outside Baduy. Many of them are wearing shirt, shorts, with trinkets made ​​by Bedouins their own. Some of those Bedouin use mobile phone though they are illiterate, but slowly they starting to learn to use mobile phone. Some of Bedouin can speak Indonesian. Many tourists who come here especially on weekend can’t repress the social change among the Bedouin .

Indeed, at that time I did not feel like being in a rural village. During the journay, I have an excessive imagination thinking how the life of an indigenous tribe that doesn’t use electricity, sealed from the outside world, still holding their culture, i even once think that the Bedouins still use the barter system etc.


But after i came home from the Bedouins and see everything, I have found the answer to my excessive imagination and it inversely with the fact that I have seen. It is normal anyway, how could an indigenous village to maintain its authenticity if every weekend they always flooded with tourists. It seems unfair to blame the Bedouins on the changes that have occurred, they have tried to maintain their traditional authenticity with indigenous police patrolling. Unfortunately it’s still not effective against the swift changes. But, I still can see Bedouin’s wisdom. They keep trying to maintain and run what has been set in customary law. It back again to the Bedouins how they deal with and response to all these changes, we can not impose what we desire to be to them, and as tourists we should be responsible by obeying all the rules that have been created and remember our first intention when we visit a place that we wants to know, learn and let them with their original life.

Author: Yuwi Jamal

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