Senin, 17 Juli 2017 - 10:36:36 WIB
TENGGER, FROM FOLKLORE TO REALITY
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To the eastward of Surabaya, and on the range of hills connected with Gunung Dassar, lying partly in the district of Pasuruan and partly in that of Probolinggo, known by the name of Tengger Mountains, we find the remnant of a people still following the Hindu Worship, who merit attention, not only for account their well being, the sole of depositories of the rites and doctrines of that religion existing at this day on Java but as exhibiting an interesting singularity and simplicity of characters. They, in fact are seem to be almost without crime, and are universally peaceable, orderly, honest, industrious, and happy. They are unacquainted with the vice of gambling and the use of opium (Raffles, 1817).

Tengger refers to mountain in East Java where Mount Bromo is located as well as people who live at the area. As mountain, Tengger also well known as huge caldera with some peak inside the caldera such as Mt. Batok, Mt. Widodaren and the active volcano Mt. Bromo which surrounded by sea of sand. There some hypotheses and theories about the Tengger caldera.
Mount Bromo in Tengger caldera, according to Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard, is an ancient mount. Eruption of the ancient mount thousand years ago resulted in huge caldera, the sea of sand, and several mountains other than Mount Bromo, among them are Mount Batok and Mount Widodaren. This kind of caldera is very common in Indonesia. Indonesia’s Volcano Book (1979) stated that Mount Bromo erupted for the first time in 1822. In addition, Babad Ngayogyakarta, the history book of Yogyakarta, noted that Mount Bromo erupted from December 29th , 1822 to January, 1823. A group of scientific from Faculty of Earth science and technology, ITB in http://geodesy.gd.itb.ac.id mentioned that Mount Bromo is the youngest mount in Tengger caldera. It has been erupted 50 times since 1775. the sites also stated that Tengger caldera is an ancient mount.

Besides a name of mountain, Tengger also refers to people who live around the mountain. According to their folk, Tengger are descendant non-Islamic of Javanese who fled to the mountains above Majapahit, the last major Hindu-Budhist kingdom in Java when that court falls to Islamic forces neighboring principalities at the beginning of sixteenth century. Tengger are not an ethnic group distinct from other Javanese , since they themselves insist that they are Javanese. Despite some differences of speech, etiquette and most importantly religion, social interaction between Tengger and their Javanese neighbor displays none of ‘ boundary maintenance mechanism” associated with genuine inter ethnic relations. The distinctive qualities of Tengger society reveal themselves not in interaction with outsiders , but in the less visible world of the village. Tengger share most of their technology, agricultural skill and even everyday lore with their mountain neighbor (Hefner, 1985).
Although Tengger people remain keep some of their traditions in their daily life, it cannot be denied that influence from outsiders also changed them. A farmer in Tosari in Hefner book (1990) said that It’s not like before, in the old days, people here were different from thus in the lowland (Ngare). They weren’t interested in wearing fine clothes that drew attention on themselves or in eating special foods like those you see today. Even tough some people are owned more and some less, people dressed and ate the same. At harvest, people of all background work together in the field. Nobody was ashamed of calloused hand and dirty feet. Now its different, those who are well off want to give orders and keep their hands and feet clean of the earth. They keep track of everything they give and everything they get in return, It’s just just like in lowlands. Everything is counted and owned.
Nowadays.. when the world become a global village, influence to Tengger, the mountain and the people, is undeniable. However, we should try our best to minimize the bad influence and maximize the good one (Nk)


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