Kaharingan: The Enticing Local Belief of Indonesia

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Kaharingan is a local religion that grew because of the beliefs held by the Dayak people of Kalimantan. This religion is an ancient religion that is believed to have existed before the emergence of Hinduism and Buddhism in Kalimantan. Kaharingan still exists today because it has been alive and is being maintained for generations by the Dayak people.

Baca juga: Indigenous Religion: All Differences First Step to Unity.

Kaharingan as a religion.

Over a long period, many debates have occurred regarding the classification of the Kaharingan as a religion or culture. Whether the Kaharingan is an intangible culture created by the community itself; or a way of life that is directly related to God Almighty. However, when viewed from the practice of its teachings in society, Kaharingan can be classified as a religion.

Kaharingan has a belief in one God, namely Ranying Hatalla. Furthermore, like other religions, Kaharingan has a holy book, Panaturan, and a place of worship, Balai Basarah. Morover, Kaharingan also has a religious organization and a religious holy day which is usually commemorated by its followers.

So, if these aspects can categorize Kaharingan as a religion, why can’t this local belief become an official religion in Indonesia? This is due to the standardization related to religion implemented by the government. In addition, the government also recognizes only six religions in Indonesia: Islam, Catholic, Protestant, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Confucianism. Moreover, because Kaharingan is a local belief that is only believed by a few people in the area, this religion is considered an ancient and primitive religion that can fade over time.

In fact, in society, followers of the Kaharingan religion continue to fight for their religion to be recognized in Indonesia. They took this into account because they also wanted their religion to be included on the Identity Card as their identity.

In response to this, the government also made approaches and negotiations regarding this issue. Interestingly, apart from its status which is not an official religion in Indonesia, the Kaharingan religion is instead become a part of Hinduism and has been recognized as the Hindu Kaharingan which is recognized by the government.

The uniqueness of Kaharingan

In its history and development, Indonesia has many other local beliefs that have extraordinary noble teachings and beliefs.

Like the Kaharingan, this religion has quite interesting teachings and beliefs. Kaharingan adheres to values passed down from generation to generation by ancestors and makes it a life guide to create harmony between communities.

Kaharingan religious adherents also still believe in the magic power that occurs in extraordinary events. They believed in the two supreme gods, Mahatalla and Jata, who had opposing powers.

In terms of medicine, the Kaharingan people still use traditional medicine using plants and incantations, because they believe that all beings in this world have spirits. In addition, the Dayak Kaharingan people still believe in the myths that exist in society.

Apart from the uniqueness mentioned above, interestingly, the Dayak Kaharingan people have three ways of living in life. These three ways are, to maintain human relations with God (Ranying Hatalla), human relations with the universe, and human relationships with other humans.

By applying these three guidelines, they believe that happiness and salvation will be with them in life.

Tolerance is the most important

Even though local belief is a native Indonesian belief, in fact, there is a lot of discrimination against its adherents. It is not uncommon for some local beliefs to be considered a heretical sect that deviates from the proper teachings of religion.

This is what often creates discordances among the community. Even not a few big problems that arise only because of differences in belief. So that many people are disadvantaged by it. Many people are also injured because of the selfishness of just a few parties.

In fact, all beliefs teach the same thing. Teachings that teach a thing of goodness to get happiness and safety during life. Each belief has its own advantages and disadvantages. And each belief is something special for every adherent.

Therefore, it would be better if we respect others more, especially in matters of belief. It would be better if we live side by side and keep spreading peace. Tolerance, respect and not blame each other. Because it is not about right and wrong that should be debated, but about how the teachings of a belief are useful in life.

Writer: Maudi Sofia Rahma
Student of Sampoerna University