Life of Batak People

Batak People

Batak People, is the indigenous tribe of North Sumatra Island. One of the significant tribe in Indonesia. They live on highland of Sumatra, precisely on Tapanuli. There are terms from Batak people, include of Batak Karo, Pakpak, Dairi, Toba, Simalungun, Mandailing, and Angkola.

On daily life, Batak people use some dialect on their language, like Karo dialect that being used by Batak Karo people, Pak Pak dialect by Pak Pak people, Simalungun dialect by Simalungun people and Toba dialect that being used by Toba, Angkola and Mandailing people.

Batak people is still have an ancient tradition of mutual assistance in farming their land. In Karo, this activity called as Raron, while on Toba is called Marsiurupan. This raron itself described as a group of relatives or neighborhood are gather to do someone’s land and each member take a turn.

In social manners, Batak people are really concern with the way they set the tradition strictly. Like the way in their marriage held, Batak people are not allow to marry with someone from their own Marga. Batak people are set to be patriarchal organized along clans known as Marga or taken by Father’s last name. Hence, they believe that someone whose have the same Marga is a brother or sister. That makes them forbid to marry with someone who has the same last name. They have to marry with someone from other clan. While, when someone wants to get marry to other person out of Batak people, he or she has to be adopted by other clan in order “to be included” as Batak member.

Batak social stratification based on four principles, they are; the different age level, the different status and positions, differences in characteristic and marital status.

Tarombo or Lineage is represent something that is very important for Batak people. For those who do not know lineage would be considered a stray Batak (nalilu). For Batak people especially men are required to know the his lineage ancestors and friends who has the same Marga (dongan Tubu). This is needed to know to understand the kinship (partuturanna) in the same clan or marga.

Most of Batak people are Christian. at first, Islam was in about 19 Century which was spread along South Batak and Christianity came about 1863 along North Batak. Nevertheless, there are lots of Batak people still maintains the original concept of their ancient religion. The first Huria Kristen Batak Protestan [HKBP] as Batak church was build in 1917, while in 1941 Gereja Batak Karo Protestan (GBKP) was starting to build.

Batak people have the conception that the universe and its contents are created by Debeta Mula Jadi Na Balon and resides above the sky and have the names according to their duties and position. Debeta Mula Jadi Na Balon referred to residing in heaven and is a great creator. While, Siloan Na Balom referred to world ruler spirit.

Concerning about spirit and soul, Batak people believe on three concepts; Tondi is soul or spirit, Sahala is soul or spirit of one’s own strength and Begu is someone’s Tondi that already death. Traditional Batak people also believe in the power of magic talisman called Tongkal.

Batak people have six cultural values, they are;

Kinship, this Bataknese kinship is implemented on Dalian Na Talu, where someone has to found their spouse out of their marga. People is one group is being called as Sabutuha or brothers. To groups that accept to marry a girl called hula-hula, while for groups that give the girl called Boru.

Hagabeon, Significant cultural value of long life expectancy, birth attendants, and something good wishes.

Hamoraan, Batak value honorary on balancing between the spiritual aspects and material.

Uhum and Ugari, Uhum value reflected on the seriousness of the Batak people in upholding justice, while ugari seen in faithfulness to a promise.

Aegis, Aegis of the society should be given to the environment, these tasks entailed by the three elements of Dalihan Na Tolu.

, a value which means to mutual understanding, respect and help each other.

Batak people are live from their ideology and still hold the culture from their ancestor. That make them to be the real Batak.

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