The Rice Cake War, The War for Peace…

“There will be no world peace without a religious peace”(Hans Kungs). Thestatement seems completely right, since two thirds of the world population belongs to religion, and religion with its religious values is a strong influencer of the world actors both State and Non-State Actors.

If we talk about culture differences in Indonesia, in each region of Indonesia have at least 5 different religions.  Including in Lombok, in this region also the religion of the citizen are different such as Catholic, Christian, Islam, Hindu, and Buddhist. In this part will be discussed about the interaction between Muslims and Hindus in one of traditional event that held once a year in Lombok. The name of the event is “Perang Topat” (the rice cake war).

The rice cake war is takes place each year at the Pura Lingsar Temple in West Lombok. Celebrated by both Hindus and Muslims together. It is an event preceded by weeks of prayer and preparation, in which the people come together to give thanks for their crops, and offer up cakes, fruit, buffalo and rice. Once the main offering is made, the participants take part in a three-night war, using rice as their main weapon. This “war” is meant to be a celebration of the harmony and friendship that has developed between the two religions in Lombok.[1]

Every year, Lingsar village engages in the Perang Topat at the Lingsar temple complex. The temple was built in 1759, during the reign of King Anak Agung Gede Ngurah, a descendant of the kings of Karangasem, Bali, who once ruled this part of Lombok. The temple complex is located 9 kilometers east of the provincial capital Mataram, and is considered unique. It hosts the aforementioned Gaduh temple and Kemaliq building, and is used for rituals and traditional ceremonies, both Hindu and Muslim. The two buildings stand side by side, and in front of each is a jabe or courtyard. Because of its uniqueness, the Lingsar temple complex has since the 1990s been declared a cultural conservation site.

The village holds its Perang Topat on the 15th day of the seventh month of the Lombok Sasak calendar, or purnama sasih kepitu (the full moon of the seventh month); in the Balinese Hindu calendar, this corresponds to the 15th day of the sixth month, or purnama sasi kenem (the full moon of the sixth month). On this night, Hindus celebrate odalan, or the anniversary of the founding of Lingsar village, by holding their pujawali ceremony.[2]

Meanwhile, the Muslims commemorate the epic journey of Raden Mas Sumilir, a Muslim scholar from Demak, Central Java, who brought Islam to Lombok in the 15th century. Since midday, community members have gathered at the Lingsar temple complex. At Gaduh temple, the Hindus prepare banten, or offerings, for the prayers to pujawali. Over at the Kemaliq, the Muslims prepare kebon odek, offerings in the form of fruit and vegetables. Rather, this tradition, which has been passed down from generation to generation for hundreds of years in Lingsar village in West Lombok regency, is re-enacted to strengthen harmony between Muslim and Hindu communities. Battles are usually synonymous with anger and violence, a physical clash between two parties in dispute. But the Perang Topat in Lombok, which involves hundreds of people from two different religions, is an event that gives no impression at all of being hideous or hateful.[3]

[MSS]

[1] retrieved from: http://www.mydestination.com/lombokandgilis/events/73207741/perang-topat-%28rice-cake-war%29-10-december-2013 (July 17, 2014).

[2] Panca Nugraha, The Jakarta Post, West Lombok | Life | Fri, January 22 2010.

[3] Ibid

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