Unique Facts about Banyuwangi: Survivor of Religious and Multicultural Issue Transforming into a Highly-tolerant Region and Community
Talking about multicultural issue, to be honest, Indonesia is actually a rather risky country. By considering how there are tons of cultures, ethnics, and languages which shape Indonesia as a whole, this country is really fragile to be destroyed by its own people due to the differences. Nonetheless, it still survives until now. Even better, many countries respect Indonesia for its diversity yet it’s still in unity. However, this country isn’t totally free from racial and multicultural issue. For example, the people who live in Banyuwangi may still remember about the incident which happened back in 1998.
“Dark” History Which Turned Banyuwangi Forever
At that moment, there was a massacre related to the “Ninja” issue. Well, we’re not talking about Japanese Ninja here. During the incident that happened in Banyuwangi, Ninja refers to the people wearing all black and they were believed to be the ones practicing black magic. When they came, some people got killed without they even realized it. As the result, Banyuwangi and the areas nearby were in panic state. They started hunting people accused as ninjas. And that’s how the massacre started. In total, there were 115 people killed and almost all of them were claimed to be ninjas even though based on the investigation, it was never proven that they were really ninjas. Fortunately, the investigation on the case could successfully suppress the anger of the people in Banyuwangi towards the ninjas and the families. The people who were involved in the massacre had been processed under the law and the so-called families of the ninjas had their names cleaned.
Banyuwangi Nowadays after the Ninja Massacre
Nowadays, 20 years after that incident, people in Banyuwangi has learned from their mistakes. Even though there’s no clear way to figure it out, the commitment of the people in Banyuwangi to stay in unity no matter what happens is really strong. To be honest, that incident, strengthen the fact that multicultural, religion, and ethnical issues in Banyuwangi won’t make the people triggered in order to avoid such incident from happening again.
Such condition is actually really awesome by considering how the people in Banyuwangi consist of many various ethnics. There are Javanese, Madura, Bugis, Chinese, Arabic, and some other ethnics. As if it’s not enough, Banyuwangi is also well-known as a region in Indonesia which can show how religions can live alongside from one to another without any problem. For your information, the culture of Banyuwangi is highly affected by Islamic and Hindu culture.
Proof How Diversity in Banyuwangi Makes It Richer and More Unique
As the real concrete example of how the acculturation can happen perfectly in Banyuwangi, it can be seen from the Janger performance which is held in Banyuwangi. Some of you may know that Janger comes from Bali (which is known for its Hindu culture). However, when it’s held in Banyuwangi, you can definitely see that it has transformed. The transformation happens due to the combination of multicultural product as well as multilingual. Inside Hinduism values shown in Janger, you can also see some Islamic nuance as well as Javanese ambience.
And Janger is only one of many proofs which show how tolerance is respected highly in Banyuwangi. Chinese people who live in Banyuwangi can hold their ceremonies and festivals freely. And the same case also happens to the Arabic community in Banyuwangi. Such uniqueness isn’t risky anymore for the unity in Banyuwangi. Instead, it makes Banyuwangi become a region which is rich in culture. In return, with such acculturation that goes perfectly, Banyuwangi attracts more tourists to come to this region. As of today, Banyuwangi is even comparable to Bali as one of the most well-known tourist destinations in Indonesia.