Tutup Layang : The Togetherness Manifestation in the Society of Brondong, Lamongan, East Java

Title : Tutup Layang (The Togetherness Manifestation in the Society of Brondong, Lamongan, East Java)
Author : Budi Ashari (CRCS, 2006)
Keywords : Plurality, Brondong, Tutup Layang, religious organization, togetherness, social harmony, and hidden ideology.
Abstract
This research aims at showing that plurality in a society does not always raise conflict or tension. Plurality can also foster understanding which is shown in the ritual Tutup Layang in the village of Brondong. Multiculturality and plurality can spread tolerance and togetherness within Brondong society. The question of this research is why Brondong society, which has many different religious organizations, can create harmony, tolerance, cooperation, and does not bother about diversity of ideology? The theoretical framework of the research uses Andrew Beatty’s theory on slametan in Bayu. Slametan is an arena of multivocality. Slametan fosters the social harmony. Slametan can hide the ideological understandings of its members. The methodology of this research is qualitative research. To collect and gather the data, the researcher conducted deep interview and direct active participation in the field of the research. To analyze the data, this research has four steps. First, it reduces and ignores unintended data. Second, it explores all data. Third, it verifies the data. Forth, it analyzes and forms conclusions about the data.

This research shows that the diversity of religious understanding can promote an attitude of togetherness via cooperation among them. Cooperation is very visible in the Tutup Layang ritual. The Tutup Layang is a worship ritual for Kiai Anjir which is regarded by Brondong society as a supernatural power. The ritual has two main ideas: spiritual idea and social idea. Its spiritual idea is worshipping to Kiai Anjir. Its social idea is empowering social tie among people in society. Its social idea has made it a cohesive power. Such power of the Tutup Layang is manifested in certain accommodations which are applied in the many following rituals. All of the following rituals are the kind of accommodations that represent all of religious organizations in Brondong. Each religious organization has the responsibility to successfully organize certain activities which represent its aspirations. This compartmentalization shows that the Tutup Layang is a ritual that belongs to all elements in Brondong society. Every participant of the Tutup Layang has interests. Religious organizations, political parties, skippers (owners of fishing boats) and fishers, and other residents all have interests. Their interests are diverse: and include both ideological and public interests. Then, the Tutup Layang has become an arena of contestation for influence or sympathy by such interests. However, such interests are as much as eliminated.

Indeed, Brondong society has potentials for conflicts. Such potentials appear among fishers, religious organizations, and competition among skippers. In this aspect, society is unstable. Therefore, the society very much needs certain rituals to eliminate potential sources of conflicts and to empower the social ties among society. The Tutup Layang ritual is a cultural mechanism which gives a sphere for all social elements to participate in it and to empower the social ties among them. This participation brings in the term of social harmony (rukun) within society. The harmony has an implication that emerging ideological understanding in the ritual is not relatively significant. Rather than giving each ideology full expression in the ritual, most ideological differences are instead hidden.

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