The Meaning of Tirakatan Tradition for Santri Society in Yogyakarta

Title : The Meaning of Tirakatan Tradition for Santri Society in Yogyakarta: A Study of the Tirakatan Tradition to Commemorate Indonesia’s Independence Day in Kauman and Mlangi Society
Author : Zunly Nadia (CRCS, 2006)
Keywords : tirakatan, religion and tradition
Abstract :
The tirakatan tradition to commemorate Indonesian’s Independence Day is done by Yogyakarta society the night before 17th of August. Almost all of Yogyakarta society does this tradition either in the village or in urban area in every neighborhood (RT). Since an independent day, Tirakatan tradition has done as expression of gratitude to God for the Independence Day.This research uses socio-anthropology as a approach by seeing the social and cultural phenomena in the society and then seeking how the society gives a meaning those phenomena. Besides that, this research also uses historical approach for knowing detail the internal and external factors supporting tirakatan tradition that is done by Mlangi society and does not done by Kauman society.Every community in Yogyakarta does this tirakatan tradition in a different way. In Mlangi society where traditional Islam is a majority, tirakatan is done in every RT by tahlilan that is lead by kyai (a religious leader or the leader of an Islamic boarding school) and after that reading sholawat together in the mosque as a center of the activity in Mlangi society. On the contrary, in Kauman society where modern Islam is a majority, they do not do tirakatan tradition because it is not compatible with their religious understanding. In this case, religious understanding is the important element influencing the realization of tirakatan tradition because it is related to the wrestling of religion and tradition.

Tirakatan tradition is related to the symbolic Javanese society, including religion, world view, ethics, and Javanese culture as a whole. Those of couse have philosophical meaning and deeply spiritual value. Besides this relation, we can also see tirakatan tradition in the three framework meanings, i.e modernity, religion and culture of ancestors. Those three frameworks have relation and influence to each other in the tirakatan event. We can see tirakatan tradition in the modern framework, because this tradition commemorates the Independence Day. We can see tirakatan tradition in the religious framework, because religious understanding is an important factor that influences this tradition. Whereas, in the culture of ancestors, the tirakatan tradition is based on Javanese culture. Tirakat is used by the Javanese as self calmness and a medium of communication to God. This proofed that the society cannot be independent without these three frameworks. From these frameworks, we can see the plurality meaning of tirakatan based on the society background.

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