Searching of Hindu Cultural Identity

Title : Searching of Hindu Cultural Identity: Studies in the Hindu Community of Banguntapan, Bantul, Yogyakarta
Author : I Gde Jayakumara (CRCS, 2007)
Keywords : Banguntapan, Culture, Identity, Hindu
The thesis focuses on how the Hindu community of Banguntapan comprising 200-300 individuals survives and even develops parallel with the existing traditions and the new rituals that represent the Hinduism introduced by the Balinese intellectuals with state legitimacy. In other words, the main theme raised here is the issue of Hindu identity because they deny converting to other majority religions in one hand and in other hand they also deny to embrace the kind of Balinese and Indian Hindus that are externally introduced as the main reference in their religious activities.The main theme is classified into two problems, which are: (1) How does the Hindu community of Banguntapan survive the encirclement? and (2) How does the Hindu community of Bangutapan react to the encirclement and even develop in it? The first question is answered using Berger’s triad dialectics theory consisting of: externalization, objectification and internalization. The dialectic relation results in a new religious institution, which is the temple in which the Hindu community of Banguntapan is socially at home. However, the triad dialectics causes the religious institution develops autonomously. Thus, the phenomena of homelessness of the community remain. The second question is answered using a dynamic syncretism theory as suggested by Ben Anderson. The theory does not spotlight the details of the psychological dynamics of the community and hence Nietzsche’s hermeneutics theory of the will to unity and the will to power is also used.

Thus, the issue of the cultural identity of the Hindu community of Banguntapan is considered to be the process of becoming in which an intricate relation between the will to power (spirituality) and the will to unity (religion) exists. In other words, the community uses in one hand the reference of Javanese traditions as the exercise to empower themselves, while at the same time commits a self-fusion by embracing the religion that both are directed to the achievement of a higher humanity quality.

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