The effect of the corona outbreak right now will create a huge dilemma for the breeders in Tana Toraja - South Sulawesi. This thing will bring some extra works for people whose the cattles, such as: buffalos and pigs, which all these animals are really required for several events (funeral, thanksgiving and wedding). The number of breeders are really busy to look after and to feed their cattles now, but they cannot market their livestocks due to there are no events anymore to be celebrated during this outbreak.
An official ban has been released by the government & police in Tana Toraja to not conduct a wide range of events. This can be explained that this ban will probably reduce the spread of covid - 19 in the middle of society, and this is likely to ask all residents for staying at home for the sake of their health.
In general, the whole of Torajanese are still holding their culture tightly to conduct a funeral event wherever they are. We totally believe that respecting to dead body by executing the ceremony of funeral (called Rambu Solo’) will result some grace, salvation, welfare and strong family relationship to all offsprings.
No wonders if we sacrifice many buffalos and pigs during the funeral event as our last honor to person who had died to accompany its body & soul to the heaven (called puya’). Although some people think that it is kind of lavish way and spending much money for illogical things, but this is our unique way how to respect for the dead body traditionally and to continue the culture & customs to next our generations.
In the terms of all events in Tana Toraja, it has a strong connection to sacrificial animals, such as: buffalos and pigs. All those animals are really valuable to execute the ceremony of funeral, so some families who are from the event organizer itself will prepare it in advance. As a result, they try to save their money for years in order that they have an enough funding to finance all different expenses, including to buy some expensive buffalo.
On the contrary, what they do is to increase their social status in the society & their prestige as well, and also to need a recognition from people that there is capability to organize Rambu Solo’. But the most important thing is to hold the family relationship constantly wherever we are living in different areas.
However, the demand of sacrificial animals in Tana Toraja few years ago was not comparable with the number of funeral events. Theoretically, the need of buffalos during the funeral is not enough, which the total of buffalos on the market get less because many people conducting the burial, particularly from July to December.
Consequently, there is an inflation happening during that period, which the demand of sacrificial animals increases dramatically, whilst the fulfillment of buffalos and pigs for society experiences a quick decrease. To solve this issue by all breeders or buffalo sellers, they try to get buffalos and pigs from another areas in order to fulfill the sacrificial animals regularly.
These days, the influence of corona breakout, the selling of buffalos and pigs are showing the significant drop. Logically, nobody does not want to spend their money for this thing nowadays. This is because of all events are not allowed to be conducted for a while, and there is also the conscious from people to be more mindful about the effect of corona right now.
For example, if one of the family members who have died because of reasonable something, the process of its burial won’t take longer time, just making it really simple as much as possible to prevent the spread of corona. Besides, the consumption sacrificial animals during the funeral will be diminished in order to save some money for another things.
In the same way, there is a massive loss caused by this difficult situation for all stockbreeders, no income at all, and there is also an extra work that it must be done by breeders to prepare more grass & feeding all livestocks more frequent. Moreover, the whole of these activities will generate the extra expenses as well. For instance, buying the grass and supplement (herbal medicines and vitamins), fixed cost for workers, etc.