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No Funeral Events in Tana Toraja During Covid-19 Means No Income for Tourism Sector

29 April 2020   01:00 Diperbarui: 29 April 2020   01:02 79 7 3 Mohon Tunggu...
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No Funeral Events in Tana Toraja During Covid-19 Means No Income for Tourism Sector
Source. The funeral event of my grandmother (to'batu),Lilikira' 2012 (Heri Toupa)

Attending the funeral event in Tana Toraja is kind of interesting pleasure which we can share our condolences to all the family. Funeral event in Tana Toraja, called Rambu Solo is the best event to attract more people to visit to Indonesia, particularly foreigners from different nations. This thing makes our hometown really popular with this ceremonial culture which it can generate the number of incomes for business.

During the era between 70s and 90s, Tana Toraja was the main destination of international tourists due to the beauty of landscape and its attractive culture. Most people coming to this place just want to see the unique ceremony of funeral event. Torajan funerals have become a popular tourist attraction, because there are some programs to be showed for some days which need one week to conduct it. 

Not only that, it also need much money to organize this event which the whole main family will prepare it for some years earlier, started to the installation of the main cottages or pavilions (called lantang’) to accept the whole of visitors, the place of dead body (called lakkean’), and some small places used for public behalf. The most important thing done by the grieving family is to prepare the amount of food, drink and smoke to serve all guests when they come to build the cottages or pavilions and sharing their condolences.

Certainly, the death in Tana Toraja becomes a central of business there which it can power the circulation of economy. All Torajans automatically save their money for years, so they can afford to share their money, gifts and fresh slaughtered meat during this funeral event. Basically, the amount of money (huge funding) entering to Tana Toraja comes from Torajans who immigrated to another islands, such as: Papua, Kalimantan, Sumatra and Java. 

Most of them become the massive donators for the burial because they have a successful bread & butter in a company or government institution and having a good business (self-employed). Moreover, the profession as the sailors, miners and civil servants in Papua become a huge donation to conduct a funeral event. Most of them are able to buy buffalos more than 2 tails, even the most expensive buffalos (called bonga’ saleko).  

Source of Video. Channel of YouTube Indonesia Tourism (August 5, 2017). 

For Torajans, the death is such as a good prospect in business for thousands of residents there. The sector of tourism was going well some decades ago before there was a financial crisis hitting Indonesia in 1998. This front was totally successful to collect some money from the number of visitors (trippers), and a wide range of restaurants, hotels, cafes & bars, and shops were springing up in Rantepao and Makale. 

However, the promising business comes from the breeders who look after the exorbitantly expensive sacrificial animals, such as: buffalos and pigs, and all these sacrificial animals must be presented during the funeral events.

In the same way, in general, in the terms of tourism sector in Indonesia, its development experienced the fluctuation of visitors for years. This is because of many incidents happening in Indonesia, especially the issue of terrorism in different islands, fighting between groups (tribe & ethnic) and natural disasters. 

These problems become a main reason for several tourists (domestics and foreigners) to cancel their plans to visit several places in Indonesia, so there was a sharp decrease striking this sector. Similarly, this situation also influences the attraction of travelers to have a trip in Tana Toraja, because they are worried about their personal security’s reason. 

These days, the government in Tana Toraja (Tourism Department) is making efforts to bring back the glory of Toraja. Several events are made by young generations working together with some departments in government institution, religious & head of customary council. For example, Lovely December. 

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