SUNDA WIWITAN: A HARMONIOUS TRADITION AND RELIGION
Dwi Prasetya, Bisnis Indonesia

The residents of Urug Village, Bogor, West Java, believe that the Prophet Muhammad has a close proximity to the place they live. This kampong was one of the starting points of the early spread of Islam in the Island of Java.
They believe in the history that the first generation of the kampong’s leaders were directly ordered by the Prophet Muhammad to lead the agricultural works and local ceremonies. This belief is implemented by holding five celebrations in a year. This then gave birth to the Sunda Wiwitan tradition.

Sunda Wiwitan tradition practice in Urug Village is closely associated with the people’s appreciation to their ancestors. What they believe nowadays is an inheritance that has been passed down for generations. Wiwit means a beginning/first in Sundanese. While in Islam, to recite a shahada is the first condition one has to perform when converting to Islam. Among the Urug people wiwit is considered to have the same meaning of the recitation of the shahada.

Islam and other tradition continue to grow side by side as they believe that the message from their ancestors could not be ignored so that their tradition has to be maintained.

The new generation of villagers has actually been familiar with the local tradition since their childhood period. A respect to the ancestors is something intangible and it has been practiced in their day-to-day life. Parents, especially fathers, play a role as the main educator in their family.

Despite living in a traditional village, they still wish to learn and improve their knowledge, including knowledge about the Quran to improve their religious knowledge. There has been a village term that says the Urug villagers do not need to be smart, but they need to be right.

“There should be advancement. A progress has to be expected. We have to struggle while moving ahead. That’s what Abah expects, so that we all are safe and blessed,” says a local leader, Abah Ukat.


Dwi Prasetya

Dwi Prasetya was born in Sukoharjo, Central Java, 29 March 1987. Getting to know and using analog cameras since elementary school. He's interested in visual and graphics. He joined the Fisip Fotografi Club (FFC) during his study at Sebelas Maret University (UNS) Surakarta and learned about photography. In 2015, he was assigned as the photographer for the Merdeka Palace. In 2016, he had the opportunity to attend World Press Photo Awards Days in Amsterdam.

While working, he has visited several countries, including Hong Kong, The Netherlands, Malaysia, Thailand, as well as several areas in Indonesia, such as Bali, Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara, Biak, Jambi, Central Sulawesi, Labuan Bajo, Central Kalimantan, Medan, Jogjakarta, Solo, and many more.