The name " Sunda " is used to refer the people who speak
a language typical to this people. The language is also
called " Sunda" and the land is called Pasundan
or Tatar Sunda. Geographically Sunda speaking people
inhabit the west part of java island which is bordered
by the river of Cilosari and Citanduy from the rest
of Java island. Outside west Java are found people speaking
Sunda such as on the city of Cirebon, closer to Central
Java. City such as Jakarta although it is located on
the land of Sunda, but their people speak Malay - Jakarta.
It is due to the historical formation of the city by
mixed ethnics from all over Indonesia. The fact that
Jakarta around 13th century was one of the Pasundan
important port for the kingdom of Pasundan named Pajajaran.
While some towns on north coast including Banten many
people speak Javanese. The use of Sundanese among the
people is strong, daily life, school, lectures, and
even among offices.
It is known fine Sundanese language which is considered original such as it is spoken in Ciamis, Tasik Malaya, Garut, Bandung, Sumedang, Sukabumi, and Cianjur. Dialect spoken by people living in Cianjur is considered the most refine and polite Sundanese. While Sundanese spoken on north coast, Banten and Cirebon is considered less polite. While the language spoken by the people of Baduy is considered old type of Sundanese.
Sundanese introduces poetry and prose, especially poetry is read and sang during a family having maternity. The poet is called "Beluk" both poet and prose have the theme taken from Hindu epic of Mahabharata and Ramayana, the ancestor heroes of Sunda such as king Siliwangi, the story of Munding Laya di Kusumah, Nyi Phanji Sanghyang Sri, and chronicle of Cirebon. Fold tale of mountain formation such as Mount Tangkuban Perahu as an oedipus story about Sangkuriang is widely known and spoken among Sundanese. Well known show is wayang golek ( marionettes ), in contrast with wayang puppet shadow play in Java and Bali. The influence of Islam on Sunda land was coming from Cirebon during the end of Pajajaran kingdom, known as the fall of Hindu kingdom on Pasundan following the fall of Great Hindu kingdom of Majapahit around 1400.
Sunda Land and People
According to Prof. Harsojo the common identity of Sundanese besides their language are their great care and appreciation of their art, optimistic, cheerful, but to sensitive emotionally. The biggest problem of west Java is big number of birth rates, since 1930s Dutch colony recorded the number of population of around 20 millions and what is the fact of today, it is more then 40 millions. It is typical for all Java island including the island of Madura that a family can have more then 6 children. Even among religious figures ( uztads ) not uncommon of the opinion that human being must give birth and marry women, and having children is order of Allah, and having more then 2 wives is god way. It is not rare among uztads to have more then 20 children more then 10 wives. That's why more then a half of total Indonesian population is on Java. The biggest birth rates in Indonesia outside Java are in South Sulawesi, Banjar south Borneo, and Lombok which are all majority Moslem. This situation if not immediatly overome will cause the fall of the nation
Settlement pattern of Sundanese is almost the same with
other parts of Indonesian ethnic groups, that the smallest
unit of settlement has its own organization with relation
to government and social function of their tradition.
This smallest unit of settlement is called Desa, a word
not strange every where in Indonesia, yet having slight
different in organization structure and dividing the
tasks. A Desa in west Java as a unit of administration
for its people, tradition land and other affairs have
almost the same pattern in general, only the title of
the functionaries found to differ. The head of the Desa
is elected democratically. The head is assisted by secretary
in charge for office works, 3 kokolots functionaries
given the assignment of delivering orders, reports,
complaints, etc, just like a communicator between the
head and the people, an Ulu-ulu given the assignment
of taking care of water and schools, an Amil given an
assignment of taking care of birth, death, divorce,
restoring marriage, heading religious praying, mosque,
and cemetery. A Kulisi in charge for security in general.
As late as 1965 government of west Java recorded around 3.881 units of Desa, each Desa had varied number of population from 3.000 to 4.000 persons whose members are known each other. Since modernization of Indonesia reaching also villages on west Java changes on the structure of relation among peoples basically started after world war II. New relation is based on economic or business orientation has been making the old tradition under abrasion, and for certainty if government do not see the direction of this social relation in complete aspect it might cause a direction that do not support the advancement of the people which at last influence national development.
Until today west Java still have Desas that preserve their old tradition such as the Baduy and Dukuh. The Baduy still preserves pre-Hindu tradition, while Dukuh although already follow Islam, but older tradition is still preserved such as taking care of trees, sacred places, etc. This Desa is isolated, located on the high mountain slope on the southern part of Kabupaten Garut. This is few good example of tradition which in fact modern science proves to be ideal to keep sustainability of the natural resources.
The Spirit of Creating Job
West Java has been splitted into 3 provinces, one is Jakarta which is from 17th century has shown development into metropolitan city and meeting place for whole ethnics of Indonesia, while today Banten province on the west tip of Java island splitted around 2002 into independence province in the spirit of creating job for executives and legislatives members which for sure will bring not profit to the people. Basically now west Java has big cities as centers of trade and production such as Bandung, Bogor, and Cirebon. The source of economy is still traditional based on farming but not in big scale. Processed products limited only in big cities such as in Bandung known for fabric production, semi-machine products such as foot wares, and military arms. The heritages form Dutch colony such as tea plantation is still alive until today which is famous around Puncak and Dago highland. People staying on the beach live from fishing and fish trade which is not on big scale to. System of land ownership in west Java consist of privately owned and public ownership. Public ownership what is called titisara or kanomeran or kacahcahan land. This type of land was given to the people who was considered having good service to the Desa, then the head of the Desa gave them the land on the basis of use, but can not sell or change of ownership. Other public owned land is those who in in the public service for the Desa then given also land for their return of service.
Social system on west Java actually not much difference
from other parts of Indonesia such as marriage tradition,
kinship and after marriage status. The problem is like
other undeveloped Muslim countries a man can practice
polygamy, while economically and knowledgeably un supporting
which has been creating poverty among the people. The
biggest problem for national pace of economic development
and social welfare. This situation is not only on west
Java or Java island in general but other Muslim society
such as on South Sulawesi, Banjar and Lombok island.
Their kinship system is almost the same as other ethnic
groups of Indonesia, they introduce terminologies of
kinship up to 7 generations up and 7 generations down,
and introduce relation among close relatives called
"golongan" among which the awareness of genealogical
relationship is still exist and reciprocal assistance
available among them. Actually every new married couple
will live on a new house, but due to the high birth
rates and the practice of poly gamy it is not rare that
a house live more then one families, so make the situation
is not comfortable especially for women.
The Sundanese as other ethnic of Indonesia is still live with religion as the most important spiritual need, where Islam id 98% as the main belief, although it seems that some people with their extend of knowledge has reached real spiritual development who could bring the advancement of economy, politic or shortly the local culture.
Ambon Archipelagic Culture
Baduy People Culture
Batak Ethnic Culture
Bugis People Culture
Indonesia Chinese Culture
Dayak Interland Culture
Flores Island Culture
Mentawai Island Culture
Minahasa People Culture
Minangkabau People Culture
Nias People Culture
Timor People Culture
Toraja Land People
The West Papuan Tribes
Among various tour packages and tour options in Bali there are some tours which can be said always on the publications and interest a large part of travellers to Bali. Kintamani mountain tour sits at the first number as the most popular sightseeing tour, second is Taman Ayun and Tanah Lot tour, third is Uluwatu temple tour.
- Kintamani tour bring combination of watching barong dance, beautiful temple architecture, beautiful natural views, dance, carving, accessories and painting see description
- Taman Ayun and Tanah Lot temples are two historical heritages from 17th, Taman Ayun palace temple which is always found near palaces of Balinese king starting 18th century see description
- Uluwatu temple located on steep drop cliff on the southernmost tip of Bali island. see description