Minangkabau (Fundamental of culture, religion, belief and tradition)
The Minangkabau ethnic group, also known as Minang (Urang minang in Minangkabau language), is indigenous to the highlands of West Sumatra, in Indonesia. Their culture is matrilineal, with property and land passing down from mother to daughter, while religious and political affairs are the responsibility of men (although some women also play important roles in these areas). Today 4 million Minangs live in West Sumatra, while about 3 million more are scattered throughout many Indonesian and Malay peninsular cities and towns. The Minangkabau are strongly Islamic, but also follow their ethnic traditions, or adat. The Minangkabau adat was derived from animist beliefs before the arrival of Islam, and remnants of animist beliefs still exist even among some practicing Muslims. The present relationship between Islam and adatis described in the saying "tradition [adat] founded upon Islamic law, Islamic law founded upon the Qur'an" (adat basandi syara', syara' basandi Kitabullah).
In the 14th century, minangkabau people arrived in Negeri Sembilan by Melaka and reached Rembau. They are civilized and able to socialize with the natives very well. Therefore, mixed marriages among them have created Biduanda tribe. Biduanda tribe is the original beneficiary of Negeri Sembilan and community leaders minang to be selected must be from the Biduanda tribe. The biduanda tribe have created a leader of Negeri Sembilan called ‘Penghulu’ and then ‘Undaang’.
The Minangs are the world's largest matrilineal society, in which properties such as land and houses are inherited through female lineage. Some scholars argue that this might have caused the diaspora (Minangkabau, "merantau") of Minangkabau males throughout the Maritime Southeast Asia to become scholars or to seek fortune as merchants. As early as the age of 7, boys traditionally leave their homes and live in a surau (a prayer house & community centre) to learn religious and cultural (adat) teachings. When they are teenagers, they are encouraged to leave their hometown to learn from schools or from experiences out of their hometown so that when they are adults they can return home wise and 'useful' for the society and can contribute their thinking and experience to run the family or nagari (hometown) when they sit as the member of 'council of uncles'. This tradition has created Minang communities in many Indonesian cities and towns, which nevertheless are still tied closely to their homeland; a state in Malaysia named Negeri Sembilan is heavily influenced by Minang culture because Negeri Sembilan was originally Minangkabau's territory (the people believe so by the old story from the ancestor). Due to their culture that stresses the importance of learning, Minang people are over-represented in the educated professions in Indonesia, with many ministers from Minang. The first female minister was a Minang scholar. In addition to being renowned as merchants, the Minangs have also produced some of Indonesia's most influential poets, writers, statesmen, scholars, and religious scholars. Being fervent Muslims, many of them embraced the idea of incorporating Islamic ideals into modern society. Furthermore, the presence of these intellectuals combined with the people's basically proud character, made the Minangkabau homeland (the province of West Sumatra) one of the powerhouses in the Indonesian struggle for independence. Today both natural and cultural tourism have become considerable economic activities in West Sumatra.
1. Ceremonies and festivals
Minangkabau ceremonies and festivals include:
§ Turun mandi - baby blessing ceremony
§ Sunat rasul - circumcision ceremony
§ Baralek - wedding ceremony
§ Batagak pangulu - clan leader inauguration ceremony. Other clan leaders, all relatives in the same clan and all villagers in the region are invited. The ceremony will last for 7...
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