Japanese Students Raise the Tradition of Tribal Burials in Indonesia as a Final Project

Shohei Senaha with the Dean and Vice Deans of FCS UB

The funeral is a sacred ritual that cannot be separated from human life. However, in the procedure or funeral process, every culture has its way. Then, it creates a curiosity for one of the Darmasiswa RI Program students of Faculty of Cultural Studies (FCS) Universitas Brawijaya (UB) from Japan named Shohei Senaha. He then put his curiosity in a final project as a mandatory requirement for graduation from the Darmasiswa RI Program at the FCS UB. Shohei, as he is called, is obliged to take the Final Project examination which is tested online by a team of FCS UB lecturers.

Shohei revealed his reasons for choosing the theme of tribal funeral traditions in Indonesia. He said that his interest started when he attended a culture class. At that time, the subject discussed was about the funeral traditions in the Toraja tribe. Since receiving the lesson, he admitted that he was surprised and this was the first time he knew that Indonesia had a unique culture of funeral traditions. This then encouraged him to seek more literature on how to bury in Indonesia.

“One of the things I have learned is about the funeral process that the Toraja people do when I study in a culture class. In this study, I decided to find out about the types of burials of the five tribes in Indonesia, including the Dayak, Toraja, Balinese, Batak, and Sundanese tribes,” he explained during his presentation.

Shohei also explained the different ways of funerals in Japan during the presentation. “Funeral ceremonies through burial in Japan have been prohibited. Today, many funeral companies provide funeral services. They are changing the way of burial in the ground to cremation. Families whose relatives died can ask the funeral company to carry out the funeral by cremation,” he explained.

Shohei’s enthusiasm for carrying out his final project related to funeral traditions received support from his supervisor, Khilmi Mauliddian, M.Li. “At first I was surprised by the idea Shohei conveyed. But when he put forward the reason logically, I then directed him, and it turned out that he was passionate about studying and looking for data about tribal funeral traditions in Indonesia,” said this lecturer of BIPA FCS UB.

Appreciation was also given by the examiner, Machrus Abadi, M.Pd. “What Shohei raised is interesting. Moreover, this research was conducted by students from Japan. Of course, this can spur enthusiasm for us to pay more attention to and love our cultural traditions,” he said. [DTS]