I was ones watching a talk in the television by Kelli Swazey a motivational speaker who happened to present in one of the programs known as the TED. She was giving a story about a certain kind of a ritual ceremony that is conducted by a community in Indonesia called the Toraja. This ritual ceremony is known to be one of the unique ceremonies that are conducted in the world. It is characterized by several activities which are all traditional and are highly valued by the community. The objective of the essay is to discuss the Toraja burial ceremony according to Kelli Swazey.
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The ceremony is conducted at one’s home place where people spread all over the place waiting for the cession of the buffalo fighting which marks the beginning of the ceremony. The Toraja community is made up of Christians and Muslims but when it comes to the ritual ceremony, the whole community participates in the activities that are carried out in the ceremony. The burial ceremony in this community is much of cerebration than morning since the whole community is involved in the process of preparing and the time before burial ceremony takes place may last up to three weeks or a whole year.
This is because there is a lot of money that is needed for one to conduct a single ceremony. People spend most of their life time preparing for their burial where they save and invest in various areas not because of their future but to be offered a descent ceremony when they die. It said that a wedding can be postponed for a burial to take place because the wedding ceremony cannot be compared with the burial ceremony (Hisyam, 2006).
The burial ceremony starts with an important cession where buffalos fight and the entire village attends where they enjoy as they fight. After the buffalos fight, they are them slaughtered where the entire village engages into a ceremony which is characterized by a lot of eating. It said that the family status is determined by the kind of burial that one is offered after death. The ceremony is said to begin when the community villagers and all visitors arrive to the place where buffalos are slaughtered.
The reason behind the slaughtering of the buffalos and pigs is because the community believes that the act causes the soul of the diseased to rest in peace. This is because one’s the person becomes dead, he or she is assumed to be ill and that the person is kept in one of the traditional houses together with the close family members and the house in which one is kept is known as the Tongkonan (Taylor, 1994).
There is a tune that the community sings as the ceremony continues and it is mostly known as the Mabadong. People also cry where they produce sounds which signify mourning. After the bulls are slaughtered, the meat is shared among the community members according to their status in the community. The amount and type of meat that one is served depends on the position that one has acquired in the community. Some of the meat is served to the dead person which is a symbolic representation of continuity of life even after death and the meat is referred to us Aluk Todolo.
The heads of the buffalos which are slaughtered during the ceremony are then kept together in a certain place since they symbolically represent one’s wealth and so they are kept as a reminder.
The ceremony continues as family members fill the whole place with cries which are still part of the burial ceremony. The body is preserved until the eleventh day from the ceremony where is then taken to a cave since the community does not bury the dead in a tomb rather they keep their bodies in caves which mark the end of the whole ceremony. The bodies can then be viewed even after a long time. They are then taken out at certain moments where they are displayed for the community viewing (Budiman, 2013).