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Muslim in east Bali  

by on Wednesday, 22 September 2010No Comment | 663 views

Magibung is usually held to celebrate one’s Balinese birthday to show the solidarity. After following the ritual, the person who celebrates his/her birthday and relatives will sit encircling a big plate of rice and eat it together. It is simply to say that this habit is an integral part of Hindu in Bali. Yet, in fact, Muslim in East Bali adopts it as a necessary ritual on Idul Fitri.

A long time ago, in 1692 when Karangasem was under the reign of Anak Agung Anglurah Ketut Karangasem, neighboring Lombok’s predominantly kingdoms were conquered by him. The migration of Hindus to Lombok and vice versa was conducted as a mark of close relationship between Karangasem and Lombok. In this eastern part of Bali, young Muslim played important role to make Karangsem Kingdom powerful because they were recruited as soldiers.

In that time, Karangasem was a reckoned empire that would like to expand its territory while at the same time they needed to defend themselves from other’s empire attack. There were so many wars faced by Karangasem. Thus, the King wanted his troops strong and united. He, then, announced magibung as a method to strengthen soldiers’ esprit de corps as well as an easy way to count the numbers of soldier.

Until nowadays on Idul Fitri Hindu and Muslim in Subagan Village and surroundings will walk down the streets, bring food, fruits, and many things to the mosque. There, a communal feast is held in the mosque following Sholat Ied. The presence of mosques in eastern part of Bali is the result of the attempt arouse by King to fund the building of mosque. No wonder that Muslims in this area until today is still loyal to Karangasem royal’s family. Even they are participating when the royal family organizes a sacred festival to sound the temple’s sacred gong.

This reality invites many researchers to come to Subagan Village and surroundings to conduct a research about harmony and tolerance amongst different religions. Since 1692 until 2010, Muslim and Hindu in East Bali still live together in harmony and peace though it is a fact that they have different faith and opinion oftentimes. Hindus in this area even address Muslim with “Nyama Selam” means Muslim Brothers and Sisters as they have became a big family.

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