Little more than three hours away from Jakarta there is a traditional community that has turned their back away from modern technology. They don’t own phones, use the Internet, wear shoes or listen to the radio. Living in voluntary isolation they are a secretive group who turn away outsiders. This group lives close to the city of Banten and they are known as the Baduy people.
Generally, the Baduy are divided into two groups; the Baduy Dalam and the Baduy Luar. In my opinion the Baduy Luar act as a buffer zone to stop visitors from entering the Sacred Inner circle, the Baduy Dalam. Even though both groups are barefoot, it is so easy to differentiate them. Baduy Dalam wear white and black cloth as clothing, meanwhile Baduy Luar wear black and cloth just like us. Some people say that the black cloth the Baduy Luar people wear is an indication that they are not pure anymore, that they are breaking some rules of the community, such as their willingness to accept modern influence into their daily lives.
This community, is quite famous as a weekend gateway for people who live in Jakarta, but it is not for them who want beaches, sea and loads of holiday snapshots. The Baduy Dalam people think that taking photos is taboo and have nothing to do with modern technology. It used to be prohibited for visitors to stay over night in Baduy Dalam, but now days it is possible, as long as you make very good friends with people from Baduy Luar, who can recommend you to one of the Baduy Dalam that is!
When you want to visit this area, make sure you wear proper trekking shoes or sandals since the track is more than 10 km and not such an easy walk, especially during the rainy season. Don’t worry about the long walk though, you will be spoiled by the amazing views. The rich nature surrounding the Baduy settlement means that the Baduy people are able to make their own clothes. They also sell some handicrafts that they make as well, like scarves, bracelets and fabrics for visitors. They also sell food, like homemade honey.
If you’re thinking about what to do when you come here then you need not worry because there is lots on offer, like just simply enjoying the true relaxing times and the feeling of being isolated from modern technology and man made things. My favourite things to do is just observing communal life in the settlement. It is a very relaxing experience and sometimes I find myself missing the simplicity and beauty of the place.
Thanks to my brother and his friends for all these amazing pictures!