Hindu Muslim Unity: Indonesian food fight promotes interfaith harmony

throwing rice cakes at each other

INDONESIA: Perang topat (or rice cake throwing) is a ritual “war” that symbolizes brotherhood and tolerance between Muslims and Hindus. Hundreds of people of all ages, male and female, were separated into two groups, one in the yard of a Hindu prayer house, and the other in the yard of a sacred place for the ethnic Sasak Muslim community.  As soon as they heard a command to begin, both groups immediately charged a centuries-old tradition in Lingsar village meant to promote harmony between local Muslims and Hindus, instead of promoting a dreadful and horrible clash.

The annual event in Lingsar village takes place in Pura Lingsar, the most unique building of its kind in the country because it comprises Pura Gaduh, a place for Hindu worshippers, and Kemaliq, a Sasak Muslim house  of ceremonies.

“Perhaps only in Lingsar can they find Hindu and Muslim celebrations held on the same date and in the same place, although we have different versions,” said Kemaliq chief executive Suparman Taufik. “India, with its Hindu majority, has the Taj Mahal as Muslim heritage and Indonesia with its Muslim majority has Borobudur and other temples, so there’s no reason for disharmony. This reflects the colors of culture.”

Read more: Communal Harmony

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