Hindu Muslim Unity: Hindu festival celebrates interfaith unity

Indonesian Hindus in Jagannath temple

BALI:  According to data from Indonesia’s Religious Affairs Ministry in Denpasar, 3.2 million Hindus live side by side in Bali with 348,617 Muslims, 41,799 Christians, 33,233 Catholics, 19,978 Buddhists and 124 Confucians.

Balinese Hindus have already celebrated two major religious events this year: Nyepi and Galungan — each providing an opportunity for the island’s residents to display interfaith tolerance and friendship.  “One day before Galungan, our family usually sends cakes, fruit, and tape ketan hitam (a rice dish) to our neighbours and friends. Not only Hindus, but also to Muslims, Christians, and other religions. For me, the important thing from the ngejot tradition is how we can maintain our togetherness and tolerance among different religions.” said one Hindu. It is not important what kind of food they send. “,” he said.

In addition a small forum in Denpasar that engages in dialogue to enhance religious tolerance. “We hope a forum like this will continue on a larger scale. The dialogue like this will open more opportunities for everyone to learn from each other and to strengthen relationships among religious followers,” said a Muslim who attended the meeting.

Read more: Communal Harmony

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