Indonesia is known world-widely to be a nation with lots of religion. However, the religions that exist in Indonesia are not all considered to be an official religion by the government; only six religions are, Islam, Catholic, Protestant, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Confucianism.
Other than these six religions, they are not recognized by the government. In Indonesia ID card, the name of the unofficial religion is not mentioned and changed into “belief” or “kepercayaan". These unofficial religions that live and grow in Indonesia are plentiful, one of them is “Kejawen”.
To begin with, Kejawen means “Java”; theoretically, it means “everything related to Java culture”. Based on its name, its adherents are majorly from Java island. Therefore, Kejawen and Java cannot be separated.
In addition, Kejawen is more like a way of life than religion because Kejawen people are sometimes Muslim, too. It blends the teaching from both Kejawen and Islam, even other religions like Hinduism, Buddhism, and Animism, too.
Moreover, Kejawen has been the religion of native Javanese before the big religion, like Islam and Christianity, came to Indonesia. This religion has been passed through the generation and the worshipping is done through traditional ritual, like “panembah”, “hening”, “samadi”, and “pralambang”.
Furthermore, Javanese people since then have never known about worshipping to the statues of Deities, which is viscous with the Indian religions, like Hinduism and Buddhism. Since a long time ago, Javanese people have already been open-minded and tolerant.
Thereby, outside religions that come to Java are welcomed and not prevented by the native because Javanese ancestors think that all religions are good. The ancestors also believe that all religion honor the same God, but only in different method and way.
In Java itself, Kejawen and Islam are blended, thus, the tradition of both Islam and Java are mixed, for example, “Pasa Sura” or Sura fasting. These two religions have become an attractive sight to be explored and deepened; many studies have been conducted in the purpose of learning the mixture of Kejawen and Islam.
Kejawen Islam is basically Islam that has adapted with the culture and tradition from Java. The mystical sight in Islam in Kejawen culture are glutinous with the phenomena in Javanese people. Therefore, it cannot be separated with the “wali” in Demak era in the dissemination of Islam culturally.
Furthermore, Kejawen adherents see their religion as a way of view and points that go together with a sort of “laku” or behavior. The symbols of “laku” are mystical items, such as “keris”, “wayang”, and some particular flowers. These mystical items have different meaning and philosophy hidden behind.
Kejawen has a lot of tradition that is still practiced by Javanese people today. Some of them are related to Islam teaching such as fasting, and some of them are not, even some say that it opposes Islam teaching. Besides, many myths are still trusted by believers.
To start with, the adherents of Kejawen believe that some of the mystical items, like “keris” and “wayang”, have a spirit inside. In a month called “Sura” month, the “keris” must be cleaned, otherwise, the unwanted incident will happen to the owner of “keris”.
In addition, people believe that in a big tree, there is a spirit that waits or guards the area. People that get pass should give a greeting, or Javanese people say “permisi” while crossing the area.
Due to globalization of this modern era, Kejawen has become rare and people have chosen technology over the tradition that has been passed by Javanese ancestors. Only the elders that still practice the tradition, ritual, and culture of Kejawen.
Mostly, parents choose a big religion such as Islam and Christianity. Therefore, kids nowadays do not know and understand about Java tradition, specifically Kejawen. In a big city like Surabaya, majorly people do not believe and practice Javanese tradition.
While in villages, the Kejawen tradition that has blended in the society is still viscous within the heart of people. In certain days, villagers gather, celebrate, and pray together to the God; the prayers are various, it can pray to refuse a disaster, or for expressing gratitude to God for the welfare that has been given to the village.
In conclusion, Kejawen is a religion that comes long ago and indigenous from Java island. In the practice, Kejawen has blended with the religion that has come to the land of Java such as Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, and Animism. Thus, many traditions and teaching in Kejawen is partially the same as those religions.
Besides, Kejawen is not practiced and believed by most people from the city because of globalization, but some villagers in Java island trust and follow the principles of Kejawen.