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Jakarta Post

Practicing benevolence, Samin tribe endures scorn

  • Elly Burhaini Faizal

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, November 23 2011   /  09:21 am

Benevolence plays an important role in the life of the Samin tribe, an indigenous community living in forested areas bordering Central Java and East Java provinces.

Stereotyped as rebellious people during the Dutch colonial era, the Samin still endure ridicule from others who consider them slow and resistant to change.

Unlike other local communities frequently rocked by tribal conflict, the Samin live a tranquil life as they devote themselves to benevolence.

“Only benevolence can lead us to lasting well-being in this world and the next,” Hardjo Kardi, aka Mbah Hardjo, a 74-year-old tribal leader of the Samin, told The Jakarta Post.

He is the great-grandson of the late Surosentiko Samin or Raden Kohar, a tribal leader of a community living in Jepang village in Margomulyo subdistrict, Bojonegoro, East Java, from where the Samin come.

In Jepang vill...