BALIKPAPAN, INDONESIA, May 5, 2014 (Kaltim Post): It’s not only Indonesia’s Muslims who have the halal bi-halal ceremony. Indonesian Hindus also have a tradition of a day dedicated to seeking forgiveness and harmony with friends and relatives. It’s called Dharma Santi and is observed after the Nyepi New Year’s day.
Dharma Santi means cleaning the mental, moral, and spiritual parts of life. This manifests religious harmony. “It’s like halal bi-halal. Where all devotees of the religion can forgive each other. In doing so harmony is materialized.” said the chairman of the Balikpapan branch of the Indonesian Hindu Association (PHDI), I Dewa Made Wirya Atmaja, on the sidelines of the celebration of Dharma Santi at the Pura Giri Natha Jaya temple on Re Martadinata Street.
This activity has been held for the last ten years. It was attended by over 500 people. Made said that there are 400 Hindu families in Balikpapan comprising 1,600 souls. The festivity went from 7 to 10 pm and featured dances from around the country. It closed with a Bondres mask dance, which is a humorous Balinese dance depicting funny folk stories.