Ater-ater Tradition as a Depiction of Fraternal Life

TheMadurese principle of life is respecting and upholding solidarity to others. They are recognized as friendly, open, helpful, sociable, and tolerant of other communities.It is known from the way of life that is preserving ancestral traditions. There is a unique and impressive tradition of the Madurese. It is called“Ater-ater”. Ater-ater is Madurese Language which means“deliver or giving” and they deliver food or things named “Rebbe”. So, Ater-ater traditionis a tradition of delivering or giving food to relatives and neighbors. The process is taking or delivering a package of food consisting of rice and side dishes, and various types of cake or fruit to commemorate something.

This tradition is preserved definitely with some benefits and purposes. For brief conclusion some purposes of this tradition are;

a.       Increasing the sense of brotherhood among the people. This is reflected from the cuisine exchanges. It is an expression of gratitude and willingness of sharing food they have. For, it is no exaggerations to say that there are no social strata on this tradition, because weather the rich or the poor share one another.

b.      As a sign or remembrance of special moment’s arrival. With Ater-ater as if we were warned that soon has come Ramadan month, or soon be coming the feast of Idul Fitri and also other special commemorations.

c.       As a form of gratitude for the opportunity given to participate in the special celebration.

Presently, Ater-ater tradition is still implemented by people. Nevertheless, its implementation has undergone changes. For examples, the evolution of tray and Rantang—set of stacked containers for transporting food—to a cardboard. In the past, tray and Rantang are the identical matter to carry food on this tradition. Nowadays, people prefer to use cardboard box to tray. Because, using tray or Ratang is more complicated. Obviously, the menu they deliver definitely much simpler than before. They are starting to change their cuisine to be more practical by delivering tins of pastry, rice or even fresh money. This happens because they do not want preoccupied with preparing dishes that surely needs a lot of time.

People used to carry some cuisine while visiting their relatives on Idul Fitri. However, the condition changed rapidly, some of them no longer carry it out on this day. The alteration also happens to engaged couple. Once, the tradition is also close to the couple who got engaged while visiting a relative’s house, with the aim to introduce their future daughter or son-in-law and tight familial relationship. But, unfortunately, some couples rarely implement this tradition, due to the fact that they avoid being knotty and wish the simple things to do.

Those cases above could threaten the continuance of this tradition, but some could be the solution to preserve. In my point of view, we should find some innovation on this tradition because, a stiff tradition is threatened to stop existing. For example, using cardboard box to replace tray and Rantang, and changing variety of cuisines such as fast food. Moreover, the essence of this tradition is not merely about what and how we give, but it tends to uphold the social value and fraternal life. For, the tradition should adjust with the contemporary occurrence that developed in social circumstance as a matter to avoid the tradition stagnancy or decay. Principally, we have to preserve well old tradition and take acceptable new tradition.



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