12 Life Principles of the Batak People

1. Anakkonhido Hamoraon diau (My children are my wealth)

Having children is an invaluable wealth for Batak families. Having sons is much more appreciated, especially if it is an older child, it is a huge blessing for Batak. The boys will later become male clan heirs.

For Batak families that do not have sons, for example, if children 1 to 5 are still girls, their parents will still try to get boys, even if the girls in the family are 7 or even 9.

2. Hagabeon, Hasangapon, Hamoraon (Success, Honor, Wealth)

To be successful in the Batak tribe means to be successful, wealthy and respected. You can be successful in various fields of activity, in the fields of education, business, career and others. What it means to have honor in the Batak tribe is illustrated in everyday relationships, in a courteous address to each other, this is what has high social significance in society or in customs.

As for wealth, in fact, the wealth in the Batak tribe is relative, depending on how we imagine and interpret it. A rich person is one who can give something to other people, in turn, how much you give others so much you will receive. Thus, the life of the people of Batak is full of giving and receiving blessings.

3. Tidak akan menikah sebelum hidup mapan (I will not marry / I will not get married until life is better).

Before marriage, the Batak must establish their life, which means that they must have a livelihood. This applies to both men and women. Therefore, do not be surprised if in the Batak tribe you will find many unmarried people, precisely because of the requirements of this. However, everyone seems to accept this principle, since imagine that you are already married, but you have no job, how will you feed your family?

In addition, the requirements of an established life, apparently, are positively correlated with the cost of marriage, because the cost of marriage in the Batak tribe is not small, much more than in other clans as a whole.

4. Dalihan Natolu

This is a principle that is considered sacred to the Batak tribe because in every traditional custom and event these words are always pronounced. Dalihan Natolu means three basic rules that Batak must follow: Somba Markhula-hula (Respect for the wife’s family), Elek Marboru (duty to protect women), Manat Mardongan Tubu (behave with caution with friends of his clan).

Without Dalihan Natolu, the life of the Batak people would not have a close relationship, as it is today. Dalihan Natolu is also the fundamentalism of life, which is actually in harmony with the life of the nation and the state, which is controlled by Pancasila as the basic law of Indonesia.

5. Harta boleh miskin, tetapi adat tetap kaya (You can be poor financially, but not spiritually)

If someone belongs to the category of the poor from an economic point of view, then there is no certainty that he has the same status from the point of view of traditions. It often happens that Datu (the elder) is not the one who is financially secure, but the one whom the people respect.

6. Tuak adalah minuman bermakna, bukan minuman haram (Tuak is a significant drink, not a prohibited one)

If you have ever participated in a traditional Batak event, you have definitely tasted this unique drink. This drink is called “Tuak”, this alcoholic drink is a must in every Batak custom, and it is guaranteed that the event will not take place if there is no tuak.

Tuak is very important for the life of the people of Batak, if in everyday life, tuak is a drink to warm the body (since most of the Batak region is cold), then at a traditional event, tuak is a drink for invited guests, if the table is laid, then tuak on the table is required .

7. Tidak akan pulang kampung sebelum sukses (Until success, I won’t return home)

This principle is accepted by Batak nomads. It is possible to return home before Batak became successful only when the family has a wedding or someone has died, there can be no other reason.

8. Apapun kerjakan, asal halal! (Whatever you do, the main thing is to be halal)

Let you work as a driver of public transport, tire fitting, welder, etc. the important thing is that you do no harm to others. In connection with the seventh principle, it is better to take a halal bath with sweat than to be unemployed, because unemployment is a taboo in the face of the Batak people, not to mention becoming a beggar or passing away.

9. Biar kambing di kampung sendiri, tapi banteng diperantauan (Let the goat in his village, and the bull abroad)

In his village, a person may be underestimated or may even be treated badly, but this does not mean that he cannot succeed elsewhere. Many Batak who succeeded because of this motivation and are accustomed to swallowing the bitter life in the village now become rich in other countries.

Do not be surprised if many Batak occupy strategic positions in the government, are well known in the field of law, in the show business, in sports, etc. All because of this principle.

10. Marga bisa mengubah nasib (The clan can change fate).

Helping each other if you are from the same clan commitment. For example, if you from the same clan are ashamed of you to take a fee for a service. There is no harm in using clans if you are real Batak.

11. Musik adalah obat stres (Music is a cure for stress)

If the Batak is tired or under stress, then instead of resting, they take the guitar and begin to sing.

Do not be surprised if your Batak neighbors love to listen Batak songs loudly at 05.00 in the morning. Relax, they are not going to bother you, they just need a little time to express themselves.

12. Hancur demi kawan (To lay oneself out for friends)

This principle of the natives of Medan says that Batak are faithful to their friends, regardless of nationality. Batak people are ready to do everything for their friends, so never doubt the loyalty of your Batak friends, but only if you are also honest with them.

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