Believe Beliefs

In Jogjakarta, Indonesia, students made a video about why people in their community believe in superstitions as part of Asia Society's Creative Voices of Islam project. They were assisted by two youth media organizations: Appalshop (US) and Kampung Halaman (Indonesia).

This video was made by students at Public High Schools 1, 3, and 8 in Jogjakarta, Indonesia to share with students in Asia Society's International Studies Schools Network in Charlotte, North Carolina and Mathis, Texas. After you watch the video, read what the students thought and post your own comments!

Responses to "Believe Beliefs"

  1.  Jogjakarta1 Says:
    February 27th, 2009 at 6:37 pm

    The point of this production is how Jogjakarta still keep their old beliefs like masangin which is being told by this production. It tells us the different thought about masangin from peoples surround it. For examples, from the Kraton Palace’s servant, the tourist, and from the people who lived nearby. Actually, large amount of us hold our faith strongly, but we still look for this kind of thing. Some of us consider this as a thing that just for fun, but there are some people who consider this as a way of life. This kind of people usually define their choices with masangin. (SMA 1 Jogjakarta)

  2.  Jogjakarta8 Says:
    March 11th, 2009 at 8:11 pm

    The spirit of Jogjakarta is really reflected in this movie. The superstitious and beliefs, the plurality of Jogjakarta people, the tradition and heritage of Jogjakarta, are shown well in this movie. It is proven by the fact that ‘Masangin’ is still exist until today. The different opinion between one person and another shows the plurality of Jogjakarta people in seeing a tradition and superstitious which is owned by Jogjakarta. Only by this simple movie, the wealth of Jogjakarta can be shown to the world. (Aya)

  3.  Jogjakarta3 Says:
    March 12th, 2009 at 9:07 am

    The story tells us about the tradition and myth in Jogjakarta. I am interested in this Masangin tradition although I don’t believe it. It’s very unique because of the superstition. It is believed that if we can walk through between the two “Beringin” trees at South Alun-alun with closed eyes, we will be able to reach our dreams. After seeing, I want to try to walk between two Beringin trees to prove this myth. I Hope my dream come true, although I don’t believe it. However, it is important to preserve this tradition. The important tradition from Jogjakarta. (bagus)

  4.  Mathis Says:
    March 13th, 2009 at 11:37 am
  5.  Jogjakarta1 Says:
    March 13th, 2009 at 5:47 pm

    Mathis : Just come to Indonesia and we will show you this magical trees. You have to try it by yourself to prove it. And there’s a lot of different myths and traditions in Jogjakarta beside this. I also wondering if in another country have some story that just like this. Medina

  6. Jogjakarta3 Says:
    March 23rd, 2009 at 12:03 am
    That is just one of many myth that is exist in Yogyakarta. There still many more, such as a goddess in Parangtritis Beach, which is rule a kingdom underwater and everyone who wears green shirt will be taken into the kingdom.Not only people actually. Everything which colored green will also be taken. By : Ika
  7.  Charlotte Says:
    March 25th, 2009 at 4:21 am

    To Bagus: I think it is very interesting how these trees are a part of your culture and tradition, yet you don’t believe in the myth. I think it is very important to keep your tradition alive and proudly show it to the world. I really liked how this video told to the world a part of Indonesia’s mythical history. After seeing this, I actually want to visit these magical trees so I can have one of my wishes granted! Thank you for making this video! - Evan

  8.  Charlotte Says:
    March 25th, 2009 at 4:21 am

    This video was great! I enjoyed the fact that they showed how some people still believe in “old beliefs” and how some people see it as a joke. I still enjoy old traditions and beliefs that my family has. We should never forget where we came from, even if its something as simple as walking through two trees. Some things are harder than they seem. -Tara

  9.  Charlotte Says:
    March 25th, 2009 at 4:32 am

    I loved this video. I think that it is great that they still have traditions that mean so much to them and they stick to it to this day. Cultures and beliefs can mean so much to families and communities, and it is great that you are keeping your traditions alive.

  10.  KampungHalaman Says:
    March 27th, 2009 at 9:06 pm

    Evan, I really curious… Does American still believe in Superstitious? (Lila)

  11. Charlotte Says:
    March 31st, 2009 at 4:08 am
    To Lila:
    Here in America, we still have plenty of superstitions, but some of them are not the same as yours. Some common superstitions we have are
    1. Don’t walk under a ladder
    2. Black cats are bad luck if they walk away from you
    3. If you break a mirror, you have 7 years of bad luck
    4. 13 is an unlucky number
    5. 7 is a lucky number
    6. Don’t knock over a salt shaker
    These are just some of the many that we have here. I personally don’t believe in most of them, but some I do. What are some other superstitions they have in Indonesia?
    - Evan
  12.  Charlotte Says:
    March 31st, 2009 at 4:14 am

    TO AYA

    I totally agree with you when you said that the video shows the spirit of indonesia. what are some of your other traditions and beliefs? indonesia just seems like a place of free spirit -victoria

  13.  Charlotte Says:
    March 31st, 2009 at 4:14 am

    America does have a lot of superstition, one of my favorites is always wish on 11:11. I truely believe in it and a lot of people in America do too. We have plenty of weird superstitions that i don’t believe in but some of them i do. -Tara

  14.  Charlotte Says:
    March 31st, 2009 at 4:15 am

    SMA 1- Everyone definetly has different beliefs all over the world. Being apart of this culture do you consider masangin a way of your life? -Diamond

  15.  Mathis Says:
    April 1st, 2009 at 11:58 am

    to medina how did you find this out?? did go to the food festival that they had there? if you did can you tell me what its like to go to one of them. do yall have carnivals there or any theme parks out where yall live? R!(@Rd0

  16. Charlotte Says:
    April 2nd, 2009 at 8:12 am
    To Bagus: I think it is very interesting how these trees are a part of your culture and tradition, yet you don’t believe in the myth. I think it is very important to keep your tradition alive and proudly show it to the world. I really liked how this video told to the world a pkuhart of Indonesia’s mythical history. After seeing this, I actually want to visit these magical trees so I can have one of my wishes granted! Thank you for making this video! kyle
  17.  Jogjakarta1 Says:
    April 12th, 2009 at 12:19 am

    Diamond : i’m not consider masangin as a way of my life but i still give some respect to masangin and to people who consider masangin as a way for their lifes. For some peoples this kind of beliefs was in their blood so they hold stronger each day to this beliefs. (Medina-SMA 1)

  18.  Jogjakarta1 Says:
    April 12th, 2009 at 12:35 am

    Ricardo : I knew it since i was a little girl. My parents told me about this. Yeah i did. I often went there. It was crowded, complete, and full of uniue things. You can see the Ghost House, the free style bike’s driver, etc. (Medina)

  19.  Jogjakarta8 Says:
    April 16th, 2009 at 4:05 am

    To Tara : Hey, we did it too. Sometime we believe, if our digital clock showed the same numbers, for example 12:12, there was someone that missing us. So, we would shout, “Hey, there was someone missing me!” And start to counted, if the same numbers was 12, it means someone who missing us has L in first letter of his/her name. We don’t know it’s true or not and we don’t know where it was from, but that is a fun joke for us  (Anggie and Azug - SMA 8 Jogja)

  20.  Jogjakarta8 Says:
    April 16th, 2009 at 5:45 am

    ehm… after read all of the comment in here… we want to tell another story about MASANGIN and may be can make all of you curious. in this movie, they tell us if we can walk through between BERINGIN TREES at South Alun-alun with closed eyes, our dream will be come true. Jogjakarta have many traditions and myths, but they are different one another. In other side, there are some people (a group of people) have different belief. They believe that walking through between 2 BERINGIN TREES at South Alun-Alun can make their strength is lost. this community which have strong supranatural believe if they do that, they will always unlucky,become the looser in everything,etc. we ever heard about the history of BERINGIN TREES in South Alun-Alun. In the past, BERINGIN TREES have a strength that made the soldiers of enemy died if they walk between the trees. It happened when there was a war in Jogja. Some people said that the soldiers were brought to PARANGTRITIS BEACH (in south Jogja). Because they believe there was a queen of south beach in PARANGTRITIS. because of this story, some people think that walk between 2 BERINGIN can not make our dream come true, but can make bad things happened to us. So, which one is the right ? we are not sure, because each people have different opinion of the tradition and superstition in Jogjakarta. Thank’s! Fitri and Iangrea

  21.  Jogjakarta3 Says:
    April 25th, 2009 at 11:05 pm

    Indonesia has many momentous places, especially Jogjakarta. It really makes me proud to be one of the residents of Jogjakarta. Each place has their interesting history. When I was in junior high school, my friends and I go to south Alun-alun Jogjakarta. We go to that place to prove the myth called “Masangin”. One of my friends tries it. I closed her eyes and he start to walk between 2 beringin trees. But, unlucky, she couldn’t pass through the two beringin trees. She doesn’t walk to the right way. She always walks to other way, like out beside the beringin tree. Finally, my friend gives up and she doesn’t want to try it again. Then, I ask one of the residents there. They said that it is just a myth. And because of we are still in junior high school, we may not to believe it, just know and learn about the myth. -arvy-

Creative Voices of Islam is a three-year initiative implemented by Asia Society with support from the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art. The goal of this initiative is to foster an increased understanding of the diversity of experience and voices within the multicultural societies of contemporary United States and Asia. The initiative includes a series of exhibitions, cultural events, and public programs at Asia Society’s headquarters in New York City, as well as a youth media exchange between high schools in the U.S. and Muslim countries in Asia.