Redefinition The Local History : In case of Batak Society

The fall of New Order, conveying the new direction of historical writing (historiography) in Indonesia. However, actually, almost people, including historians, define its change in two ways. Firstly, produce political histories that come from the suspects or persons who erased from New Order History. Secondly, to see the reality of history from another side, particularly  from non-political perspective to get the overall comprehension about Indonesia History.

Unfortunately, only few people, including historians, that reputed as radically groups, realize that the historical narration in Indonesia fall on to unreal situation . For them, the important thing to do is to deconstruct  some important and sensitive   historical problems and events, before go to the next steps.

Although, more  deconstructionist  stress to the national history field, but it not, another historical fields not to be deconstructed. This paper, mainly, attempt to show availability  to deconstructed , not only about locality, but also about national consideration.

Pluraism in Batak Society

Batak society is not homogenous entity. Although some anthropologist was successful  classifying Batak sub-ethnic based from any criteria, but, in reality, the fathom of common people about Batak society always thinks to Batak-Toba people. The questions are  why its understanding process can be happened  and how the expression of other Batak people about its fathom?

In quantity aspect, surely, we can ignore that Batak-Toba society have the biggest population among other Batak people. But, the quantity is not only singular factor that form its understanding. I think cultural factor, especially the philosophy of live (hamajuon and monang) and cultural identity, having significance role for this situation. Certainly,  the most possible media that used to introduced themselves  is the migration practice, particulary to outer Batakland.

The Batak-Toba people, absolutely, is not  the first Batak society that migrate to outer Batakland. But, after the western elements come in, little by little the Batak-Toba people  start to migrate  to outer Batakland and moreover became dominate, among another Batak society, especially after 1970s. Initially, Batak-Toba migrant  was assumed by another as infidel and uncivilized people. However, after the early Batak-Toba migrant,  that most of them were student, showed of  in the society life and  indeed after the independence took more strategic occupation, the view point of other society had changed. More over, the cultural identity that practiced  wherever they live, made themselves easily known by another.

In the other hand, Batak-Toba migration that carrying cultural mission for hamajuon (progress) and monang (to be number one) results more negative reaction from anotther Batak society. In many cases, religion factor often accompanied, but actually  this situation more related with domination grab in Batak society, such as the conflict between Toba and Mandailing. However, we can’t  ignore that the practice of cultural mission frequently formed subjection among to  the another territory and society, such as the Dairi and Malayan cases.

The rejection about the Toba domination in Batak society  results some consequences. Firstly, being tendency for unused the word Batak in the front of local entity, such as the Batak-Karo now called themselves as Karo society or Batak-Dairi addressed themselves as Dairi society. Secondly, its rejection can be seen   in a case of the effort to formed Tapanuli Province . In fact, the objection of it effort is to increase the economy matters, especially in Batak hinterland. But, caused by the initiator came from almost Batak-Toba, more part of society conclude  that effort is the another way to dominating Batak society.


The effort to deconstruction   the local history, evidently, not only directed to locality problem, but also related to the national consideration. From the above explanation, we can describe how the collective memory of Indonesian Society that formed from the  imperfect and fluid understanding participate to contribute the conflict in local society and possible to threaten the national security if let drag on.

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