REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, SELAYAR — The sun is at a point 60 degrees above the head. The time shows around 10:00 WITA. However, downtown square field of Selayar city already stung with heat.
“Then from the district of Taka Bonerate,” said a host in central podium.
The heat conditions in the field near the beach do not seem to loosen the spirit of the people to watch the show of Selayar 408th Anniversary. However, folding fan kept waving wind in their faces.
A group of people with traditional dress carrying banners circling around the field. Traditional song festival was accompanying the entourage. Not long after the lining dancer set to exit, the host calling other districts presentation and parade continues with a different look.
There were 11 districts that brought diverse cultures. Selayar Islands composed of many tribes such as Bugis, Konjo, Malay and Chinese. An area of 1357.03 square kilometers also has many languages, but united by Selayar language.
Currently the district of Selayar is an old archipelago. Uniquely, it has not seen a significant change in its development. The community looks prosperous with their simplicity.
No gadgets or smart phone in the palm of their hands. Most have not been affected by modernization. No term of Blackberry Messenger (BBM) or Whatsapp and so on in their words. They only shouted “Hey, sms me later mi,” to their friends.
Stilt houses with poles and wooden wall still adorn along the way. From the north end to the south, there is only one main line road of five meters. Social compliance on traffic is also seen in their way of driving.
“Entering a residential street you must wear a helmet. If you did not, police will ticket you later. They will not see who you are, ever their associates could be ticketed if they don’t wear a helmet,” said a handyman of motorcycle taxi (ojeg), Mulki (56).
The crime rate in the island were nor similar to other districts/cities. Dozens of motorcycles parked on the roadside for hours with the hanging ignition keys. It’s guaranteed not to be lost. In fact, they deliberately do that and not feel worried.
Mulki said, if there is a missing motorcycle, the entrance and exit of Selayar only in the far west, east, north and south. Surely, it would be easily identified. The facts the people were reluctant to commit crime.
Other resident, Mulawansyah added, if there is people who get caught doing crime in Selayar, then seven generations of his family will be tainted. They will be hard to socialize with people around.
“Even though it looks backward, Selayar is a prosperous society. There is no the term hunger here. Those who steal were not because of economic necessity. Most simply due to juvenile delinquency,” he said.
Islamic practices in the region were also considered strong. Whenever the Fajr prayer time, Maghrib and Isha, rows of prayers in mosque were never swing. According to Mulawansyah, the strength of culture was the reason of difficult development in the island.
“We’re not used to see people with beach clothes. Not like in Bali or some other tourist locations,” he said.
Religious leader and owner of the boarding school Babussalam Selayar, Mochtar Adam said, although local knowledge of Islam was very strong, but he sure Selayar can be developed. Therefore, the region often spawned successful people in overseas.
According to him, despite being in the middle of simplicity, but the education of their children is their priority. Their concern is; not many young people who are ready to continue clerical education in Selayar area.
“People of Selayar known to be drawn between intellectuality and spirituality. Only recently it has not again emerged the religious succession,” he said.
In fact, Mochtar said, shortly Selayar islands would be out of contention for disadvantaged areas. The airport of H Aroepalla was ready to be landed by bigger aircraft which brings many tourists. If faith is no longer fortified, residents feared Islamic practices would be faded away.
Vice Regent of Selayar, Syaiful Arief added, in the late in 2016, with the promotion of Taka Bonerate, archipelagic Selayar will be a hot tourist destination in Indonesia. He admitted, the area still considered less promotion and lack of national attention.
As for the readiness of access to transportation, he said, H Aroepalla Airport is in the process of expansion to reach 1,850 meters long. Looking ahead, he planned the airport will be a transit location.
“In addition, it could also be an alternative airport, when Hasanuddin Airport Makassar was constrained,” he said.
Ed: Didi Purwadi