The Sundanese People

in West Java

About Sundanese People

The Sundanese people, originating from the western part of Java, Indonesia, are known as Pasundan. They form a vibrant ethnic group found in West Java Province, Banten, Jakarta, parts of Central Java, and beyond, with notable communities in Taiwan, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Singapore, Europe, Japan, South Korea, and Hong Kong.

United by language and culture, the Sundanese are recognized for their optimistic, friendly, and unpretentious nature. Historical records highlight their honesty and courage, with diplomatic engagements dating back to the 15th century. Sang Hyang Surawisesa's diplomatic relations with the Portuguese in Malacca, documented in the Sunda-Portuguese Treaty inscription, mark a significant milestone.

Life Perspective and Ancestral Wisdom

In addition to religion, the Sundanese inherit a profound life perspective from their ancestors, expressed in traditional sayings. One such saying emphasizes the importance of the past in shaping the present, emphasizing roots and stems as metaphors for continuity.

This wisdom aligns with Bung Karno's notion in 1996: "Do not look into the future with blind eyes! The past is extremely useful as a beacon for the future." The Sundanese value this ancestral perspective, finding guidance and wisdom in their traditions.

Interpersonal Values in Sundanese Society

Sundanese culture thrives on principles of "silih asah, silih asuh, dan silih asih" — mutual sharpening, nurturing, and love. Expressions like "Kawas gula eujeung peueut" (harmonious life) and "Ulah marebutkeun balung tanpa eusi" (avoiding disputes without substance) emphasize camaraderie, harmony, and familial bonds.

Relationship Between Individuals and Nation

The Sundanese view the bond between individuals and their nation as rooted in upholding the law, defending the country, and expressing the conscience of the people. Sundanese expressions highlight the importance of respecting the law, cooperating with the people's will, and fostering unity in joy and sorrow.

Religious Diversity Among Sundanese People

The Sundanese exhibit religious diversity, with the majority (99.84%) adhering to Islam. A small percentage (0.09%) practices Christianity, particularly in areas like Cigugur, Kuningan Regency. This diversity extends to rural Sundanese communities, notably among the Baduy people in Lebak Regency, where the Sundanese Wiwitan religion endures.