Rabo-rabo: the Halal Bihalal Event for Christians in Tugu Village

In addition to the keroncong Tugu from Tugu Village, residents of Portuguese descent in this village also have a different tradition from other Betawi traditions. One of the unique traditions that are always carried out by the residents of this Tugu village is the Rabo-rabo. Most of the people of Portuguese descent in Tugu village are Christians. The residents of Kampung Tugu are descendants of the Portuguese, who were made workers and soldiers in the Dutch era. For hundreds of years they have lived in the Semper area, North Jakarta, acculturating with the local population and procreating.

As we all know, Christians around the world celebrate Christmas every December 25th. Usually, if Muslims in Betawi or in Indonesia in general, on the sidelines of celebrating Eid al-Fitr or Eid, there are always halal-bihalal events, or gatherings and visiting each other's residents. The residents of Tugu village, the majority of whom are Christians, have done the same thing.

Every Christmas celebration, the Christians of Tugu village carry out the Rabo-rabo tradition with joy. The Rabo-rabo ritual procession begins with visiting the nearest church and carrying out worship. Uniquely, they come to church together. Not only that, there is also music that accompanies it. The atmosphere was more lively, because they also danced to the music along the way. Rabo-rabo is one of the traditions that are still lived by the residents of Kampung Tugu until now. Rabo in Portuguese means tail. Refers to the obligations of the tradition itself.

After worshiping at the church, they continued with the tradition of visiting each other's neighbors. Relatives visited must visit other relatives. This moment was used to ask how they were doing and apologize to each other. The traffic of people visiting each other is a unique sight at Christmas celebrations.

Lasts Until New Year
This Rabo-Rabo celebration is usually carried out by the Christian community of Kampung Tugu from Christmas to New Year. The art of Keroncong Tugu in the Rabo-Rabo celebration is involved. After praying at the church, the phenomenal group of Keroncong Tugu musicians were ready to walk. They will go to the first house, the route of which has been arranged by the Chair of the IKBT (Tugu Great Family Association). The unique thing is that when they arrive at their homes, they will immediately kiss the left and right cheeks with the family they visited, singing, dancing, while eating snacks, and drinking.

After finishing two to four songs accompanied by lively music, they were ready to move to other residents' houses. In the Rabo-Rabo tradition, each host visited must send at least one representative to the group of musicians. The group consists of women, men, old and young. All mingled in warm intimacy.


“Manusia tanpa cita-cita adalah mati. Cita-cita tanpa kerja adalah mimpi. Idaman yang menjadi andalan adalah kebahagiaan.”
- Ali Sadikin -
Gubernur DKI Jakarta 1966 - 1977
“Emang rejeki kagak kemane, tapi kalo lo gak kemane-mane mana mau dapet rejeki.”
- H. Benyamin Sueb -
Seniman Betawi