1. INTRODUCTION
1.1 The Background of Study
The Toba Bataks occupy the central area around the bottom of Lake
Toba as well as territority to the west and south. Simalungun Bataks
(also knowToba Batak is culture as Timur (east) Bataks) lives east of the lake,
the Karo Bataks to the north, and the Pakpak (Dairi) Bataks are on the north west.
Far to te south of Lake Toba are the Angkola (Sipirok) and Mandailing Bataks.
In recents years the Toba Bataks, who constitute approximately fifty percent of all
Bataks, have increasingly moved eastward into Simalungun areas as pressure on
land increased. Borders defining the six tribal areas are vague and cities such as
Medan and Pematang Siantar are composed of representativ most succesfull now
live in Jakarta. But wherever they are located, as Bruner discovered, kinship and
ethnic loyalities remain strong (1959:118-125).
The area where kinship ties, ethnic loyalities and cultural activity remain
the strongest for the Batak people (or halak Batak) is in Tano Batak (Batak Land)
is roughly analogous to Tapanuli Utara regency. Toba Bataks regard themselves
as a solid ethnic group united by the Batak language, their own traditional music
and the unique custom and features of Batak culture. The Toba Batak and Bataks
in general can be categorized as “mountain dwellers” (a term denoting isolation
and lack of contact with more progressive lowland peoples) certainly they did not
live totally alone, unaffacted by foreign influences around them. Indeed, the
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history of Batak (and Indonesian) culture to a large extent consist of the
imposition of foreign cultural ideas upon the solid, indigenous core, modification
of these ideas to suit the Batak context and acceptance into the recognized
traditional establishment. Hinduism and Buddhism originating in India, Islam
from the Middle East carried by Indians, and finally Christianity in more recent
times have all contributed cultural as well as religious elements. Batak Land,
as part of Indonesia has not been exempted from these influences.
Government and military services have scattered Bataks troughout
Indonesia and some of th
Toba Batak is cultured and civilized ethnic. Culture in Toba Batak was
being a habitual in social life that based on behaviour of respect to the values of
the ancestors. Gens (2006:128) says, “Culture is all human behaviour process and
affected the way of life, thoughts, and human minds and will be a norm of life to
continue the form of character in future days.’’ Panggabean (2007:2) says that
culture means living in social which based on a behaviour who upholds value an
ancestor from surrounding.’’ Customary is part of culture because it most
prominent to be shown from Toba Batak. Customary serves as the norm to be
followed by members of a group in the kinship relation and daily life. Belongs to
Batak culture are ; custom, religion, art, literature, and life design.
Every Bataknese should understand about customary, philosophy, and
asked for keep the arts of traditional culture. One of the philosophy in Bataknese
is Dalihan Na Tolu (DNT) principal as their patrilineal and it still kept by them as
a tradition from their ancestor. DNT system divided on three groups fungsional :
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Dongan Sabutuha, Hula hula, and Boru. Dalihan Na Tolu hold an important role
for every ceremonial custom in Toba Batak including to the Wedding ceremony.
Why ? Because the role of Dalihan Na Tolu to ensure the validity of wedding
Wedding ceremony in Toba Batak society is a series of ritual based on the
order of customs and social life in society of generations. Wedding ceremony
should watched by dalihan natolu from parboru (bride) side and dalihan natolu
from paranak (groom’s boy) side in every step of ceremony. In wedding
ceremony, there are some steps from begin until in the end will pass, these are ;
‘Mangalua, Marhusip, Marhata Sinamot, Pudun Saut, Martupol, Martonggo raja,
Manjalo Pasu-pasu, Pesta Unjuk, Daulat ni Sipanganon, Paulak Une, Maningkir
Each step has a ritual that need DNT role to giving the signs that
commonly used in the ceremony. Toba Batak wedding ceremony used many signs
such as ; ulos, ikan mas ‘dengke simudur udur’ , uang ‘hepeng’ , beras ‘boras sipir
ni tondi’ , nasi ‘indahan na las’ , air putih ‘aek sitio-tio’ , sirih ‘napuran’ , pinggan
, sarung ‘mandar hela’ , daging ‘jambar’ . Each sign in Toba Batak wedding
ceremony has its own meaning that reflected to the bride’s behaviour, mind, and
wisdom that should be executed thus their household keep entire. It’s all are used
with the purpose to give a prayer petition and expectation by ‘umpasa’ from DNT
to the couple who will be receive the signs thus created a sacred ceremony.
Every sign commonly used in the ceremony has a different meaning.
Every meaning connected to religion and the area thus between custom and
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religion can’t be separated. The sign is in form of the object that has a meanings
in any position of the object. The sign symbolically will be delivered by words of
‘umpasa’. Umpasa has a deep meaning in delivering advice, expect, blessing,
heatlth, and child. It will be delivered by a speakers ‘raja parhata’ in wedding
The most important in Bataknese to doing any ceremony is umpama and
umpasa. T.M.Sihombing (1987:5) says, “ Umpama and umpasa is different.
Umpama moreover to proverb but umpasa moreover to poem.’’
- Lata pe na lata, duhut duhut di sibutbuton;
Hata pe na hata, pangidoan ni hula-hula do situruton.
- Aek sihoruhoru tu sampuran Siguragura;
Rap leleng ma hamu mangolu, gabe jala sarimatua.
For wedding ceremony umpasa will be told when giving dengke simudur
udur to the bride as a petition and expectation. Dengke given by parents of the
bride or hula-hula side (bride giver). Golfish or Dengke that commonly used to
some other ceremony like Mangalua, Manuruk, Tardidi, Mangupa, Mangolihon,
and Manuruk jabu.
When delivering the goldfish it should be followed by umpasa that will
be told when giving dengke simudur udur to the bride because umpama has a
deep meaning in delivering advice, blessings, hope, health and childrens for the
bride. Dengke given by parents of the bride or hula-hula side (bride giver). It all
has a sacred prosession to be obliged because there is a custom message that
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must be delivered. The number of goldfish that would given must be odd ; one,
three, five, seven and each has a meaning according to custom requirements.
This paper will giving a little beat information to readers about how
goldfish had being a symbol giver blessings of life. Specially the writer would
giving a riview about goldfish in the wedding ceremony. In wedding ceremony,
goldfish or dengke used to applied as a symbolic from hula-hula and bride’s
parents that deliver to a bride as expectation, as a blessings prayer, and as a
For the writer, describing of Dengke as a special food in every ceremonial
is become something interest to be known and learn because public society
moreover to young generation Toba Batak careless if Dengke that usually apply in
some of ceremonial has many norm and rules to arrange their culture.
So everyone who read this paper will understand and more aware about beliefs
and tradition of Batak ethnic in our country.
1.2 The Problem of Study
Based on the background above, the problem of study followed by;
What are the meanings of goldfish in Wedding Ceremony in Toba Batak society?
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1.3 The Scope of Study
The Scope of this paper is explanation the meaning of goldfish that used in
some of ceremonial in Toba Batak society followed by :
1. To unite better relationship among the couples.
2. To represent hopes for building eternal relationship
1.4 Purpose of Study
In writing this paper, the writer has some purpose, these are :
1. As a student, the writer should fill out responsible as a regulation to finish
study and get Ahli Madya from Diploma Program of English Department,
Faculty of Culture Science University of Sumatera Utara.
2. To explain the meanings and the functions of goldfish in ritual of the
1.5 The Method of Study
In doing this paper, the writer use some steps to collecting data. Firstly,
the writer use field reasearch method to got certain data by survey with watch the
process of giving goldfish for a couple in some steps of the wedding ceremony.
Secondly, the writer is using the library method based on finding resources from
some books to got some description about the topic. Third, the writer is used
Internet research to adding some information that related to the title by browsing

Source of data
f b k
Source of data
f b k
Hata Umpasa
Conclusion Interpreted/Analyzed Goldfish


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