Discovering Kampung Palalangon: A Christian Village in the Heart of Santri City

Discovering Kampung Palalangon A Christian Village in the Heart of Santri City – Hey there, fellow travelers! If you’re planning a trip to Java, Indonesia, you’re in for a treat. This island is full of rich culture, stunning landscapes, and fascinating stories. Today, I want to share with you a unique and heartwarming tale about a little village that you might not expect to find in the predominantly Muslim city of Cianjur. Let’s dive into the story of Kampung Palalangon, a small Christian village nestled in the heart of this city known for its strong Islamic identity.

A Hidden Gem in Cianjur

Cianjur, often referred to as the City of Santri (Islamic students), is home to a staggering number of pesantren (Islamic boarding schools). With 353 pesantren spread across an area of just 26.15 km² as of 2022, it’s clear why this city has earned its religious nickname. But hidden within this Islamic stronghold is Kampung Palalangon, a Christian village that has thrived alongside its Muslim neighbors for generations.

The Origin of Kampung Palalangon

Kampung Palalangon, a Christian village

The story of Kampung Palalangon begins with the efforts of the Nederlandsche Zendings Vereeniging (NZV), a Dutch missionary organization. Moved by the plight of the dispersed and persecuted Sundanese Christian community, the NZV sent B.M. Alkena to find a suitable location for a new settlement.

Alkena and his team faced numerous challenges during their search. They eventually discovered a dense forest with flat terrain near the Citarum River in the Cianjur residency. With the help of local guide Sabri and seven pioneers—Miad, Jena, Hasan Aliambar, Akim, Naan Muhian, Yusuf Sairin, and Elipas Kaiin—they cleared the land for both settlement and agriculture. This marked the birth of Kampung Palalangon.

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Living Together in Harmony

Despite their different faiths, the residents of Kampung Palalangon and their Muslim neighbors live together in harmony, embodying the true spirit of tolerance and mutual respect. This is a place where community bonds transcend religious differences. Whether it’s helping each other during times of illness or mourning, the people of Palalangon and surrounding areas stand by one another.

Yudi Setiawan, a church assistant at the Gereja Kristen Pasundan, shares a touching example: “When a Muslim neighbor passes away, we join in expressing condolences and assist in the burial process. Likewise, they support us in our times of need without any hesitation.”

Why You Should Visit Kampung Palalangon

Visiting Kampung Palalangon offers a unique glimpse into the coexistence of different religions in Indonesia. It’s a testament to the strength of community and the power of understanding. Whether you’re a history buff, a researcher, a journalist, or simply a traveler looking for off-the-beaten-path experiences, this village is a must-see.

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