Belis; Adat vs Kesejahteraan

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Ketika kopi dan hasil perkebunan lainnya mengalami gagal panen, banyak masyarakat Manggarai mengeluh. Pasalnya, hasil perkebunan sudah menjadi penopang kehidupan rumah tangga setiap keluarga. Selain faktor ekonomi yang terus-menerus mendesak, belitan tuntutan adat setiap waktu melilit rumah tangga orang Manggarai. Jika dikalkulasi, hampir tidak ada perbedaan besar antara jumlah uang untuk kebutuhan hidup dengan uang tuntutan adat. Sesuai tradisi yang diwariskan turun-temurun, urusan adat sama sekali tidak boleh diabaikan, entah panenan berlimpah ataupun gagal. Urusan adat terus berjalan tanpa ada garis finis. Dalam setahun, upacara adat menjadi rutinitas dengan tidak sedikit jumlah dana yang digelontorkan.

Belis Mahal

Setiap daerah mempunyai budaya masing-masing dan memiliki nilai luhur yang perlu dipertahankan. Namun  demikian ada budaya yang dapat menjadi beban bagi masyarakatnya karena dapat menguras banyak uang untuk urusan budaya tersebut. Salah satu budaya yang membutuhkan banyak uang adalah tradisi belis atau paca  dalam masyarakat Manggarai, Flores, Nusa Tenggara Timur. Selain uang, belis di Manggarai juga disertai tuntutan agar pihak laki-laki membawa sejumlah ternak, mulai dari ayam hingga kerbau.

Belis atau Paca  adalah budaya yang sudah diwariskan turun-temurun. Budaya belis merupakan  suatu budaya yang mewajibkan pihak laki-laki memberikan sejumlah uang dan beberepa ekor ternak seperti kuda, kerbau, sapi, ayam, dan kambing  kepada keluarga perempuan.  Banyak sedikitnya belis yang diberikan tergantung dari status sosial keluarga perempuan. Jika status sosial pihak perempuan cukup tinggi maka belisnya juga tinggi. Dalam hal ini, kemampuan pihak laki-laki kurang diperhatikan. 

Permintaan paca yang mahal sangat berpengaruh juga terhadap pola laku masyarakat. Hidup bersama  antara laki-laki dan perempuan (kumpul kebo) sebelum menikah bukanlah hal yang tabu. Praktik kehidupan seperti ini sebenarnya dapat menjadikan belis mahal tidak diutamakan. Jika kita mau berpikir praktis, tidak mungkin wanita yang sudah dijadikan istri dipulangkan kepada keluarganya hanya karena tidak mampu membayar belis. Namun kenyataannya tetap saja belis untuk seorang wanita yang sudah hidup bersama suaminya itu mahal. Pertanyaannya mengapa belis harus mahal? Bukankah pernikahan itu terjadi antara laki-laki dan perempuan? Artinya ketika belis mahal, maka bukan saja laki-laki yang menjadi beban tetapi juga perempuan yang sudah menjadi istri atau bagian dari keluarga laki-laki turut terbebani. Jika saja uang yang banyak itu dijadikan modal usaha maka bukan tidak mungkin mayoritas masyarakat Manggarai akan sejahtera.

Pada dasarnya belis adalah suatu budaya yang baik dan wajar kerena memiliki banyak nilai di dalamnya. Belis menjadi tidak baik karena dapat menjadi beban perekonomian bagi masyarakatnya. Setelah urusan belis selesai, keluarga laki-laki masih juga memikul beban yang berkepanjangan dan bahkah tidak dapat dibatalkan oleh kematian. Urusan adat tidak pernah selesai. Istilah yang digunakan untuk hal ini adalah Wae Teku Tedeng. Praktik budaya seperti ini yang menyebabkan kehidupan masyarakat Manggarai tidak dapat sejahtera secara ekonomi.

Ada beberapa faktor yang menyebabkan budaya belis mahal tetap dipertahankan dan belum tergerus oleh kemajuan zaman. Beberapa faktor tersebut antara lain; pertama, masyarakat tidak mau terbuka dengan perubahan yang terjadi karena adanya kontak dengan budaya daerah lain yang mungkin menganggap belis bukan suatu keharusan. Kedua, Faktor lain adalah masyarakat terlalu  kaku terhadap budaya yang telah diwariskan oleh nenek moyang. Gengsi yang tinggi serta rasa hormat yang tinggi terhadap keluarga perempuan juga menjadi faktor budaya belis mahal.  Jika masyarakat bisa keluar dari beberapa faktor ini, ada optimisme bahwa angka kemiskinan menjadi berkurang dan masyarakat bisa menikmati kesejahteraan ekonomi.

Siapa yang harus peduli dengan perubahan ini? Semua masyarakat Manggarai tentu mampu mengubahnya, pola pikir harus berubah, perlu ada revolusi mental sebagaimana sudah menjadi program Presiden Joko Widodo. Namun mengharapkan semua masyarakat mau berubah, mungkin menjadi suatu hal yang tidak mungkin. Di sini peran yang paling penting dituntut dari kaum terdidik dan Gereja.

Peran Kaum Terpelajar

Kaum terpelajar adalah orang-orang yang telah menimba banyak ilmu. Orang-orang seperti ini dapat membentuk pola pikir masyarakat Manggarai yang masih terlampau kaku. Ilmu menjadikan seseorang berkembang dalam kehidupannya. Saat ini di Manggarai sudah memiliki sangat banyak orang berpendidikan tinggi dengan berbagai disiplin ilmunya. Ada hukum, keguruan, filsafat, kedokteran, politik, teknik sipil dan masih banyak lagi disiplin ilmu lainnya.

Peran kaum terpelajar terhadap budaya belis yang mahal ini belum begitu terlihat. Pendidikan yang diperoleh di bangku kuliah belum bisa diaplikasikan pada realitas belis mahal dalam masyarakat. Budaya belis tetap dijunjung tinggi dan masih dianggap suatu keharusan. Kaum terpelajar yang sudah banyak berinteraksi dengan budaya lain tidak mampu atau tidak mau membawa suatu pandangan baru bagi masyarakat yang tidak memiliki pendidikan tinggi.

Membawa suatu pola pikir baru apalagi sampai mengubah tradisi tentu bukan perkara mudah. Oleh karena itu kebanyakan kaum terpelajar lebih fokus pada disiplin ilmu yang didapatnya di bangku kuliah. Sebagai contoh seorang guru hanya menjalankan tugasnya sebagai pengajar dan pendidik yang mungkin tidak bisa lari dari kurikulum yang ditentukan oleh pemerintah. Berbicara soal bagaimana budaya yang selalu menjadi beban bagi masyarakat bukan menjadi tanggung jawabnya. Barangkali hal ini bisa dianggap hanya dapat menjadi kesibukan yang tidak penting.  Toh, masyarakat sudah terbiasa dengan budaya tersebut. Dengan demikian tidak heran jika kaum terpelajar juga masih ikut terjerumus dalam budaya belis yang sangat mahal ini.

Masyarakat Manggarai pasti setuju jika budaya belis mahal dihilangkan. Belis mahal membuat masyarakat tetap menjadi miskin, tidak bisa berkembang, dan selalu merasa bahwa belis mahal adalah suatu kewajiban dari pihak laki-laki. Memang, harus diakui bahwa budaya belis tentu harus dipertahankan karena memiliki nilai luhur. Nilai luhur dari budaya ini adalah adanya ikatan kekeluargaan yang sangat kuat. Budaya belis mahal bisa digantikan dengan simbol yang menunjukkan adanya ikatan kekeluargaan antara keluarga perempuan dan laki-laki. Belis mahal dengan jumlah uang yang besar dan ternak yang banyak tidak menjadi syarat mutlak ikatan kekeluargaan tersebut. Dalam hal ini yang paling penting adalah istilah adatnya, bukan uangnya. Kaum terpelajar mempunyai peranan penting dalam menyosialisasikan serta mengubah pola pikir belis mahal.

Peran Gereja

Selain kaum terpelajar, Gereja juga tidak bisa menutup mata dan telinga dalam praktik belis mahal yang selalu menjadi beban bagi masyarakat Manggarai. Gereja memiliki tanggung jawab besar juga dalam praktik budaya ini. Praktik belis mahal bisa menjadi salah salah satu penyebab kehidupan di dalam rumah tangga menjadi tidak harmonis. Jika hal ini terjadi maka tujuan pernikahan itu menjadi tidak terwujud.

Sebelum pernikahan biasanya Gereja memberikan kursus perkawinan. Salah satu materi yang diberikan pada kursus perkawinan itu adalah mengenai pengelolaan ekonomi Rumah Tangga. Materi ini mau mengajak keluarga baru untuk bisa mengelola ekonomi rumah tangganya dengan baik sehingga nantinya ekonomi tidak menjadi sumber ketidakbahagiaan dalam pernikahan.

Tantangan berat bagi Gereja di Manggarai sampai saat ini adalah banyak masyarakat yang mengutamakan urusan adat terlebih dahulu lalu urusan penerimaan sakramen pernikahan kemudian. Pandangan masyarakat seperti ini membuat nilai luhur perkawinan tidak dihayati dengan baik. Masyarakat masih berpandangan bahwa setelah urusan adat selesai maka hidup bersama sebagai suami istri menjadi sah.

Gereja berperan penting dalam menjelaskan tujuan penikahan di dalam Gereja Katolik. Tujuan pernikahan dalam Gereja Katolik adalah untuk meneruskan keturunan juga untuk saling membagi kasih dan kebahagiaan bersama. Kebahagiaan bersama dalam hal ini adalah antara suami dan istri serta anak yang telah dititipkan oleh Tuhan. Oleh karena itu Gereja harus mendidik masyarakat agar setiap pasangan yang mau menikah harus terlebih dahulu menerima sakramen pernikahan. Tujuan dari hal tersebut adalah agar pernikahan itu menjadi suatu yang bernilai luhur dan Gereja dapat membina pasangan hidup baru untuk dapat mengelola ekonomi rumah tangga dengan baik. Budaya belis mahal bisa diminimalisasi jika Gereja berperan secara baik dalam menjelaskan secara baik hidup perkawinan.

Penulis: Damianus Toni|Meka Tabeite|

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