Belief – Indonesia

So like there are these small little demons in Indonesia that run around and like steal things. They’re not really humans – I forgot their name – I think it’s like Tukul. But like they’re really small, like half the size of a human. And people like raise them with Black magic and they steal money and things from other people for them. Then the people pay them blood in return. A lot of people I know have seen them. So they’re real. I haven’t seen any though, no. They are really common in the kampongs – the villages. They have red eyes and they’re really scary. They look like naked toddlers but they’re not.

Elizabeth admits that she believes in Black magic, and she believes that it is very frightening. She repeated her fear many times and emphasized the scariness of Black magic. However, she feels that if a person does not tamper with the subject, the person should not be harmed. She said that she learned most of her knowledge of Black magic when she was very young from her maids that raised her in Indonesia. She grew up with these dark notions and horror stories. She specifically mentioned that they were Muslim, which is common for maids in Indonesia. Also, she is convinced that all of her maids could “see stuff,” meaning they felt the lingering of spirits and knew when Black magic was present. When asked if she feels that Muslims tend to believe more in Black magic, she responded that she believes Asian cultures generally tend to believe in this type of matter and actually practice it more than Western cultures. According to Elizabeth, Western cultures are more modern and have an attitude and mindset that “I can do something about it,” while Asian cultures tend to be more spiritual, religious, and submissive. This causes Asian cultures to be more susceptible to belief in these types of subjects.

The belief in these demons that was expressed by Elizabeth resides in the realm of witchcraft and magic. It is considered magic because the people actually engage in actions. It can also be considered folk belief because the existence of these creatures has not been scientifically proven. Despite how widely and strongly this belief resonates within Indonesian culture, it is still a belief nonetheless. Yet, this belief greatly affects the mindset and everyday lives of the people.