Harmony of Nature and Culture: Symbolism and Environmental Education in Ritual

Harmony of Nature and Culture: Symbolism and Environmental Education in Ritual


  • Sigit Fitro Prasetyo UIN Sunan Gunung Djati Bandung




Environmental Conservation, Environmental Education, Local Wisdom, Symbiotic Relationship


This study delves into the role of cultural rituals in environmental conservation and local wisdom, with a specific focus on the Sundanese tradition of Ruwatan Leuweung Babakti Mandala Manglayang. This ritual holds immense religious and environmental significance, making it an ideal case study for understanding the potential of rituals in promoting environmental awareness and conservation. The research addresses the social importance of preserving cultural heritage, as well as the scientific relevance of exploring the symbiotic relationship between rituals and environmental education. Employing qualitative methods, including interviews, direct observation, and literature analysis, the study unveils the profound symbolism within Ruwatan Leuweung Babakti Mandala Manglayang, which symbolizes the connection between humans and nature, as well as their spiritual ties. This ritual instills a deep appreciation for the natural environment and encourages the celebration of cultural diversity through these symbols. The findings reveal that the ritual serves as more than just a religious practice, becoming a powerful means of fostering environmental consciousness and preserving local heritage. By shedding light on the significance of cultural rituals in environmental conservation and offering insights into their potential as tools for education, this research contributes to the understanding of the inherent link between culture and nature. The study's emphasis on the importance of preserving local wisdom in the face of global challenges aligns with the journal's interdisciplinary focus on sustainability, culture, and conservation, making it a valuable addition to the literature on environmental studies and cultural preservation.


Abbey, E. A., & Nasidi, N. A. (2023). Krobo girls and Dipo puberty rites of passage in the eastern region of Ghana. International Journal of Modern Anthropology, 2(19), 1110–1127. https://doi.org/10.4314/ijma.v2i19.4

Ardoin, N. M., & Heimlich, J. E. (2021). Environmental learning in everyday life: foundations of meaning and a context for change. Environmental Education Research, 27(12), 1681–1699. https://doi.org/10.1080/13504622.2021.1992354

Beoku-Betts, J. A. (1995). We got our way of cooking things: Women, food, and preservation of cultural identity among the Gullah. Gender & Society, 9(5), 535–555. https://doi.org/10.1177/089124395009005003

Boakye, P. A. (2010). Dipo : a rite of passage among the Krobos of Eastern Region, Ghana. University of Tromsø.

Buzinde, C. N., Kalavar, J. M., Kohli, N., & Manuel-Navarrete, D. (2014). Emic understandings of Kumbh Mela pilgrimage experiences. Annals of Tourism Research, 49, 1–18. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.annals.2014.08.001

Carvache-Franco, M., Carvache-Franco, W., Borja Morán, J. L., & Contreras Moscol, D. (2018). Tourist demand characterization. Andean cultural festival Inti Raymi (Ecuador). Journal of Convention & Event Tourism, 19(3), 248–267. https://doi.org/10.1080/15470148.2018.1459213

Fibiger, M. (2015). “Weasternization” of the West. Bulletin for the Study of Religion, 44(2), 15–21. https://doi.org/10.1558/bsor.v44i2.26351

Geng, Y., Hu, G., Ranjitkar, S., Shi, Y., Zhang, Y., & Wang, Y. (2017). The implications of ritual practices and ritual plant uses on nature conservation: a case study among the Naxi in Yunnan Province, Southwest China. Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine, 13(1), 58. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13002-017-0186-3

Hariyanto, O. I. B. (2017). The Meaning Of Offering Local Wisdom In Ritual Panjang Jimat. International Journal Of Scientific & Technology Research, 6(6).

Hou, Y. (2016). Ritual and cultural revival at Tuvan sacred natural sites supports indigenous governance and conservation of nature in China. In Asian Sacred Natural Sites (pp. 308–318). London: Routledge.

Marsh, J. (Ed.). (2004). Ritual, performance and identity construction. In Popular Culture, New Media and Digital Literacy in Early Childhood (pp. 33–50). London: Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203420324-12

Niswatin, Wasino, Suyahmo, & Arsal, T. (2020). Education of Environmental Awareness Based on Larung-Sesaji Ritual in Coastal Community of Bluru Village, Sidoarjo Sub-District, Sidoarjo District. Proceedings of the International Conference on Science and Education and Technology (ISET 2019). Paris, France: Atlantis Press. https://doi.org/10.2991/assehr.k.200620.039

Qodim, H. (2023). Nature Harmony and Local Wisdom: Exploring Tri Hita Karana and Traditional Ecological Knowledge of the Bali Aga Community in Environmental Protection. Religious: Jurnal Studi Agama-Agama Dan Lintas Budaya, 7(1). https://doi.org/10.15575/rjsalb.v7i1.24250

Sponsel, L. E. (1987). Cultural Ecology and Environmental Education. The Journal of Environmental Education, 19(1), 31–42. https://doi.org/10.1080/00958964.1987.10801958

Sulaeman, S., Rijal, M., Malawat, M., & Sere, I. (2021). The Symbolic Communication of the Ukuwala Mahiate Ritual of the Indigenous Peoples of Mamala, Moluccas, Indonesia. Journal of International Migration and Integration, 22(2), 385–403. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12134-019-00753-1

Swan, J. (1983). Sacred Places in Nature: A Unitive Theme for a Transpersonal Approach to Environmental Education. The Journal of Environmental Education, 14(4), 32–37. https://doi.org/10.1080/00958964.1983.9943479

Syukur, A., & Qodim, H. (2017). Islam, Tradisi Lokal, dan Konservasi Alam: Studi Kasus di Kampung Dukuh Kabupaten Garut. KALAM, 10(1), 141. https://doi.org/10.24042/klm.v10i1.339

Tumbelaka, G., Lattu, I. Y. M., & Samiyono, D. (2020). Negosiasi Identitas Kekristenan dalam Ritual Kampetan di Watu Pinawetengan Minahasa. Anthropos: Jurnal Antropologi Sosial Dan Budaya (Journal of Social and Cultural Anthropology), 6(1), 1–9.

Zagal, I., & Edwin, C. (2023). Día de Muertos in Alaska. Sibirica, 22(1), 143–158. https://doi.org/10.3167/sib.2023.220108

Zeyer, A., & Kelsey, E. (2013). Environmental education in a cultural context. In R. B. Stevenson, M. Brody, J. Dillon, & A. E. J. Wals (Eds.), International handbook of research on environmental education (pp. 206–212). New York: Routledge.