From married men, married women, government officials or prostitutes, all can participate in this strange custom for their own good luck.
As a Muslim-majority country, Indonesia has strict customs and beliefs about relationships outside of marriage. But also in this country, there is a land where there is a custom of having sex with strangers for good luck. It is at the top of Gunung Kemukus mountain, in Sragen district, Central Java province, Indonesia. Because of this strange custom, Mount Gunung Kemukus is also known as “Sex Mountain”.
In 2014, American journalist Patrick Abboud visited this mountain to learn and discover the incredible customs and life of the local people. His show has been broadcast on American SBS. Origin of custom This strange ritual dates back to the 16th century, when a young Indonesian prince named Pangeran Samudro, the son of a Javanese king, had an abusive love affair with his stepmother, Princess Nyai Ontrowulan. The two fall in love despite the ties that bind them, and then run away together to the mountain Gunung Kemukus. However, they were caught in the act of having sex and killed by the king. Their graves were built by locals and since then, many people have come here to offer flowers to pray for good luck. Gunung Kemukus mountain in Indonesia. Since then, the Pon festival on the top of Gunung Kemukus was opened. People believe that the above couple has not completed the “sexual affair”, so if you come here and have sex with a stranger, you will have luck and fortune, have a happier and richer life. According to journalist Patrick, this is a Javanese ritual and it is completely different from the Muslim world or anywhere in Indonesia. It is a mixture of beliefs between Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism. 8,000 people go to the mountains to have sex with strangers During the Pon festival on Mount Gunung Kemukus, attendees will find a stranger to have sex with. Furthermore, for their wish to come true, they had to do this 7 times in 35 days. Witnessing this custom, journalist Patrick exclaimed: “Unbelievable”. But what surprised him more was the large scale of this festival, each night up to thousands of people, with a peak night of more than 8,000 people coming here to pray. It will take them several weeks to perform this ritual. Pilgrims go to the mountains to pray for good luck. From married men, married women, government officials or prostitutes, all can participate in the ritual for good luck. Most are Indonesians from all regions. In the morning, they will go to the temple to offer flowers and pray. In the evening, they would go looking for strangers to spend the night together. This ritual is so popular that Mount Gunung Kemukus has become a popular tourist destination in Indonesia, attracting tens of thousands of visitors each year. The government and local people have allowed toll fees at Gunung Kemukus mountain, and built many hotels, motels, service areas and bus routes to serve tourism. Unforeseen consequences In the Indonesian concept, going to Gunung Kemukus mountain to have sex with strangers is for good luck, has nothing to do with relationships outside of marriage. However, this also left many unpredictable consequences, Gunung Kemukus accidentally became the main territory of the sex workers. Journalist Patrick followed pilgrims up the mountain for good luck, then approached a woman named Mardiyah, a widow with difficult financial conditions. When she met Mr. Patrick, Ms. Mardiyah had just completed the ritual of having sex 7 times in 35 days. She said the ritual worked because her business got better, helping her make more money. Couples are comfortable “making love” in the hope of having a happier and richer life. Ms. Mardiyah said: “I met a man who also came here for pilgrimage named Gepeng and went with his friends. He didn’t want to reveal the story because he didn’t want his wife to find out but his life. It has also changed a lot.” According to journalist Patrick, the Pon festival inadvertently turned Gunung Kemukus mountain into a good place for prostitution. It can cause problems with sexually transmitted diseases, especially HIV/AIDS, and has many marital and family consequences, such as adultery or children out of wedlock. “I think there’s a contradiction between this ritual and prostitution. That’s why it’s been condemned by the government and the leaders. A lot of people who have contracted sexually transmitted diseases should have it. many health clinics are built in the mountains.I spoke to a doctor and learned that most sex workers are sexually ill, men don’t use condoms often, so The risk is great,” journalist Patrick shared. In addition, this festival also entails many lucrative business activities such as karaoke bars, motels disguised as prostitution, causing bad effects, obscuring religious values. Even so, religious believers still believe in the effectiveness of the festival, while the local government turns a blind eye.
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