Mentuyo (Suicide) Millennials During the Covid-19 Pandemic From Toraja Cultural Perspective

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Kristian Hoegh Pride Lambe, Mansyur Radjab, Hasbi, Rahmat Muhammad, Apriana Toding, Sawedi Muhammad


Mentuyo (suicide) committed by millennial children in Tana Toraja Regency during the Covid-19 pandemic became a shocking social event. These millennial children have committed suicide massively since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020. Until this research was conducted in July 2021, 25 Toraja millennials had committed Mentuyo by hanging themselves. Mentuyo is the act of an individual who intentionally and consciously commits suicide by hanging himself or hanging himself (mentuyology). Mentuyo's actions are increasingly worrying because they are almost evenly distributed in all sub-districts in Tana Toraja Regency, giving speculation that mentuyo has a chain transmission effect. This concern is very reasonable because the Mentuyo events spread very quickly in the timeline. Posts in the form of photos of the perpetrators that the alleged suicide motives and the methods used were uploaded on various social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and WhatsApp groups.

The purpose of this study is to find out the factors that cause Mentuyo for millennial Toraja children and social mitigation measures taken by the government, religious leaders, and traditional leaders (aluk todolo) to reduce the number of Mentuyo. This study was designed in a descriptive-qualitative manner using a phenomenological approach. Data collection techniques used are observation and direct observation (participant observation), in-depth interviews (in-depth interviews), and secondary data analysis (secondary data analysis). The technique used in selecting key informants is a purposive sampling technique, namely selecting informants who are the closest people to the Mentuyo perpetrator, namely parents, friends and ex-lover. Other vital informants are traditional leaders, religious leaders, journalists, and local government representatives

The results of the study found that Toraja millennial children did Mentuyo due to several factors. The first factor, they do Mentuyo due to feeling bored with life, unable to withstand the illness they are suffering from, moodiness, feeling jealous, and disappointed because their love relationship is not going smoothly. The second factor, Mentuyo for the Toraja people, is not a disgrace or a sin. The body of the Mentuyo perpetrator is treated the same as death in general. According to the teachings of aluk todolo, the status of death due to Mentuyo, due to illness or accident, is the same. It's just a different way of dying. Mentuyo's actions are strongly influenced by the cultural values ​​and traditional beliefs of the Toraja people about death. For the Toraja people, "death is luck" - has ended all suffering - as well as the beginning of a new life (life afterlife). Death is life itself. The Toraja tribe views death as a process of transferring or transferring the spirit (soul) to another world.

Another finding from this study is that a strong synergy between the social and cultural environment is needed to mitigate the suicidal desire of millennial children. The active role of the government, traditional leaders, and religious leaders in socializing and educating about the negative impact of mentuyo are very much needed. Education on how to smartly use social media is also very much needed. It is urgent to appeal or even a prohibition not to make posts, upload pictures or report excessively about suicides. This effort is believed to be able to reduce the suicide rate among millennial Toraja children

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