An Effort to Realize Halal Tourism in a Gampong of the Veranda of Mecca



I am lucky to be given the trust to represent the UIN Sulthan Thaha Saifuddin Jambi campus to participate in the Sumatran III Column Malay Student Community Service Program or Kuliah Kerja Nyata Mahasiswa Melayu Serumpun III in 2022. Participants in this program come from various State Religious Universities in Sumatra. This program is my first time meeting a wide variety of friends from different regions, cultures, characters, languages ​​, and customs for a short and enjoyable time. It's like a dream to be able to set foot in Aceh. Never thought I could be in the City of Veranda of Mecca, which is truly beautiful.

The journey to arrive at Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam using the air route took quite a long time because I had to stop or transit at Soekarno Hatta Airport, then travel again to Kuala Namo. We arrived at Sultan Iskandar Muda Airport-Aceh. Arriving there, I was amazed by the view of the rice fields and mountains in the area around the airport.

The place that is used as the location for Community Service Program is Aceh Jaya Regency or people known as Lambo. Aceh Jaya used to be a port kingdom called the Daya Kingdom, with its first King Sultan Alauddin Riayat Syah holding the title Po Teumereuhom Daya who had succeeded in expelling the Portuguese in ancient times. And the proudest thing for me is that I can see firsthand the blue-eyed children of Portuguese descent who are now in their teens with the characteristics of blond hair, white skin with red spots, and brown or blue eyes.

Halal tourist destinations that still adhere to the prevailing customs in Aceh Province can improve the economy of the residents of Gampong Gle Jong. Gampong Gle Jong has a halal tourist destination, namely the Po-Teumeurehom Tomb, which is adjacent to the Kuala Daya beach and adds to the eye's beauty. This potential object can create opportunities for the surrounding community to develop tourism and business opportunities. However, based on observations made of livestock manure and plastic waste piled up in the Kuala Daya Beach tourist area and the area leading to the Po-Teumeurehom tomb, it is still a problem. The awareness of tourists and the surrounding community towards environmental cleanliness is important to raise, and this is the goal of our one-and-a-half month service activity in this village, in addition to encouraging the realization of a halal tourism program as desired by the committee, especially the Kuala Daya beach and Po-Teumeurehom Tomb as a place to visit. Even though the short time and minimal funds for implementing this program are a challenge faced by the Malay Column KKN Participants throughout Sumatra 2022 at Gampong Gle Jong, the participants are still trying to attract the support of the residents of Gampong Gle Jong for the development of halal tourism.

Charming Gle Jong

The residents of Gle Jong are very friendly and knowledgeable about religious teachings. Moreover, the children there are still small, and the Koran is already extraordinary. I learned a lot from them. In addition, every Friday night, we often attend book recitations using 3 languages, namely Jame Arabic and Acehnese, which are usually led by traditional elders. However, there was one scene that made me shake my head. Along the way to the market, I saw gentlemen hanging out in coffee shops almost every day on weekdays. I asked myself, do they have nothing to do? Just popped into my head.

Then after finishing the Student Community Service Program, I did not forget to visit the famous tourist attractions in Aceh; namely, the Tsunami Museum, which is a place to commemorate the victims that occurred in 2004, where the names of the victims were recorded were displayed on the wall in a room and the holy verse of the Qur'an that echoes in it, the room is called the prayer well, besides that we passed a confused road where when we were passing through that road we felt dizzy and really confused and didn't forget we saw photos before and after the Tsunami and the videos that make me feel the sadness they felt before

In addition to the Tsunami Museum, we also visited the island famous for its snorkeling, the island of Sabang. To travel there we had to cross using a ship for 30 minutes, the island is very beautiful with various species of fish on it plus the sea water is very clear and blue, don't forget we also use diving equipment ranging from swimming goggles, oxygen, and buoys. And finally, the icon of Sabang Island is 0 Kilometers, a monument that attracts local and foreign tourists because of the grandeur of the building design and the scenery below. I never stop praising the beauty of nature that God has given me.

Gle Jong is one of the Gampongs (villages) located in Mukim Kuala Daya, Jaya District, Aceh Jaya Regency, which has a population of 112 people from 72 Family Cards and is divided into 3 hamlets, namely: Meureuhom, Kuta Dalam, and Lolhok Sekon. This village has very beautiful beaches and also religious tourism, which is most visited by tourists who want to come to see the tomb of Sultan Salahtin Alaidin Ri'yat Syah, better known as PO-Teumeureuhom, the king who at that time succeeded in expelling the Portuguese invaders from Lamno or who was it is known as Aceh Jaya Regency.

In addition, Gle Jong Village has a unique tradition that is held once a year in the month of Eid al-Adha at the Po-Teumeureuhom cemetery, namely the Seumuleng and Peumeunab traditions, which are traditions carried out from generation to generation to bribe the new king. Of course, this attracts tourists to visit Gle Jong Village because this event will be attended by great kings and officials in Aceh Jaya.

Ahead of the traditional ceremony, many local people set up selling tents with a variety of Acehnese food and drinks on the shores of Kuala Daya, enlivening the tradition and an opportunity to develop the economy of the Gle Jong Village community. The people in Gampong Gle Jong work as farmers and fishermen.

Program (halal) that ran aground

In carrying out Malay Community Service Program in Sumatra 2022 with the theme "Developing Halal Tourism in Cognate Malay Culture," We have made every effort to help the people of Gampong Gle Jong in promoting tourism and creating  products in Gle Jong Village. Still, we do not get support to promote tourism and generate Micro Small and Medium Enterpirses (MSME) products because they do not want their Gampong to be known by people outside Aceh Regency. The community worries that foreign culture will destroy the culture in Gle Jong Village and Kuala Daya.

Due to lack of support, what we do is more to care for and maintain what is already there, such as making trash cans and placing them at various points. Kuala Daya Beach and Po-Teumeurehom Tomb lack trash cans, resulting in garbage piling everywhere. Then we made a genealogy of the king of Po-Teumeurehom so that the local people who want to make a pilgrimage know the history and genealogy of the kingdom of Po-Teumeurehom.

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