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This article mentions Reda Gaudiamo
Written by Raiz Rizqy Yulia Dwi Andriyanti
Originally published in GenderIT.org.
Mar 22, 2022


With its diverse ethnicities and cultures, Indonesia has celebrated gender diversity even before the country's independence. This is indicated by the existence of five genders in the Bugis (South Sulawesi) tradition, namely: Makunrai (female), Oroane (Male), Calabai (Male with women soul), Calalai (Female with man soul) and Bissu. Bissu have a high and respected position in the social structure of Bugis society. They are the leaders of ancient Bugis religious rituals. Various information related to these five genders are written in Sureq I Lagaligo[1]. Unfortunately, there were upheavals from armed groups who disagreed with the regime during the Old Order in Indonesia. This group conducted Operation Toba (Operation of Repentance), which targeted the bissus. They were arrested and forced to become men, even some of the bissus were killed because they were not willing to leave their traditions.

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