An indigenous, culturally rich people in North Sumatra.
Batak is a collective term used to identify a number of ethnic groups predominantly found in North Sumatra, Indonesia. It includes the Alas, Kluet, Singkil, Karo, Pakpak, Simalungun, Toba, Angkola, and Mandailing that are distinct but related groups with similarlanguages and customs.
The Toba people are the most numerous of the Batak people, and often considered the classical ‘Batak’. They are found in Toba Samosir Regency, Humbang Hasundutan Regency, Samosir Regency, North Tapanui Regency, part of Dairi Regency, Central Tapanuli Regency, Sibolga and its surrounding areas.
The Batak Toba people speak in the Toba Batak language and live around Lake Toba and Samosir Island, which is within the lake. These two places are very popular with both domestic and foreign tourists who find the Bataks fascinating for their culture, rich architecture and way of life.
The traditional house of the Bataks, known as Rumah Bolon, is very unique. It is a rectangular building that can house up to five or six families. When a person enters the house he/she has to bow to avoid one’s head from knocking the transverse beam at the entrance of the traditional house. This is interpreted as showing respect to the house’s owner.
The Batak people are known for their musical skill. They often hold cultural demonstrations, performances, and festivities to entertain visitors.