THE TRADITION OF 'BELIS' IN MARRIAGE IN THE DAWAN TRIBE IN TIMOR AND THE ROLE OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN PRESERVING IT
Belis is a tradition that is carried out before the official marriage is carried out. Generally, the Belis tradition exists in all areas in the province of East Nusa Tenggara – Indonesia. Belis has noble values and a form of respect for women as well as the unification of the two families, namely the families of the bride and groom. In reality, Belis has experienced a shift in meaning, it is considered a burden because it is considered too excessive and not following tradition. However, Belis is still maintained. The Belis tradition is usually held before marriage is legalized by religion and the state. Based on interviews with parish priests, the Catholic Church is not against the Belis tradition. The Catholic Church remains on its main mission, which is to proclaim the kingdom of God. Customary traditions need to be maintained as long as they do not conflict with the noble values of the Catholic Church's Marriage Tradition. The Catholic Church is not against the Belis tradition, but on the other hand, the Church will still provide the Sacrament of Marriage for couples who are about to get married. This is done so that the couple does not have difficulties in administrative arrangements with the government. Traditional leaders and community leaders say that in the Belis tradition what is built is communication and deliberation. Belis is considered expensive and usually comes from the view of people or third parties who are not involved in it. He pointed out that Belis was an agreement between the two parties and not a unilateral decision. So, what is lived in the Belis tradition is not the habit of materialism. That is why the Belis tradition is still alive even though people are familiar with the religion. Belis also basically does not conflict with the teachings of faith, especially the Catholic faith.