Welcome to Miscellany, a regular segment featuring various aspects of Indonesian life. Including art and culture, customs and tradition , technology and environment, even life style. Today’s edition will be about Tenganan Festival 2018. A tourism festival organized by the Indonesian Ministry of Tourism in cooperation with the Government of Karangasem Regency through the Tourism Office of Karangasem Regency.
This festival is part of 100 Calendar Events that will take place in various corners of Indonesia throughout 2018 which is Visit Wonderful Indonesia Year. Tenganan Festival will be very special because it is held simultaneously with Usaba Sambah Ceremony in Tenganan Pegringsingan Village, Karangasem Regency, Bali. Local residents referred these as mekare-kare and megeret pandan.
Tenganan Festival actually is an event with is mainly featuring \ the tradition of " Perang Pandan” or Pandaus War. Of course this is not a real battle. However, philosophically, mekare-kare means worshiping Indra who is the god of war for Hindus.
This ritual is a form of dexterity practice for the soldiers of Lord Indra, also to commemorate the freedom of the people from the grip of cruelty of King Maya Denawa. With the theme of "Old Village", Tenganan Festival 2018 will lift the tradition of old villages in Karangasem regency which is a high cultural heritage.
This year, the festival will be held on 7-8 June 2018 in front of Bale Patemu (meeting hall), Tenganan Village, Manggis District, Karangasem regency, Bali Province. It is alled Pandan War because the weapon used for this so-called "war" is several thorny pandanus leaves (Pandanus amaryillifolius), tied together to resemble a mace.
This ritual is open to all Tenganan men, young and old. Even visitors can participate by first attending a prayer session led by traditional elders or priests. With pandanus weapons in one hand and a wicker shield in the other hand, two fighters wearing Balinese sarongs and bare-chested come forward to fight , beat and fend off each other.
After a pair finish fighting, another pair will follow, and so on until the fighters run out. Hittings are only allowed to the back, chest and neck of the opponent, and not to be directed to the face.
Wounds all over the fighters’ bodies, sometimes bleeding, do not make them carry any grudge towards each other. After the "war" is over, the participants actually look amicable even quite friendly. They would help each other by applying herbs to the injured parts of the body. The event is ended by eating together or megibung.
In Bali, only Hindus in Tenganan perform the Pandan War ritual. Tenganan is known as an old village inhabited by Bali Aga people. This village in general is different from other villages on the Island of Gods, especially in performing rituals.
Tenganan consists of two hamlets, Dauh Tukad (roughly translated as 'west river'), and Pegringsingan. The latter is famous for its Geringsing 'double tied' woven cloth which is a precious heritage, worn or used during important rituals. You can watch the making process of this special woven cloth while traveling to Tenganan anytime of the year.
During the Tenganan festival, a special dueling arena is established, the houses are gracefully decorated, and the girls would board a large wooden swing as part of the celebration.
That was Miscellany today with the topic “Tenganan Festival 2018".