Last October 25, the 7th Sekala Bekhak Festival (FSB) in 2021 was held at the Liwa Botanical Gaden (KRL) in Lampung, Sumatra. The event which was held in a hybrid way aims to preserve arts and culture of the ancestral heritage, while at the same time to awak entourism and the local creative economy with the theme “Enjoy the Nature and Culture”. The Sekala Bekhak Festival was enlivened with a various of interesting activities, such as Bumi Sekala Bekhak Gambus Orchestra performance, Nyambai Tradition, Sekura Dance, Tourism Culture Photo and Video Competition as well as Tourism and Cultural Destination Story Telling Competitions. Now we will introduce you to one of these activities, namely Nyambai Tradition. According to Suntan Sarif, who is Lampung traditional figure, Nyambai is a gathering of unmarried men and women for social bond, getting to know each other by showing their ability to dance and reciprocate pantun or rhyming poetry.
According to the webpage kemdikbud.go.id, Nyambai customary procession is found in the nayuh ritual or wedding ceremony, which is only done by Saibatin indigenous people in West Lampung. This tradition has a standard procedure. This procedure is determined by Sutan or the local traditional leader of Saibatin, so that in the procession, you just have to follow the same phases. The sequence of Nyambai traditional activities among Saibatin indigenous people of West Lampung are: preparation, opening, implementation of Nyambai and closing.
Preparation for the Nyambai event is carried out the day before the nayuh ritual is held or at noon before the nyambai is held. The night before the nyambai event, there is a procession where meghanai or some bachelors representing the baya (the event owner) pick up the muli or girls in the village around the nyambai will be held. These bachelors come to the girl's house and ask for permission from the girl's parents to take part in the nyambai event and will take the girls back home when the event is over. The girl will start to prepare or dress up if her father or mother allows her. Normally, the event owner has built a ward which is used as a place for nyambai to be held and the next day it is used as a place for nayuh invitees. After the muli and meghanai gather at the event owner's house, the nyambai event can begin. The nyambai executive committee has prepared 4 shawls. Later these shawls are used to determine who will show their skills in dancing and rhyming. This activity is called Throwing the Shawl. The Nyambai tradition begins with an opening by the head of the meghanai (Keala Bujang). Then it is followed by dance performance and welcoming rhymes from the baya (the event owner).