Preserves Nyakan Diwang Tradition North Bali is truly wealthy when it comes to traditional cultural practices that have been passed down uninterrupted for countless generations. One example is the tradition known as ‘nyakan diwang’ that the people of Catur Desa Adat Dalem Tamblingan, Umajero Village, Gobleg, Munduk, Gesing continue to practice. Nyakan Diwang essentially means
Preserves Nyakan Diwang Tradition
North Bali is truly wealthy when it comes to traditional cultural practices that have been passed down uninterrupted for countless generations. One example is the tradition known as ‘nyakan diwang’ that the people of Catur Desa Adat Dalem Tamblingan, Umajero Village, Gobleg, Munduk, Gesing continue to practice. Nyakan Diwang essentially means ‘cooking by the side of the road’ and this tradition manages to strengthen the peace and harmony amongst the people who practice it. The process begins anywhere between midnight and dawn.
Head of the Traditional Village of Munduk, Jro Putu Ardana, explained on Thursday (Mar 3) that the nyakan diwang tradition is part of the ‘Ngembak Geni’ celebrations that take place the day after the Holy Day of Nyepi (day of Silence). The people of Catur Desa Adat Dalem Tamblingan, and surrounding area feel their relations and communications thus become more intense and believe strongly in the power of nyakan diwang to give rise to a strong sense of community. “This tradition is related to Nyepi and so local residents will cook their food outside their house before bringing it inside. While they are cooking, their communication with their neighbors is woven into harmony as they exchange recipes. The value of togetherness is thus passed down from generation to generation with a feeling of peace and harmony. During this activity there is no separation among people and great joy is taken in tasting each others food” said Ardana.
Umajero Busungbiu Village public figure, I Nyoman Arya, added that the nyakan diwang tradition has been well guarded by the people of this village since long ago. “The people of Gobleg, Umajero, Munduk, Gesing and other villages in the area have passed down this tradition from generation to generation. Starting at midnight people are already getting ready to start cooking’’ he said.
The tradition of nyakan diwang’s meaning is philosophically related to a manifestation of the sense of gratitude towards Creator for having provided blessings, abundance, safety and peace. “We do this to show our gratitude and every year we have been blessed with ease in conducting this activity”, added Arya.
Durign Nyepi, just like other Balinese, people here honor the four abstinences; amatigeni (no lighting of fire or lamps), amati lelanguan (no sensory pleasure), amatilelungan (no traveling/walking around), dan amatikarya (no work). Through the nyakan diwang tradition as people gather outside their homes, they enjoy a friendly atmosphere and it is no surprise that they exchange friendly greetings. This type of activity truly strengthens the peace and harmony of the community. “By cooking together on the street, a feeling of togetherness arises and people naturally greet each other. This activity -that takes place right after Nyepi, helps to safeguard togetherness” emphasised Arya.
Cooking implements such as makeshift hearths made of stone or brick are made ready for the dry wood that will be used as fuel for the fire. Mornings in the mountain are cold so the first thing that people prepare is hot water for coffee or tea. Then they start cooking rice and other dishes. “While enjoying the atmosphere of the early morning, local residents prepare their meals over the course of an hour or two. Once everything is cooked, the food is brought inside to be enjoyed by the family. Another aspect of this unique tradition is the exchanging of recipes with neighbours” he said. (BTN/kmb)