VIRTUALLY all districts in Bali have unique tradition. One of which is Buleleng district. More uniquely, Buleleng is rich in traditions and religious rituals that cannot be encountered in other regions. Three customary villages in Sawan subdistrict namely the Kerobokan, Kloncing and Sinabun regularly hold nyekar tradition. This ritual is a heritage that must be
VIRTUALLY all districts in Bali have unique tradition. One of which is Buleleng district. More uniquely, Buleleng is rich in traditions and religious rituals that cannot be encountered in other regions. Three customary villages in Sawan subdistrict namely the Kerobokan, Kloncing and Sinabun regularly hold nyekar tradition. This ritual is a heritage that must be undertaken by villagers by staying up all night on Kerobokan Beach as on Saturday (Oct. 15).
This tradition is in a series of pakelem ritual held amid high seas. It involved the apparatus of customary village, head of the family or representative of family head and family members together. Unavoidably, the beach is thronged by villagers. Aside from rituals, the moment is also taken advantage to have a recreation with family.
Villagers come and bring along their offerings to be sacrificed, while lunch will be enjoyed together on the beach. Therefore, they are willing to come to the beach early just to take pleasure in beautiful sunset and pounding waves while enjoying lunch having brought from home.
From previous morning, the main road access of the nyekar tradition has been crowded by pacing residents. They bring bamboo of various sizes to build a kind of tent on the beach with a tarpaulin roof and stay up from the morning. In addition, there are also residents building tent using fabric or parachute roof. After that, residents take a rest inside while waiting for the starting time of ritual procession of the nyekar tradition.
After passing 21:00, residents were busy preparing for the nyekar procession or delivering pakelem ritual to the open sea. Pakelem ritual usually takes place about 03:00 or before sunrise. All the ritual paraphernalia are placed on banana midribs having been arranged in such a way. A number of ritual paraphernalia commonly called sekah are washed out to the sea.
A temple priest of Kerobokan customary village, Jro Made Mangku Sudirtha, told that nyekar ritual is an expression of gratitude to God because the ceremony implemented in the territory of customary village has run successfully. People have confidence that this ritual serves as a proclamation of the errors occurred during the ritual. After this ritual, the next day becomes the starting point to live a new life at the customary village.
According to Sudirtha, the nyekar ritual procession has been carried out for generations. Even though time has evolved, people still very enthusiastically involve in the nyekar procession until the end. However, the development of time has also affected how the procession takes place.
Before the rapid development of transportation means, the customary villagers usually walked to Kerobokan Beach. Now, they can take advantage of transportation means like car or motorcycle. “The development of time indeed brings in a change, but the meaning of this ritual has not changed,” he explained. (BTN/kmb)