Parading ogoh-ogoh (papier mâché demon) across the customary village or hamlet at the night of Pengerupukan seems to have become a kind of ‘necessity’ for the majority of customary youth clubs (sekaa taruna) in Bali. All the creativities and imaginations as well as funds are dedicated to make the ogoh-ogoh as perfect as possible. Sincerely,
Parading ogoh-ogoh (papier mâché demon) across the customary village or hamlet at the night of Pengerupukan seems to have become a kind of ‘necessity’ for the majority of customary youth clubs (sekaa taruna) in Bali. All the creativities and imaginations as well as funds are dedicated to make the ogoh-ogoh as perfect as possible.
Sincerely, sophisticated technology is also applied in the design and construction of the demon statue in order to create dramatic effects as desired by the creator. No matter, the money spent can reach millions or even tens of millions of rupiahs. In this context, the presence of ogoh-ogoh can be positioned as a medium to show off artistic creativity and symbol of prestige because the product is deliberately displayed to general public.
Head of the Bali Culture Agency, I Dewa Putu Beratha, said that the ogoh-ogoh parade on Pengerupukan is an expression or artistic creativity to welcome the Caka New Year. This activity is not a part of ritual or it has nothing to do with the Tawur Kasanga ritual. In other words, it is purely an artistic creativity taking advantage of Pengerupukan moment as a medium of actualization. It is a medium to show off the results of creativity to general public.
“Considering it is not a part of ritual, so the procession of parading ogoh-ogoh is not a necessity. In other words, without the presence of ogoh-ogoh the essence of Nyepi celebration will not be reduced,” said Beratha to Bali Post on Wednesday (Mar. 15). Beratha added that he has not found any religious literature mandating the Hindus to hold the ogoh-ogoh procession on Pengerupukan. To date, the literatures used as a guideline for the implementation of Nyepi and Tawur (including melasti) are Purana Bali Dwipa and Sundarigama palm-leaf manuscript. None of the manuscripts discuss about the ogoh-ogoh.
“So, the excitement of young generation to parade the ogoh-ogoh has no scriptural reference. It purely serves as a medium of actualization for the artistic creativity,” he said. Although having no religious reference, Beratha stated that artistic creativity of young people expressed through the ogoh-ogoh tradition should be accommodated. However, the creativity needs to be directed so as not to move wildly and gets the correct portion. For example, the ogoh-ogoh figure should not be harassing a person or particular group as well as free from any pornographic and other negative natures.
“Equally important, the artistic creativity may not drown the essence of the religious ritual itself. People should not give more emphases on the making of ogoh-ogoh than preparing the series of Nyepi procession along with other accompanying rituals,” he warned. The ogoh-ogoh actualized through artistic creativity is also expressed by chief of Praja Taruna Mahottama customary youth club of Sengguan, Sempidi village, Badung, I Putu Candra Pradhita. In a series of the Nyepi celebration this year, this alumnus of ISI Denpasar along with Mika Raditya, Putu Surata, Edy Kusuma, Pande Sukarya and Anom is assisted by members of the other customary youth club to design the ogoh-ogoh with the theme of Sesuluh Ulah Aluh.
The ogoh-ogoh visualized through the figure of garuda or (eagle) mythical bird, rat and veteran reflects the current condition of the nation that is no longer occupied by the other nations but even by its own people. Indonesia’s diversity is being tested where the strength of the garuda is being combated by troublemaking ‘rats’ that want to dismember the integrity of this nation. (BTN/kmb)