RESIDENT of Satra customary village, Kintamani subdistrict, Bangli, has a tradition being able to draw the attention of general public. The tradition is better known as menek taruna for men and menek bajang for women or adolescence. In the procession, hundreds of roasted suckling pigs are presented. Another interesting thing is visible in the procession, where male participants are carrying bamboo tube containing palm wine, while female participants are carrying fisted rice placed in a coconut-leaf plate or tamas. Palm wine and fisted rice become a gift for the older members of the customary village.
So far Balinese people still continue to maintain the customs and traditions inherited from their ancestors so that they bring in uniqueness and become a tourist attraction throughout the country. One of them is the white cow population considered as the vehicle of deity located in the forest area of 2.5 hectares at Taro Kaja customary village, Tegallalang, Gianyar.
“It is said the white cow is a descendant of the Nandini cow and currently amounts to 41 heads, while three of them are under two months old. The last one is male and was born on Galungan, Wednesday (Jul. 15). This white cow is highly respected and sanctified by surrounding communities and Balinese people in general because it is a complementary means of Ngasti ceremony in Bali,” explained Made Wisersa, 63, chief of Taro Kaja customary village.
Taro Kaja customary village is located approximately 40 kilometers from Denpasar and can be covered within an hour by passing through a green region with cool air. Geographically Taro village is part of Munduk Gunung Lebah, a plateau stretching from the north to the south and flanked by Oos Ulu Luh River in the west and Oos Ulu Muani River in the east. Both streams are then fused at the edge of the western part of Ubud village, known as Campuhan. The northern part of Taro village is adjacent to Apuan village (Kintamani), the eastern part to Sebatu village (Tegallalang), the southern part to Kelusa village (Tegallalang) and the western part to Puhu village (Payangan).
Taro Kaja customary village has a uniqueness that is not owned by other villages in Bali, namely the presence of white cow being sanctified by Taro village community, especially by the residents of Taro Kaja customary village. They strongly believe in the sanctity of this animal. They do not dare to maintain personally, let alone kill the sacred animal. “If there is a white cow born from their breeding, when reaching the age of six months it must have been submitted to the village to be taken care of. Until now, the existence of white cow is cared for by the White Cow Foundation managed by the community of Taro Kaja customary village. In essence, the white cow is treated special. The descendants of white cow are equally treated even though born in different colors,” explained Ketut Sayoga, one of the administrators of the White Cow Foundation.
“Other than being sanctified, this white cow is also often used as a complementary means (witness) of ceremonies in Bali, such as Ngasti (and similar level to this ceremony). Lately, many people from outside Taro Kaja customary village such as Jembrana, Klungkung, Mengwi and Tabanan suffering cervical cancer, chronic kidney failure, paralysis and insanity come to invoke a drug derived from the dung or urine of this white cow. It is believed it can heal some diseases,” added Ketut Sayoga.
“To keep the sanctity of this white cow, the people coming to invoke drug is required to perform purificatory rite or melukat in advance in front of the Shiva Nandini statue. After that, they are allowed to invoke the means of drug, either in the form of urine or dung of the white cow. Later, it is resumed with saying prayers at a shrine located at the northeastern tip of the Taman Sarwa Ada, the ashram of Ida Sri Nandini,” explained Made Wisersa. (BTN/014)
Dang Khayangan Jati temple, in Negara, is one of the dang khayangan (tribute to ancient sages) temples of Bali. This temple, which covers an area of 0.47 hectares located near the arid village of Pengambengan, about four kilometers south of the town of Negara, has been renovated gradually. As the name implies, this temple has the privilege of having teak trees grow within the temple area. Dang Khayangan Jati temple is closely related to the pilgrimage of Dang Hyang Nirartha on the Island of Bali. In the sanctum sanctorum of this temple are found a gamelan pavilion, piasan pavilion and a chamber of shrine paraphernalia.
Various types of kris dagger jazzed up the Kris Carnival on the Celebration of Tumpek Landep, Monday (May 11). The artistic and spiritual activity was attended by hundreds of participants consisting of the archipelagic association of kris lovers, community leaders, customary security guard, employees of the Denpasar Municipality and the general public. The event was opened by Deputy Mayor of Denpasar, IGN Jaya Negara, in front of the Bali Museum marked with a dagger retraction.
People in Tanah Lot area are very open to sharing their unique cultural heritage and the spiritual wisdom they have nurtured over centuries. Visitors to Tanah Lot will be warmly welcomed to most temples and ceremonies. There are, however, certain codes of conduct that visitors should follow to offer respect for the Balinese and their culture. When attending a Tanah Lot Temple ceremony, remember that it is not a party but a celebration to welcome the gods down to earth.
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