The Jakarta Post
Two kasepuhan (traditional Sundanese community) in the customary village of Urug observed the traditional rewah sedekah ceremony on Friday. Hundreds of baskets of rice with various dishes were brought as offerings.
Urug is located in Kiarapandak village, Sukajaya district, Bogor regency, about 48 kilometers from the regency’s capital of Cibinong.
Kasepuhan abah (father in Sundanese) Ukat and kasepuhan abah Sukardi in Urug village simultaneously held the ceremony in two different places. Ukat and Sukardi are cousins.
Ukat said the ceremony was held annually prior to Ramadhan to honor Prophet Adam and his offspring as well as to ask for strength and patience over the fasting month.
At Ukat’s house, which is built on stilts, people were seen bringing baskets of rice garnished with urap (vegetables with shredded coconut), eggs, fried noodle and grilled chicken.
Ukat and his wife Emik took turns to pray for the offering, 600 baskets of rice in total.
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Afterward, the offering was given back to the attendees. They were allowed to eat together at Ukat’s house or bring the food home to their families.
At Sukardi’s house, around 500 meters from Ukat’s, a similar ceremony was observed, with offerings of 200 baskets of rice.
“To preserve tradition in Urug, I always ask the people to sustain our distinct houses built on stilts. House roofs have to use rumbia leaves, rice has to be mashed, not ground, and gas stoves are not allowed for cooking. Any violation comes with the sanctions of falling ill,” said Sukardi.
He stated the same thing over and over to the villagers, as houses in the customary village have begun to change in form. Many residents turned to modern-style houses instead of building them on stilts.
Most of the villagers work as farmers or tradesmen. Those who trade usually do so outside of the village. But when village rituals beckon, they come home in the name of tradition, as well as for a chance to reunite with family members. (wng)