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Palembang eyes UNESCO recognition for dining tradition

Yulia Savitri

The Jakarta Post

PREMIUM
Palembang, South Sumatra  /  Wed, December 4, 2019  /  03:03 pm
Palembang eyes UNESCO recognition for dining tradition

A traditional boat festival on the Musi River in Palembang, South Sumatra, on Aug. 17, 2016. (Shutterstock.com/Sony Herdiana)

A number of young men and women dressed in Palembang's traditional Malay clothing lined up behind the main hall door of the Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II Museum in Palembang, South Sumatra, on Nov. 26. Each of them brought a dish for a typical Palembang banquet. There was a tray of rice and side dishes, a bronze teapot for washing hands, a cup of tea as well as a piece of cloth for use as a dining mat.  When the event started, the food bearers walked toward the guests, who were sitting with their legs crossed. This tradition of carrying dishes is known as ngobeng. Next, accompanied by Malayan music, the dishes were served to form several groups. Each group of dishes was meant for eight people. Groups of men were separated from groups of women.  Before dining, guests’ hands were washed by a youngster using the bron...