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Jakarta Post

Seren Taun, lively festival preserves culture of Pakuan Pajajaran kingdom

Wed, November 9, 2016   /   12:43 pm
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    Two community leaders, locally known as kokolot, take water from a spring in the Sindangbarang traditional kampung, Tamansari district, Bogor, during the Seren Taun Guru Bumi ceremony. JP/Theresia Sufa

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    Visitors can enjoy two traditional dishes, called bubur Asyura [Asyura porridge] and nasi ketan [sticky white rice], during the Seren Taun Guru Bumi ceremony. Residents of the Sindangbarang traditional kampung make the traditional dishes only during Muharram, during which the ceremony is usually held. JP/Theresia Sufa

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    Sindangbarang community leaders and residents pray together before they eat various foods served in the Sedekah Kue [cake offering] ceremony. Everyone brings food from their homes and they eat it together in the ceremony. JP/ Theresia Sufa

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    School students who are still in their Pramuka [Indonesian Scout Movement] uniforms collect Asyura porridge leftover. JP/ Theresia Sufa

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    A Sindangbarang community leader, known as a kokolot, places offerings in front of a leuit [rice barn]. JP/ Theresia Sufa

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    Farmers carry harvested rice sheaves to their rice barn. JP/ Theresia Sufa

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    Sindangbarang girls carry water stored in bamboo. They collect it from seven springs and later place it in a large container. Religious leaders will bless the water in the hope it can bring good fortune for the people of the village. JP/Theresia Sufa

Seren Taun Guru Bumi, an offering-to-the-earth ceremony held annually in Sindangbarang, a traditional kampung in Pasir Eurih village, Tamansari district, Bogor, West Java, has become a prime tourism attraction in the province.

Various rituals and art performances are presented during the ceremony, which aims to preserve the customs and traditions of the Pakuan Pajajaran kingdom. It is believed that the capital of the kingdom was located in the current city of Bogor.

Sindangbarang traditional kampung head Achmad Mikami Sumawijaya explained that this year’s Seren Taun Guru Bumi ceremony was held from Oct.18 to Oct.26. The ceremony was named the Sindangbarang Cultural Festival in the hope that more tourists would visit and enjoy the richness of culture in the traditional kampung in the upcoming year.

Many foreign tourists, from places such as Japan, Europe and the US, have explored the natural richness of the Sindangbarang traditional kampung and its plurality and values. Schoolchildren and university students from Bogor and across West Java have used Sindangbarang as a cultural laboratory where they can dig deeper into the culture and traditions of the Pakuan Pajajaran kingdom. (ebf)