Anggertimur Lanang Tinarbuko
People gathered at the Madukismo sugarcane and rubbing alcohol factory in Jl. Padokan, Tirtonirmolo subdistrict, Kasihan district, Bantul regency, Yogyakarta, at midday. They brought along their children and families to witness the annual Cembengan ritual. The ritual is an opening ceremony for the start of the milling and refining of sugarcane between April and October.
During the Cembengan ritual, locals enthusiastically wait for the Kirab Tebu Manten – a parade in which two sugarcanes are dressed and treated as a married couple.
The tebu manten (married sugarcane) is carried on a horse-drawn carriage accompanied by a band and various art groups from the community around the Madukismo factory.
The parade begins from the Maducandya meeting hall, then goes around the Madukismo Sugar Factory to have the “wedding ceremony” performed at the An-Nuur Mosque on the east side of the factory.
The “groom”, a sugar cane from the Candimulyo area of Magelang, is named Kyai Sukro and the “bride”, a sugarcane harvested from the Sedayu area of Bantul, is named Nyai Kasih.
Locals believe that the Tebu Manten is a form of a request to God and nature to keep them safe during the milling and refining of the sugarcane.
Rahmat Edi Cahyono, commissioner of PT Madubaru, which supervises the Madukismo factory, said the “marriage” of the pair of sugarcanes was expected to help produce a larger quantity and higher quality of sugar and alcohol.
After the entourage of Kyai Sukro and Nyai Kasih enters the factory, the pair of sugarcanes is put in the mouth of the milling machine. In this 2019 milling period, the Madukismo factory would grind about 550,000 tons of sugar cane. On average, the factory can process 3,500 tons of sugarcane per day for about 160 days.
The ceremony concludes with the burial of a buffalo head in front of the milling station by Madukismo