- How is Tumpek Landep associated with Keris?
These days, when people hear the words ‘Tumpek Landep’, we think of a ritual ceremony that involves blessing cars and motorbikes, pampering them with organic offerings that serve to protect us from potential accident or misfortune. Whilst we probably definitely need to pay more attention to the appeasing of the ‘demons of the road’, this is actually not the complete picture.
Society’s lack of awareness about the meaning behind Tumpek Landep has been much criticized many educated Balinese. If we break down the words, ‘Tumpek’ means the particular day on the Balinese Çaka calendar that this ceremony falls on which is always a Saturday, and ‘Landep’ means a time to celebrate man’s sharp thinking that has led us to make use of metals that we use in our everyday lives. (Jero Mangku Sudiada, www.parisada.org).
In the past, one of the most celebrated iron weapons was the Indonesian keris, a powerfully magical dagger that has captured the imagination of people for centuries. Balinese attribute our sharp wits to God who chose man as the only living creature on Earth who could make use of the fruits of the Earth to progress his species. For the Balinese, this sharp-wittedness is symbolized by the keris, hence it is blessed with holy water and special offerings every Tumpek Landep.
Somehow (I’m not entirely clear on this bit), over time, everything made from iron, including the vehicles we drive were brought into the ritual. It actually makes sense that this can happen because it is indeed due to our brilliant minds that we can use metal to create vehicles and so forth; therefore could this mean that anything made from metal that is a human creation be theoretically be blessed on this day? I guess time will tell as ritual ceremonies, like much of Balinese culture is modified and adapted to suit time, place and situation. Copyright © Kulture Kid 2011
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