Saturday, 16 May 2015

Meaning of Tumpek Landep

16th Mei 2015 is a special day set aside on the Balinese calendar to give thanks to Sang Hyang Pasupati, Lord of heirlooms, for the creation of metal goods.  On that day, specific offerings are made in the home for kitchen implements, garden tools and metallic parts of machinery, vehicles and the like. Builders generally take a day off to make offerings for their work tools.

This special day for Balinese Hindu people is called "Tumpek Landep" day, devoted to Sang Hyang Pasupati, Lord of heirlooms, weapons and metal tools for proper function and magical power. The celebration is held at every house compound and temple.
With these offerings, special prayers are said to pray to God so that these material things continue to be strong and bring good fortune to their owners.  Within the family temples where heirlooms such as krisses (wavy double-bladed daggers) and other weapons are kept, offerings are made to ensure the continued magical power of these implements.
The kris is considered a standard part of traditional Balinese dress. During a wedding ceremony the groom will wear one across his back if the family has one, and you can see them on most of the male characters in Balinese dances, operas and dramas.  Offerings are also given to any kind of vehicles after being cleaned. It would be a good opportunity for travelers to Bali to witness how thousands of cars, motorbikes and other metal items are fully decorated with the offerings and ornaments made from young coconut leaves.


Friday, 8 May 2015

Tuak Balinese Beer

'Tuak' is palm beer, a sudsy and quite mild elixir brewed from palm tree sap. 'Tuak' is produced by fermenting the sap of flower bud of any of a number of species palm. In Bali, coconut tree, called 'punyan nyuh', is most often used because of the trees are quite common. In areas where sugar palms, 'punyan jaka', palm trees, grow, their juice is used. In north and east Bali, the 'lontar' palm, called 'punyan ental', is used for 'tuak'. The problem with 'ental', however, is that the leaf-bearing branch of the tree is full of thorns. There are two kinds of 'tuak'. The first is 'tuak manis', “sweet,” (sometimes called 'nguda'or young) and 'tuak wayah', “old.” The difference between the two is in taste and alcohol content, with 'tuak wayah' being dryer and more potent. 

'Tuak manis' is fresh from the tree, and it has a fairly high sugar content because the fermentation process has not gone very long. Most connoisseurs avoid 'tuak manis' because it causes stomach problems, flatulence, and diarrhea. But it does have a following. The preferred drink is 'tuak wayah'. It has a much stronger taste than 'tuak manis', with a definite alcoholic flavor. Somewhat sour, and not unlike heavily hopped beer. Like beer, it is an acquired taste. But an awful lot of Balinese seem to have acquired it. Both varieties of 'tuak' produce bubbles constantly, because fermentation is still going on, and one of the products of fermentation is carbon dioxide. 'Tuak manis' has thicker bubbles than 'tuak wayah' and more of them. A narrow mouthed container of 'tuak' with bubble and foam as if it contain soap suds. It cannot be sealed, of course, or it would explode.  'Tuak' get stronger as day goes on. If produce in the morning, you can drink it in the evening, or even for two or three days after that. Then it turns into vinegar. Most people drink it fresh. 'Tuak' will keep for a long time in the refrigerator, but few individuals have one. No 'tuak' is prepared and bottled in large factories for sale in stores. All 'tuak' is collected and fermented by individuals or small groups of individuals who market it very locally.