Villagers of Panji, Sukasada subdistrict thronged the local village public square on Wednesday (Mar 13). Children and adults flocked to see the staging of the goak-goakan games to celebrate the Ngembak Geni (the day after Nyepi). Staging of the game composed at the time of the king of Buleleng, Anglurah Panji Sakti, is regularly organized every Ngembak Geni. It is played by youth groups and village children accompanied with bleganjur gamelan music. Meanwhile, location of the staging was in the field deliberately drained with irrigation water flowing from the upstream of local village.
Tradition of the goak-goakan game on last Wednesday was begun around 4:00 p.m. lasted until dusk. A group was composed of 25 players mostly consisting of man. Meanwhile, a woman player was taken from the audience. This woman player was targeted by the players playing the role as goak. The woman player was protected by dozens of other players. The game ended when the goak player could capture the woman. The players had to get wet and even their bodies should be filled with mud. Since the game was slightly hard, many players suffered from abrasions as falling down while running amidst the field.
Jro Mangku Gede Nyoman Teka said the goak-goakan game was ordinarily staged every Nyepi Day. It aimed at preserving the traditional game containing historical values when the King of Buleleng Anglurah Panji Sakti attacked Blambangan with the strength of Truna Goak. In addition, performance of the traditional game was to provide entertainment to Panji villagers and neighboring villages after performing abstinences for a whole day and night. “Formerly, the game was performed on the peak of Nyepi Day; it was then shifted to Ngembak Geni as banned by the government. This game should be preserved because it has historical values and should not be extinct due to the current development,” he explained.
On the other hand, Mangku Gede Nyoman Teka said the staging of Goakan-goakan game was a must. It was always eagerly awaited by local residents. He also worried that if it was not staged, it could have a psychic impact. Due to such consideration, his party continued to hold firm commitment to stage the game although without planning and financing, especially with the assistance of local government or donors and volunteers. “So far, there has been no psychic impact but we worried if it will happen, so that the staging must be done even with limitations,” he added.