Bedulu customary village, Blahbatuh, Gianyar, has a unique tradition known as ngambeng. This ngayah or devotional works conducted by a number of children is a part of the procession of the piodalan or anniversary of Samuantiga Temple. By and large, this tradition is done 15 to 8 days before the temple anniversary.
Boys and girls who wear traditional attires divide themselves into a number of groups. After that, they go to each house of residents denoting the supporting devotees of the Samuan Tiga Temple living at five customary villages such as the Bedulu, Wanayu Mas, Tengkulak Kaja and Tengah.
Right at the door of the house compound, they will say ngambeng. So, people then come up with all ceremonial paraphernalia, such as bananas, coconuts, banana leaves, rice, eggs, sugar cane, crops and livestock. In essence, people will donate their property that can be used as a means of the ceremonies. After that, the children collect the paraphernalia and deliver them to ritual committee of Samuan Tiga Temple for the successful execution of the ritual.
Interestingly, the children who come to the house of residents seem to have been directed. Thus, every child and every house they visit, the paraphernalia presented are not the same. It is said, there was an incident when children performing the ngambeng devotional works asked for papaya. However, the resident said no. And in a matter of minutes, the papaya tree tumbled down. Reflecting from the incident, all residents were vivacious to donate their belongings.
Children who carry out the ngambeng do not specify the items sought previously. However, there are forces that spontaneously direct them to say to the residents. If anyone does not provide in accordance with what they request, an unfavorable incident will occur. After performing the ngambeng, the children will ask for lunch. Well, from the amount of the children asking for lunch, it can be known how many children get involved in such tradition on the day.
Chairman of the Supporting Devotees of Samuan Tiga Temple, I Wayan Patera, said the tradition of ngambeng was not known when it first began. However, the children of Bedulu had undertaken the tradition through generations. “Although no one knows for sure where it started, but no one dared to prohibit or negate this ngambeng tradition,” he said.
In the past, added Patera, the ngambeng tradition was once nullified with a number of considerations. As consequence, some untoward incidents occurred. For example, the preparation process of the ritual was interrupted. Although it had been supplied with various ritual paraphernalia, it remained to run short of things. “Based on that experience, we maintain the ngambeng tradition,” he said.
According to him, the ngambeng tradition was a heritage that remained to be preserved until these times by the supporting devotees of Samuan Tiga Temple because it also implied a very noble value. “The ngambeng tradition carried out by the circles of children also serves as a medium of information for residents that piodalan will be carried out as well as a vehicle for children learning at early age, especially in socio-religious life,” he said.
Patera added the ngambeng tradition usually carried out by three to a dozen children were able to build character and mentality of children so as to cooperate and foster a genuine spirit and they were willing to pay devotional works. They did it to gather the materials of piodalan and reminded or informed the supporting devotees that piodalan at Samuantiga had been around the corner.
After the ngambeng or eight days before the piodalan, there was a tradition for people to deliver pawilet in the form of material donation containing money, rice, incense stick, and coffee. The cash donation could reach IDR 50 million from about 2,000 families of the temple supporting devotees. “Well, the ngambeng tradition stimulates residents to raise awareness, then some days later they deliver donate cash,” he said. (BTN/015)