If you like to play gamelan or hobbyist in the traditional Balinese music, you should not step over the gamelan. Why? Because there is a belief that if somebody do that, he or she will be confused and will not be able to play the instrument. All the knowledge passed on by the teacher will also not understandable to that person.
Placing the gamelan in an inappropriate spot also could give bad effect to someone. It is called “tulah” in Balinese which has the meaning of not having the proper manner. The locals and foreigners who like and able to play the instruments understand the concept and will not do that kind of thing. Sometimes, the foreigners are more aware and appreciate the value of the gamelan.
I ketut Lanus, a Balinese artist said that the Hindus in Bali is appreciating and respect the gamelan highly. They will take care of it and even make it a sacred instrument because the Hindus believe that gamelan is the place for Iswara God. “Especially gamelan can become a living source of the artist who plays it. It will be taken care properly,” he added.
Lanus said that as the God of gamelan, Iswara has the power in the sound. For that reason, all gamelan will receive offerings every six month during the Tumpek Krulut Day. “Gamelan is one of our identity, that is why we must respect it,” Lanus explained.
The similar thing also explained by I Nyoman Sumandhi, MA a puppet artist from Tunjuk Village. He said that gamelan has soul so it must receive the proper attention and offerings. “We believe that if somebody step over a gamelan then they will not be able to play the instrument properly,” he said. (BTN/015)