Ter-teran or flame war on the Pengrupukan at Jasri customary village, Karangasem, Monday night (Mar 11), lasted in a sacred and unique atmosphere. The flames did not stray into the audience and participants of the flame war exposed to flames did not suffer from burns. Such tradition was organized every two years, namely on the Pengrupukan of Tawur Kesanga in every odd year. Since 7:00 p.m., the audiences were ready to see the attraction, where they were not only residents of Jasri, but also those from distant villages. A number of tour guides also brought along a group of foreign tourists to Jasri. They intentionally came to watch the ritual procession made very sacred.
Starting around 6:00 p.m., the electric lights throughout Jasri were turned off. When the procession took place, no single electric light was allowed, including the light of mobile phones and cigarettes. As a result, it was very dark and made the situation increasingly sacred. Thousands of spectators including the community of Jasri village only looked like shadows. In such condition, it was difficult to identify the other people. The road section from Snakefruit Statue at Jasri to intersection of Jasri under the large banyan tree was closed so that the Amlapura-Denpasar traffic was diverted to BTN at Jasri.
The youth was ready around 6:00 p.m. and even the residents had prepared dried coconut leaves strongly tied into a torch. As soon as hearing a command that the sanctified effigies had been back to their abiding temples after pecaruan (animal sacrifice) on Jasri Beach, the youth began to kindle their coconut leaf torch. Meanwhile, an officer beat the kulkul (wooden split bell) in the Puseh temple as a sign of welcome to the deity.
When the bearers of the sanctified effigy approached, the torch was lit and hundreds of burning torches were directed at the entourage of village apparatus, temple priests and villagers bearing the sanctified effigies. Though hundreds of torches were thrown at them, none hit the entourage. If they were hit, they would not get burned. The entourage itself successfully passed the obstacles and continued the journey to courtyard of the Puseh Temple escorting the deities.
In fact, the throwing of torch did not stop. The youth participating in the ter-teran split themselves into two groups, namely the south and the north group. A three-round of flame war was prepared. When being commanded, both groups threw their torch one another. Strangely, though such additional ter-teran occurred, none of the participants got emotional. From the back of the audience, they were not seen to throw flaming torch, but their torches only looked like ambers. The embers were only seen to erupt just like fire bombs.
The eruption or sparks of the embers looked to spread and generated ter-ter sounds. Allegedly, due to generating such a sound the tradition was then called ter-teran.
When throwing the torch fiercely, no participants were yelling. They were only visible to throw the torch as strongly as possible that generated sounds like ter-ter (explosion), accompanied by sprinkling sparks in the air. Almost none of the throw of flames missed the target or hit the audience, though many spectators thronged the sidewalks on the left and right consisting of the youth, old people, children and women watching the tradition.
The sparks of flame were only targeted at both young groups. The sparks of ember did not only look to move straight but sometimes swirled in the air. After the procession and the three additional rounds ran solemnly, all the participants broke up and came home safely. One of the participants, Komang Sudana, said that as a participant he was once hit by the torch flame, but he did not burn.
Meanwhile, Chief of Jasri customary village, Nyoman Sutirtayasa, conveyed that the ter-teran or flame war was only a procession. Actually, the key point was the pecaruan or animal sacrifice on the waterfront. The aim of pecaruan was to neutralize or transform the nature of evil spirits from demonic to divine. Having been neutralized on the edge of the village, the villagers bore the sanctified effigies to local village or Puseh Temple. When coming into the center of the village, the entourage was thrown with flaming torches in order that no evil spirits would follow them to the village or temple.
At Jasri customary village, the youth did not make and parade ogoh-ogoh. Ogoh-ogoh was banned at the village because according to the apparatus of local village, making and parading ogoh-ogoh on the Pengrupukan was not local tradition. Instead, the procession only used fire and torches called ter-teran. Such tradition in Karangasem could only be found at two villages, namely Jasri and Saren customary village in Bebandem. Meanwhile, the Pengerupukan procession in Karangasem on Monday night (Mar 11) took place orderly and solemnly. There was relatively no chaos because it had been anticipated by village apparatus with pecalang or customary security officer.
A total of 504 pieces of ogoh-ogoh were paraded by the youth on the Pengerupukan. On the next day, Tuesday (Mar 12) was resumed with catur brata penyepian or four abstinences and Ngembak Geni on Wednesday (Mar 13) at 06:00 a.m. Implementation of the abstinences was considered more intense because the Pengrupukan was not graced with the explosion of firecrackers, fireworks or bamboo cannon. The world was truly sacred and quiet on welcoming the Caka New Year 1935. (BTN/kmb)
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