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A flurry of activity starts early a day prior to Balinese Hindu’s holy day of Galungan, such as the one that can be found—and heard—at Banjar Kutuh, Desa Sayan, Ubud, today starting from 5am.

The sound of belakas (Balinese cleaver) chopping reverberates in every home early in the morning, and afterwards from children to adults seen busy doing activities related to the day before Galungan. Several foreign tourists can also be seen helping prepare pork dishes, the common staple during the holy day.

As reported by Tribun Bali, the locals and the foreigners worked hand-in-hand slicing pork meat, chopping vegetables, and preparing the ingredients, to cook some of Balinese signature dishes such as lawar, tum, and urutan.

 I Ketut Meli, one of the village’s residents, said that those dishes are common during Penampahan (the day before) Galungan. Lawar is a combination of pork, lard, as well as jackfruit vegetables (sayur nangka) and minced papaya. For flavoring they used a paste called basa rajang (a mixture of turmeric, galangal, ginger, garlic, pepper, chilli, and many other spices and herbs).

Meanwhile to make tum they used pig’s blood, and minced pork meat, fat, and skin, then wrapped in banana leaf.  They will then steam the food before serving. Lastly, urutan is a sort of Balinese sausage, with the chopped meat and lard put inside the intestines.

Meli added these foods are not made as part of the offering that are placed at the temple (merajan/sanggah) but to be enjoyed for the whole family during Galungan. Another dish, duck-meat satay is usually used in but sometimes in order to cut cost they’ll use pork as a substitute for the satay meat.

“Most of the pork are cooked for personal consumption,” Meli said, who worked as a religion teacher at a local elementary school. “For merajan we used duck meat. Indeed for Galungan we’ll spend more for our own consumption, while it’s lesser for merajan.

 Many foreign tourists use this opportunity of the feast offered at Penampahan Galungan to get to know the local dishes. But, according to Meli, they’re welcome to eat free of charge because the essence of the serving is to share with family and friends, not for commercial purpose.