Improving Communication between Generations in Banjar Prapat by Learning Mejejaitan Together: A CSII Art Workshop Project

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Balinese people will not be separated from religious ceremonies, and in every ceremony, banten (offerings to be offered) will be required and the process of making this offering is called mejejaitan. Mejejaitan is an activity to process coconut leaves into pieces which will later be put together and become a form that contains meaning and philosophy in it. Because this is such an important thing in Balinese Hindu society life, it is also important to preserve this culture from generation to generation, learning to make offering together between generation is also a good way to connect between generations. 

Majejaitan is mostly done by Balinese women, because it requires precision, understanding, and patience to make it, but that doesn’t mean men can’t do it. In mejejaitan it should not be done arbitrarily because there are several things that must be considered, such as the shape, the cutting, the sticking, and the content of the offering. For the shape, there are three shapes that must exist in the stitch, such as round, square and triangle shapes; these three things will not be separated from the pieces that will be used. Meanwhile, the pieces are made depending on what will be presented. For example, if you want to give a canang sari (offering), the pieces will be round and made as good as possible so that they look beautiful. Not only canang sari, there are also Ceper pieces where the pieces will be box-shaped and have holes because they will be patched in the middle with banana leaves or coconut leaves (janur). 

There are many kinds of banten, and any kind of size, for example if banjar (neighborhood) has a ceremony, the banten will be big and need a lot of people to make it. That’s why in Bali there is always a mutual cooperation that’s like many people in Banjar will make and finish the ceremony together. In banjar also the women will do the mejaitan, normally for big ceremonies they use big banten like Prayascita, Durmangala, Biyakala, Sayut, and Banten Mecaru. All of the big banten have a meaning like, Prayascita that is for purifying the top of a temple while Durmangala and Biyakala for purifying the middle and bottom of the temple.

Ceremony not only done by the Banten but also with other things like pedestals and roof for Banten. This part is usually the men’s part, because it is made from Klangsah. Klangsah is old coconut leaves knitted into a sheet that can be used as a top and base of Banten and also a shady place for people in the temple. This Klangsah will be made to resemble a roof, tied together and made a pole using wood to support it so that it can stand like a tent roof made of old coconut leaves. Besides being used for banten and roof klangsah, it is also  used as a base to prepare dishes for people who come to the ceremony.

There’s a lot more that can be used, because honestly Balinese can’t be separated from mejejaitan, banten, klangsah and many things about religious ceremony. Because the Balinese really keep the traditions that have existed from time immemorial and because that’s what makes Bali a place that everyone in this world really wants to visit. they want to see all the uniqueness that is in Bali and they want to see how Balinese people maintain and carry out traditions until now.


Written by: Ni Wayan Kariasih

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