A tradition is a form of culture. Until now various kinds of traditions are carried out by the Balinese people. The Ngarap Sawa tradition is one of them. It’s a meaningful tradition in building solidarity while preparing for the death ceremony. This tradition is performed by the Banjar Anyar Marga community, Tabanan Regency.
The Ngarap Sawa tradition is carried out by young people in preparing the Yadnya Pitra ceremony. The Pitra Yadnya ceremony or funeral in Bali requires preparation. Various things that need to be prepared by the bereaved family are assisted by local residents, especially young people. Ngarap in Balinese means carrying, while Sawa means corpse. Ngarap Sawa can be interpreted as a tradition of mutual cooperation in carrying the body.
The Ngarap Sawa tradition carries corpses from Balai to Bade or containers. After Bade, the body was taken to a cleansing place or called mepeningan. Then after being cleansed, the body was brought back to the Balai. Finally, the body was carried to the burial site. From place to place, this tradition is performed with full solidarity. In addition, the Ngarap Sawa Tradition takes place with enthusiasm because it requires a lot of energy.
Before carrying out Ngarap Sawa, local youths helped with preparations such as mealih-alih and nguncang. Preparing banten, bade, and other necessities at the ceremonies of pengabenan are referred to as mealih-alih. When the sad news was announced, the young man was in charge of hitting the kentongan, and some others hit rice mortar. After the sad news spread, the youth and residents around made the night atmosphere noisy every night. This activity is called nguncang. These activities are carried out to drive away bad lucks to the families in the funeral home. Nguncang is usually done by 3 to 10 young men. Not only young people, but local residents also send their condolences by attending the funeral home to enliven the atmosphere. Usually, a strain of notes called mecandetan is played during nguncang.
The tradition of Ngarap Sawa or carrying bodies in Bali is indeed different in each region. Even so, tradition has the same goal. Namely to give support to the grieving families. This tradition is performed with full of cheers. Cheers are believed to be able to encourage more energy while delivering the body to the burial site. In fact, it needs a healthy and enthusiastic young man to perform Ngarap Sawa. Even the body bearers, to be more solid or compact, wear uniforms.
Ngarap Sawa is one of the traditions in Bali that is carried out every Banjar. Although they have a slight difference in each Banjar, they all have sincere and noble intentions. Solidarity that was built between residents to help families grieve is still carried out until today.