In Bali, their tradition affects every part of life. Including the tradition in arranging the shape and direction of the house. The kitchen, for example, is specially arranged according to the traditions of the Balinese people. The kitchen has an important role in life which has a philosophical value for the local community, especially for Hindu.
Paon comes from the word Pawon which means kitchen. Based on tradition and belief in Bali, Paon is situated on the south side of the house. This tradition is built through the belief that Lord Brahma resides in the south. Lord Brahma is the ruler of the kitchen. So what does the kitchen mean for the Balinese?
Lord Brahma is the protector in the south of the compass. He is armed with Gada with goose. Lord Brahma has a wife, Dewi Saraswati.
The kitchen in general view is closely related to fire or the called paon cangkem. Paon Cangkem is a sarwa daksa which means it can burn anything around it.
Apart from being a place to put the furnace, Paon is also believed to neutralize the negative side. In Bali, the negative energy is called bhuta who follows the residents of the house. After the homeowners are coming back home, they should come to the kitchen first. They aren’t allowed to enter another room before the kitchen.
Due to those reasons, the kitchen is considered to have a function as nunas penglukatan. Residents of the house after going somewhere, especially after mourning the dead, are required to take water from the kitchen. Then the water is thrown onto the roof and washed their face, hands, and feet with drops of water from the roof. This activity is called nunas penglukatan.
The architecture of the building in Bali is also based on tradition which is known as Asta Kosala Kosali, the kitchen has a special character. The kitchen or Paon must be separated from the main house. If it becomes one with the main house, then the house will feel hot. The kitchen location is also determined based on the wind direction.
How about the kitchen in your house? Some architects will definitely build a kitchen with various considerations. In Bali, as stated above, the kitchen is not only a place to make and process food and drinks. However, the kitchen also has an important position in local beliefs.