Not many more war traditions that are part of cultural performances or tourist attractions in Indonesia that we can see. In addition to the well-known Pasola tradition on Sumba, there is a tradition of the Pandan Tenganan War which takes place every year in Karangasem, Bali. Interested? Then let’s read the following article.
Tradition of Pandan War in Tenganan Village
War Pandan Tenganan or commonly referred to as mekare-kare is one of the traditions carried out by the people of Tenganan Village. The Pandan Tenganan War was carried out in order to honor the God of War, namely Indra. Residents in this village indeed hold different beliefs from other Balinese citizens. Namely the Hindu religion of Indra who considers God Indra is the highest god or god of all gods.
Historically, Dewa Indra saved the people of Tenganan Village, which was once led by a cruel king, named Maya Denawa. At that time, the king considered himself to be God and forbade the Balinese from performing religious rituals. This then angered the gods and sent Indra to fight Maya Denawa. War was successfully won by Dewa Indra. Since then, the Pandan Tenganan War was routinely carried out by the villagers to respect the struggle that had been carried out by the God.
The tradition of the Pandan Tenganan War is always carried out by the youth of the Tenganan Village. This war is a benchmark for the maturity of village youth as well. Because for those who are able to fight they are considered to have the guts and mental strength to face life as an adult. In practice, participants in the Pandan War use tied, thorny pandanus and shields made of woven rattan to protect themselves from enemy attacks. All residents who come to witness the war must wear the Tenganan traditional clothes. Namely Pegringsingan woven fabric. While war participants only use sarong (kamen), shawl (saput), and headband (udeng).
When the Pandan Tenganan War begins, participants will advance one by one, then take turns hitting opponents. Although blood poured from their backs and other body parts, they seemed happy because they could preserve this cultural ritual. After the Pandan War is over, the elders will splash turmeric liquid and vinegar on the participant's wound to make it healed quickly.
This Pandan Tenganan War is always held every fifth month or sasih kalima in the calendar of Tenganan Village. Pandanus War is usually held in front of Bale Patemu or a meeting hall in the village yard starting at 14.00 West Indonesia Time with an accompaniment of seloding gamelan music. The boisterous noise that came from the cheers of the audience mixed with the sound of gamelan blows, which stimulated the spirit, would produce a pleasant war atmosphere, not a scary one.