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Bali Local Fruit

30 March 2011

Do you know the longest fruits in Bali? Of course, you will answer the fruits arrangement carried in a parade. It is an amazing spectacle you can encounter on Paradise Island of Bali. Women carry it on their head on the parade in the arts and temple festival. Visitors will keep eyes incessantly on the splendor.

To Balinese community, aside from being used for consumption, fruits are remarkably important for their ritual life. Virtually all sacrificial oblations require the presence of fruits. Expressing their gratitude in temple anniversary, human life cycle rituals and ceremony for rice in the field entail various fruits as well. Undeniably, they plant the frequently used fruits at their home yard or back yard. Other than for its fruits, it is also taken advantage for shady tree. Some fruits usually planted within the house compound are like guava, sapodilla, papaya, mango, rambutan, pomegranate and so forth.

bali fruitConsidering the high needs of fruits for ritual, the Hindus in Bali organize special ritual intended for the plants in the hope it could bear dense fruits. It is regularly held every 210 days falling on Saniscara (Saturday) Kliwon Wanga or better known as Tumpek Pengarah or Tumpek Pengatag. This ritual is 25 days before Galungan festivity. It is intended to express gratitude and hope those plants could yield sufficient crops for the celebration of festivities. The plant is treated as an elder so the oblation is filled with rice porridge.

Global market today has a great impact on the penetration of foreign fruits. People can purchase various kinds of imported fruits like pear, apple, kiwi fruit, green grape and so forth at traditional market and even at stalls nearby. In the long run, they have replaced the position of local fruits. To maintain and preserve the sustainability of local fruits, local government through Department of Agriculture has made several efforts. One of them is by organizing competition of making gebogan (fruits and cakes arrangement) by means of purely local fruits. This measure is by considering the greater fruit demands are absorbed by the need of ritual activities. Another measure is by providing the cutting or hybrid seedlings of some local fruits. By doing so, people can cultivate them at ease. The no less important is implanting awareness that using local fruits for ritual needs is more relevant as they have got ritual pursuant to Hindu tradition in Bali.

A momentous moment to see such local fruits rendezvous is the cultural parade in Bali Arts Festival (mid of June) and other art festivals across the island as well as temple anniversary throughout the year. The latter can be checked on the Balinese calendar. Like an art event, various local fruits like banana, snake fruit, guava, orange, banana, sawo kecik, sapodilla, passion fruit, custard apple, kaliasem, mangosten, pomelo and many others are arranged nicely in combination with cakes and oblation on top. Of course, inmost cases they are coming together with imported fruits.

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