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Bali Unique Tradition | Omed-omedan

Bali Unique Tradition | Omed-omedan


March 28, 2009

Bali has alot of unique traditions which could not be found in other regions in Indonesia. One of that unique traditions is the " Omed-omedan " which we could only find in Banjar Kaja, Sesetan Denpasar. This unique tradition have been endowed from generation to generations long before the Dutch colonization era. As one of the Balinese culture heritage, rich with artistic and cultural value, bond with the togetherness and sacred values, Omed-omedan remains preserved by the Krama / community of the Banjar Kaja especially by the youth group / Sekaa Teruna Teruni ( STT ) Satya Dharma Kerti. Omed-omedan held annually at Tahun Baru Saka ( penanggal kaping siki Sasih Kadasa ) or a day after the " Nyepi ". The Balinese community often called this day as the " Ngembak Geni " day.


The word Omed-omedan derives from the word " Omed " ( according to the Bali Indonesian dictionary ), which literally means " pull ", so the word Omed-omedan can be interpreted as pulling each other. The Omed-omedan tradition often miss understood as an activity identic with the kissing in public. That is why Krama / the community of the Banjar Sesetan insist to refuse the accusation, because Balinese people normally respect the social values in the society and assuming that kissing in public is such an inappropriate to be conducted. It never happens before and it will never be, and there is no such idea that suggest to do that kind of activities. The Omed-omedan tradition in fact is a way for the youth to express their joy and happiness on the Ngembak Geni day as well as an opportunity to be socialize with the others. ( according to the book " Med-Medan, tradisi unik dari Sesetan " by I Made Munggah )


There is a unique occurence happened when the Omed-omedan tradition is negated, a hubbub voice which is caused by two pig fighting ferociously suddenly heard. Nobody knows where do these pigs come from or who owns them. After the people of Banjar Kaja done a spiritual way at the Pura Banjar, then they got an answer ( from someone who was being in trance ) that Omed-omedan represents the will of the Deities of the Pura Banjar and shall be held annually ( as narrated by the penglingsir Puri Oka, I Gusti Ngurah Oka Putra )

There are several functions and values of the Omed-omedan tradition, which are :

  1. To show respect to the ancestors and to Ida Hyang Widhi ( God Almighty ).

  2. As a way to socialize for the people of Banjar Kaja through the concept of sharing and taking care of each other.

  3. To keep the harmonious relationship in the society without neglecting the social values.

  4. To keep the solidarity and the unity in the society through the concept of giving and taking care of each other in any circumstances. (gotong royong)

  5. As an entertainment for the community after held the Catur Brata Penyepian ( Hari Raya Nyepi )

  6. Help to develop the economy of the community at Banjar Kaja by preserving and maintaining the Omed-omedan tradition as the one of the unique tourism attractions in Bali.

*) Reports and photos by Satoshi Hashigawa


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