Nginjek Tanah Tradition: A Ceremony of Predicting Children Future

"The tradition of Nginjek Tanah is the hope and prayer of parents for their children who have just been able to walk, so that in the future they can set their hearts in living their lives"

Just like the traditions in other tribes in Indonesia, in the Betawi tradition there are also injek or nginjek tanah ceremonies. This tradition is carried out when a baby is able to set foot on the ground. The land nginjek ceremony is held when the baby is 8 months old, at that age the baby starts learning to walk.

In this procession, the child will be taken up seven steps made from sugar cane. After this process, the child will be lured into a cage that has been equipped with various gifts.

The most interesting thing about this procession is when the child is put in a cage, which is generally decorated and contains various kinds of toys. The cage here symbolizes the life of the world.

When the child is in a cage, he is asked to choose one of a number of toys that have been placed in it. The toy chosen is a symbol of the profession or job that will be worked on when the child is becoming an adult.

In the nginjek tanah tradition, each object and series contain symbols that convey hope and prayers for the child. Like the use of sugar cane in one of the processions. Sugarcane means determination. It is hoped that the child will have the determination to live his life in the future. There are also seven containers with gradations from dark to light colors. This gradation symbolizes the hope that the child's life will become brighter. The procession in the tradition of descending from the ground contains the best wishes and prayers for the baby who is starting to learn to walk. There are a lot of noble values contained in each series.

After the procession of nginjek tanah carried out, then a salvation was held by making alms in the form of rice and its side dishes, cakes, bread, bananas etc. However, this ceremony or tradition is not always held by every Betawi person today. Because, this depends on social and economic conditions.

Bujaka - Aplikasi Budaya Jakarta

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