Suarajatim.com - The Tatung parade is a unique thing that has been eagerly awaited at the Cap Go Meh celebration in Singkawang, West Kalimantan.
More than 500 tatung paraded while showing off their supernatural powers. Stabbing several parts of his body with sharp objects. Colossal and truly very unique.
Tatung is a human figure who, according to some beliefs, is being possessed by a divine spirit. The word 'tatung' itself comes from the Hakka language, which means the spirit of a god, and then it is absorbed into the language of the local people.
"Tatung really comes from one of the Chinese cultures, brought here to mingle with local culture. In Singkawang there are Dayaks who are the hosts," said Ajung (58) who is one of the elders of the Singkawang Chinese community.
Ajung, whose full name is Bong Khin Jung who is also the heir of the 'science' of tatung in Singkawang, explained how the tatung procession could take place.
He explained, the procession began with a fasting ritual of eating meat, aka vegetarianism. The meat fast is held on the 1st and 15th of every month on the Chinese calendar.
It is said that if a person with Tatung potential still eats meat on that date, he will get hurt while demonstrating his skills. Bleeding for example.
"Yes, it can be bad when you leave (to become a tatung). But that's just teaching that is practiced, it's useless if our souls and hearts are not pure, not clean," he said.
After the fasting routine, in the morning during Cap Go Meh they will perform a special prayer at their respective places. Like in Pekong for Confucians and Dayak places of worship for the Dayak tribes themselves.
From there, they were taken to the Cap Go Meh honorary stage with a sharp object stabbed. As long as the person becomes a tatung, he must still be accompanied by a mediator. Its function is to communicate with the spirit that possesses it.
"There or not, participating or not participating in the festival, people who have tatung skills must be filled in on the Cap Go Meh calendar. Most of them are derivatives," he said.
The god inside the tatung can go in and out whenever he wants during the celebration. Usually, a tatung already knows if their god wants to get out, so they have to get off the stretcher and remove the sharp objects that are piercing their body.
"No matter how many tatung there are, by midday the people will definitely be out again. If they haven't reached the final location, they will still carry out the parade but not on their stretchers, but walk and have become ordinary people," said Ajung.
The process of these stages continues to repeat itself from year to year and from generation to generation.
Tatung is indeed a Chinese culture, but now it has become the local wisdom of several ethnic communities in Singkawang and several other cities. Tatung has also become an asset to Indonesia's cultural wealth.//cw<