On Saturday 20th March,2010 we celebrated Adit’s 3 month birthday with a traditional Balinese ceremony called Telubulanin. In Balinese culture it is believed that a baby younger than 3 months of age is pure of soul and is not allowed to touch the floor to prevent their pure souls becoming tainted by earthly things. When they reach 3 months they are officially recognised as earthly beings via this special ceremony which is also referred to as the “Naming Ceremony” since this is when the baby is given its Balinese name.
All of the family members, the food, the offerings and the priest (pemangku) piled into the back of a ute and traveled all the way from Gumbrih to our house in Pulukan – a trip that took about 20 minute on account of the traffic!
From what we can gather the details of the Telubulanin ceremony differ between villages, but the key things in the version we had were:
– blessings of our home (and us) by the priest (pemangku) with prayer and holy water.
– exchanging Adit’s (the real baby) for a palm seed (the symbolic baby) which was thrown out the front gate at the end of the ceremony with the intent that anything bad or evil would follow the symbolic baby.
– walking Adit’s around a big dish of water (the pond of life) 3 times, touching a stone mortar and pestle with her foot each time (not sure about the meaning of this one!).
– reaching Adit’s right hand into the dish of water to retrieve gold and silver jewellery which she then wore for the rest of the ceremony. This is to symbolise the riches of life to be bestowed upon her throughout her life.
– having grains of rice placed on her to symbolise her first meal of solids.
– anointing Adit’s with her Balinese name of Putu (first born).
– more blessings by the priest with lots of incense!
When the ceremony was complete, the edible offerings – bananas (pisang), oranges (jeruk), apples (apel), satay, chicken (ayam), duck (bebek) and cake (roti) – were divided up amongst the families to be eaten during the following week.
We had a wonderful day with lots of friends around to help celebrate. We proud as punch to help Adit’s through this rite of passage and is now looking forward to taking us to her home village of Sidemen to meet all of her family.