NASI TUMPENG, A WAY TO CONVEY THE MESSAGE THROUGH MEANINGFUL SIGNS

Nanny Sri Lestari

Abstract

As a country with a very large area, the sea of Indonesia consists of 40% out of its entire territory. Historically, Indonesian staple food was based on its geographical areas, either surrounded by seas or by mountains. However, through its development, rice has currently become the number one staple food for most of Indonesian people. Furthermore, this type of staple food has been improved and processed into various edible food. The most popular one is tumpeng.
Based on its form and its content, tumpeng is considered unique and exclusive. Tumpeng is basically made of cooked rice, named nasi in its origin language of Indonesia. Then, the rice is placed into a winnowing tray in order to make it conical. Side dishes, such as fishes and vegetables, can be laid down arouand the rice. The side dishes surrounding the rice make tumpeng incredibly attractive, beautiful, and neat.
The aim of tumpeng is basically to celebrate momentous events, such as birthdays, vows, gratefulness, or lucid dreams. The ceremony is started with prayer, then slicing the tumpeng in order to be divided equally to all attendees. Based on these steps, Indonesian people have great sense about tumpeng. They assume that tumpeng has a unique sign which there are also stronger signs and deeper meaning within.

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