Colossal Megibung at Taman Ujung, Karangasem

Colossal megibung at Taman Ujung Sukasada Karangasem broke the world record of largest communal eating, 19,768 people participated in this megibung (communal eating) event. The participants came from all over Karangasem regency. The participants of megibung were divided into groups called sela; each group consists of eight people of same gender, sitting cross-legged in circle on the grass.

There were 2,452 sela (group of eight people) and 152 wanci (a special table for one person). Food for megibung was arranged in accordance with the philosophy of Balinese cosmogony. The food consisted of a big portion of nasi (steam rice) completed with the variety of side dishes like pork satay, lawar (mixture of vegetable and pork) and some vegetable. The side dishes were arranged based on the Balinese cosmogony.

The gegecok putih (white mixture of vegetable and pork) was placed on the east side of the nasi (steam rice), gegecok kuning (yellow mixture of vegetable and pork) was placed on the west side of the nasi (steam rice), urab barak (red mixture of vegetable and pork) was placed on the south side of the nasi (steam rice), and the star fruit leaves lawar (black mixture of vegetable and pork) was placed on the north side of the nasi (steam rice).

During this megibung event, a leader called pepara controlled each sela (group of eight people). The pepara has a privileged to mix the food in accordance with the traditional custom. First the nasi (rice steam) was mixed with gegecok putih, gegecok kuning, urab barak and star fruit leaves lawar. This mixture represented the Panca Dewata (Five Gods). Then the first mixture was mixed with jukut nangka (young jackfruit soup), ares (young banana tree), urab padamara and urab wilis (mixture of vegetable and pork).

This mixture represented the Nawa Dewata (Nine Gods who guard the nine points of compass). After that various satay (satay pusut, satay asem, satay nagasari, satay gede, satay kablet, satay orob and satay lembat), bebalung (pig bone), iga timbungan, urutan (pig intestine stuffed with pork and spices) were paced on the top of the nasi (rice steam). Finally, the various vegetables such as kacang panjang (long bean), kangkung (a kind water plant) and lawar gobag were placed besides the nasi (steam rice). Water for accompanying this food was placed in a container called caratan.

A unique way of drinking called nyeret must be used in drinking from this container. The lips must not touch the caratan (water container), the caratan is placed high above the mouth and we drink from the dripping water that fall into our mouth. The participants started to eat after the mixture of food was completed. When a group finished their dishes, they cannot leave the place of megibung immediately. They have to wait for the rest of the groups. The participants left the place together after cleaning the place of megibung.

The megibung (communal eating) was created by the king of Karangasem, I Gusti Anglurah Ktut Karangasem when he invaded Lombok. This communal eating (megibung) was used to count the casualty of war and survival soldier. The megibung put the emphasis on the communal and democratic value. No caste and economic distinction are observed in this megibung, all human are the same in front of food (Dewi Sri, goddess of wealth and rice). The perfect implementation of old Balinese philosophy, “Paras paros sarpanaya, selunglung sabayantaka” (together in happiness and grief).

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