Bandung is the capital city of West Java, and the third largest city in Indonesia after Jakarta and Surabaya. Nicknamed Parijs van Java (Paris of Java) by the Dutch for its resemblance to Paris and European atmosphere back at the colonial times. Bandung also earned another nickname as Kota Kembang, literally meaning the Flower City since Bandung used to have a lot of flowers.
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Bandung Style : Good Morning, Dear Sheep Competition!
As if waiting for their turn go to the battlefield, these sturdy horned creatures were patiently standing on those pickup cars that had brought them to the ground of Babakan Siliwangi (right behind the Sasana Budaya Ganesha), Bandung, on last Sunday (05/06). With their beautiful necklace, they seemed like a king who would come down to the battlefield, they went down to mound the soil where they waited for moments of shine.
Clockwise direction was aimed directly at the number 9, it's time to moved to the game area. Then, we've seen the visitors - which consists of various circles - have started packing the terrain that lies behind the running area of Sasana Culture Ganesha. In the middle of the empty land, the wood fence had been standing there, for approximately 10 square meters, equipped also by a long bench for spectators as well as stands of timber where the committee got together and negotiate.
The event - which is held regularly once a month in Babakan Siliwangi - was opened by the narrative of the master of ceremony, and accompanied by Sundanese traditional music. Then the sheep entered the fighting arena, square off and compete to each other , how strong are the power of the circular solid horns on their head. Three men wearing cowboy hat and also pangsi pants had standing there, assigned to referee fights of sheep competition, they stood in the middle of the field, and maintain the state of the sheep who are fighting. When you hear the cue "treatment" of the sound behind the sound system, the referee in the arena was immediately separated those two sheep, for just giving a massage and moved into the arena again.
Typically, the ram is allowed to complain to each other horns strength up to 20 times the beat, but this isn't necessarily as well. Many of the fighting sheep unable to match his opponent, so that before it make another worse injury, the fight was stopped at the that moment. Movement and hard hit are increasingly entertained the visitor's eyes - including us - but it turns out, not all sheep has the guts, for example, we saw a white sheep that had suddenly run away, jumped off the fence and made the audience hysteric. You gave up before you got on the war, buddy!
This Sundanese cultural heritage has been so popular in Garut, West Java, but then it also took the attention of many society of Bandung city. Many owners of rams are coming from this flower city, such as local Gegerkalong, Soreang, and much more. Only difference, sheep competitions at Baksil is not the same as fighting sheep in general, which uses "saweran" or betting which sheep will win the game, because the goal is just for entertainment and hospitality.
As an inner turmoil that appears at once while watching these sheep fighting competition, on the one hand is, how pity if we see the sheep which is also God's creation, competed to contest the power of each, and show, whose sheep are more superior on the battlefield. But on the other hand, this event is a cultural heritage that has lasted a long time, and has become part of national identity. In addition, the personality and fighting soul had been owned by those sheeps, so it had become one of the positive points why this event continues until this very moment. It has become an instinct for the ram to demonstrate his strength, and people who facilitate it.