The Meaning, Ritual, and Response of Bersih Desa in Sekoto’s Society, Pare Kediri

Title : The Meaning, Ritual, and Response of Bersih Desa in Sekoto’s Society, Pare Kediri
Author : Efa Ida Amaliyah (CRCS, 2007)
Keywords : ritual bersih desa, meaning, function, and response
The purpose of this research is to know about the process, the meaning, and response of bersih desa in Sekoto’s society. Bersih desa is an annual ritual in Sekoto. The purpose of this ritual is to respect and to memorize the danyang (the founding of village). Ritual of bersih desa in Sekoto has several meanings; functions; and response depends on the person. It is because Sekoto is plural society. There are four religious organizations, that is NU (Nahdlatul ‘Ulama), Muhamadiyah, Sapto Darmo (mystic organization), and LDII (Indonesian Dakwah organization). Therefore, there are different responses, agree and disagree.

Bersih desa in Sekoto has many activities, such as nyadran (visiting the danyang grave to praying), hadrah (Arabic music tradition), and pengajian. The process of bersih desa is done for three days; the first day is praying together in Balai Desa, hadrah, and semaan Qur’an. The second day is nyadran; and the last day is pengajian and wayang.

There are three meanings of bersih desa for the people who believe, that is cosmological meaning, symbolic meaning, and shift of meaning (santrinisasi). The cosmological meaning is Sekoto’s society believe that the danyang is more pious and more super than ordinary people in Sekoto, and the danyang more close to God. Therefore, they argue that if we praying in danyang’s grave is acceptable. Symbolic meaning is the meaning behind the sesaji, ambengan, merang, etc. They believe that all of thing (sesaji, ambengan, merang, etc) can make their wish easier to accept by God. The last is the shift of meaning. Previously, perform of bersih desa in Sekoto has mystical and kejawen condition. Today, they change perform bersih desa more religious, such as pengajian, sema’an Qur’an, and hadrah. It is because, Sekoto’s society more pious than before. Bersih desa in Sekoto has not only meaning, but also function. There are two functions, the first transfer of knowledge. It means that the parent in Sekoto’s society tries to introduce their custom (bersih desa) to their children in order to the child have to memorize their danyang. Second, bersih desa is as an integration space. When they visit the grave, they come together to perform nyadran. It is as a place to them to tell about their activities, and place to visiting each other.

Response of bersih desa comes from the people who do not agree with this ritual. Response comes from Muhamadiyah and LDII, they argue that bersih desa is the way to syirik (believe to another things beside God). The danyang is the ordinary people. He/she is same with us. Allah is the Great One. Therefore, according to them this ritual is forbidden (haram).

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