TIMESINDONESIA, PONOROGO – Tedhak Siten is a local language which literally means to touch the ground. It is a ceremony to celebrate the first time baby touch the ground. This tradition was done when the baby reach 7 months old.
Does it mean the baby’s feet can’t touch the ground before the ceremony? No, the baby still allowed playing on the ground or walking on it if it can. This ceremony was just a way to celebrate that the baby has already been ready to try to walk by her/his own.
At the ceremony, the baby will take to do some ritual. She/he will be dressed so, like wearing a flowery crown made of young coconut leaves. The baby will also put its best dress for the ceremony.
The ceremony will be led by a local shaman. The shaman will take the baby to follow several rituals such as carrying it into a huge chicken’s cage. Several things put in scattered way have been waiting for them in once they both entering the cage.
“The baby is allowed to take one of those things. It is believed that the things he/she takes could tell his/her future occupation or position,” Mbah Sulastri, a local shaman in Ponorogo said.
In Ponorogo, where there is spring water nearby, the baby will be taken there to be cleaned. Meanwhile some people will sometimes just use the water from the well, or pump. They will also let the baby’s to touch the ground for the first time which means they are hoping that the baby could be independence once he/she grown up.
The baby will be taken to walk onto plate filled with red and white porridge as a hope that the baby will always walk beyond his/her country name. He/she then will be taken to step on a ladder as a symbol of stepping his/her life in the future.
Beside the fact that shown about, believe it or not this Tedhak Siten (the first time baby touch the ground) ceremony was only held to celebrate baby’s 7 months old. It’s their way of saying their grateful to the Lord for letting their kids reaching that age. (*)