Vallaura's Blog

"Writing is a way of talking without being interrupted."

It starts with #3 now!

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Ah… November is about to end. I cannot believe when it is  here and now it’s almost leaving me again. What’s so special about November? Well, it’s my birth month. And, yes, I am a person who make a great deal about birthday, mine, in particular.

About birthday. How could someone thinks that it is just another day in this world while 30 years ago (this year, for me) a small family of a father, mother, 3 kids were excitedly waiting for their youngest baby girl-baby sister to come to their lives. I cannot remember a thing about that day. And in 1981, there’s no video cam to take the whole birth event. Well, thank God for that! But I do believe, my teenager siblings, 13, 10 and 7 year old bros and sis were at home, studying, perhaps, as they were in their school age ,while their parents, who later to be mine, of course, were at the hospital. Hmmm… I bet I cried a lot that I must have been very annoying turd for their studying nights. Hehehe… I bet they love me so much too. And that month, that full of thanksgiving and praise should be remembered, as I celebrate every birthday every year. Don’t you think so too, my friend?

And this month, she is 30 year old. Wow. What a journey. I have to admit. I cannot remember most of them. And I am not sure whether I should be thankful or regretful. When the day is approaching, November 14, I remember how some my friends are facing their new decade. Some are cool, some are lukewarm, and some are hot. Cool as in, it’s just another day in this world while hot is the opposite, it’s a day when you turn old! Haha!! And lukewarm, is like me. Yes, I turn older. Yes, it starts with number 3. Yet, yes, it’s still a birthday! 🙂

I did promise one thing for myself though. And this promise is only happening when I turn this age. That is to try all new things that I can possible dare to do. And lucky me, I started with a good new thing. A Nasi Tumpeng (Tumpeng Rice) for my birthday, instead of having my always favorite birthday cake, The Magnificent Blackforest. 😉

Tumpeng is a cone-shaped rice dish like mountain with its side dishes (vegetables and meat). Traditionally featured in the slamatan ceremony, the cone shape of rice is made by using cone-shaped weaved bamboo container. The rice itself could be plain steam rice, uduk rice (cooked with coconut milk), or yellow rice (uduk rice colored with kunyit (tumeric)). The cone shaped rice erected on tampah (rounded woven bamboo container) covered with banana leaf, and surrounded by assorted of Indonesian dishes. People in Java (that includes me!!), Bali and Madura usually make Tumpeng to celebrate important event (*cough* like my birthday.). However, all Indonesians are familiar with Tumpeng. The philosophy of Tumpeng is related to the geographical condition of Indonesia, especially Java as fertile island with numerous mountain and volcanos. Tumpeng dated back to ancient Indonesian tradition that revered mountains as the abode of ancestors and gods. The cone-shaped rice meant to mimics the holy mountain. The feast served as somekind of thanks giving for the abundance of harvest or any other blessings. In gratitude ceremony (syukuran or slametan), after the people pray, the top of tumpeng is cut and delivered to the most important person. He or she may be the group leader, the oldest person, or the beloved one. Then, all people in the ceremony enjoy the tumpeng together. With tumpeng, people express the gratitude to God and appreciate togetherness and harmony. (read more on wikipedia, link is given at the end of this post)

It’s unplanned of course. It was a birthday gift from one of my students whose family owns restaurants. Surprising and delightful, I must say, and reading from the above short history, I sure hope my life be strong and sturdy like a mountain, be alike fertile soil where people can give thanks for the abundance harvest or any blessings, and be an expression of gratitude to God where people appreciate togetherness and harmony. Amen!

Happy birthday myself! Let’s enjoy the richness of God’s unfailing everlasting blessings.  Thank you Jamie, for the Tupeng. And thank you for everyone who are willing to give up their time to share my joy.  Many blessings in return.


Written by Vallaura

November 26, 2011 at 10:27 PM

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