Ever had those moments where your breakfast should've been a lunch or dinner meal? Well, this morning was such an occasion where we had received a berkat from my aunt, who had held a selamatan (traditional Indonesian/Javanese religious service) for her deceased mother in law the evening before. When we had received the berkat we had just had a full meal, so we left it for the next day.
A selamatan or kenduren is traditionally held when someone is pregnant, or getting circumsised or when a baby will get her/his hair shaved for the first time and also when someone has died (7th day after the person has passed away and the 40th-, the 100th day and after 1000 days after the date of death). The kaum (Javanese priest/religious leader) will first hold a service and pray, during which the food is presented on the table and after the service the food will be served on banana leaves by members of the religious group and the mix of all of those dishes combined is called berkat.
For the one who doesn't eat much rice.
Each member is in charge of serving a part (rice, bami, ingkong chicken, seroendeng, sambel goreng ketang, goedangan, etc.) and I've seen them serve each part with a plate as utensil on banana leaves for everyone at the table. Usually it's the men who have a seat at the table and there used to be a law that the man needed to be circumsised. I don't know if that's the case nowadays, as some traditions evolve. If you're wondering "what about the women?" If the female doesn't have a husband or partner at the table, she usually has a male representative who will think of her (be it a brother, a grandson, a son in law, etc.) and will reserve a set of banana leaves for her. The women who've cooked all the dishes will furthermore receive their own package, which is called a warisan.
Snackbox (left to right: coconut doughnut, lapis, apem and bojo [not a traditional Javanese snack]).
Although berkat was traditionally reserved for those religious occasions, it's been commercialized and nowadays you could find this dish in leaves at some restaurants and warungs (food stands). Despite that availability it's been a while since we've had berkat and though it wasn't a happy occasion to receive it, we were really happy that my aunt had thought of us.
"Serving" the food with the hand at home.
It's also a tradition that the man of the household brings home the berkat to eat with every family member: everyone sits around the leaves and "digs in" as the food is customarily eaten by hand. In my opinion this food tastes better when eating it with your hands 😅 and shared with loved ones. I didn't even leave something behind for a dog and @rarej asked if I was sure if I was able to eat it all and I showed him 😅😂.
What traditions around food do you have in your culture/country? Would enjoy to read about it 😊.
Chasse into the backstage! 💃