The Meaning of the Veneration of Nasi Jimat

Oda Ignatius B. Hariyanto


This research entitled "The Meaning of The Veneration of Nasi Jimat at Kasepuhan Palace Cirebon" examines nasi jimat (literally meaning amulet rice) in the ritual of Panjang Jimat (festival of noble amulet) as a cultural phenomenon. Nasi jimat is the main dish cooked and served in the ritual of Panjang Jimat. Nasi jimat is treated in a particular manner and is the center of attention among other dishes served in the ritual. Attending the festival and having even a pinch of nasi jimat is believed to have sacred merit and benefit by Cirebon people in general.

This research employs qualitative approach because the ritual of preparing nasi jimat is a complex and dynamic social phenomenon that holds cultural meaning. Therefore, the ritual of preparing nasi jimat is viewed as a cultural signifier. Semiotics approach is employed here to interpret the signs and symbols and to analyze the meaning.

The purpose of this research is to grasp the picture of the social situation and to analyze the notion underlying the veneration of nasi jimat as local wisdom of Cirebon people. The primary data are collected by conducting participative observation and in-depth interviews. The secondary data are gathered through a literature review to support the primary data. Triangulation is then used to increase the credibility and validity of all the data.

The result of the research shows that: 1) the tradition of preparing nasi jimat is a part of the Panjang Jimat ritual that takes place every year to preserve Cirebon traditional heritage; 2) Cirebon people in general consider attending the festival and having nasi jimat a momentous event; 3) They believe that participating in the veneration of nasi jimat would grant them (divine) blessing.

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