Thursday, January 10, 2019

Makan Bedulang tradition in Belitung

Being a country with more than 17,000 island, it comes as no surprise that every island/provinces/district/ethnicity will have their own tradition and culture. Same goes for the beautiful island of Belitung, located on the far east of Sumatera; an island that also goes by the name of The Rainbow Troops Island or Pulau Laskar Pelangi, an island that was made famous by a movie of the same name. For Malaysian visiting this Laskar Pelangi island, you will be surprised to hear the way they speak, it sounded like ‘bahasa Melayu zaman P.Ramlee’.

What amazes me is makan bedulang tradition in particular as it reminded me of nasi ambeng from the Jawa ethnicity in Kuala Selangor, Malaysia. The objectives of makan bedulang or nasi bedulang is to promote unity, fairness, strengthen the family institution as well as respect to the eldest. Makan bedulung is usually practised during an event or traditional ceremony such as Idul Fitri, Maulud Nabi and such. Having said that, in order to educate, introduce and promote this unique Belitung culture, makan bedulang can be experienced in some of the restaurants around Belitung. The restaurant will explain and guide the guest on the protocol or procedure, every steps symbolizes their custom.

The uniqueness of makan bedulang is that even its preparation is being taken into account; Mak Panggong is the protocol or procedure coordinator, Tukang Berage role is to lay the dishes on the dulang (tray/large platter), then you have the Tukang Periksa Dulang where she will be checking an ensuring all the dishes are correctly put/laid, pouring the drinks into the glass being done by the Tukang Ngisi Air and last but not least, Tukang Ngangkat Dulang will carry the dulang (tray/large platter) to the guests. As you can see, custom and tradition is being upheld strongly by the locals here.

Upon the dulang (tray/large platter) being serves to the guest of which per tray/large platter shall not be lesser than 3 person ideally 4 person, the youngest in the group will need to serve the eldest first (or the highest in social ranks) before the rest can join the meal.

Interestingly, the dishes serve are rather standard and consistent; 7 plates/bowl/dish in total - nasi, ikan goreng bebulus, sate ikan, oseng-oseng, ayam ketumbar, sambal serai and gagan darat. The other unique thing is that when all the dishes beingn displayed in the dulang, it is covered with tudung saji or mentudong known to the locals. Mentudong is a large dish cover is made of daun mengkuang (screw pine leaves) that is being weaved into a conical shape with a crochet cover decorating top.

If you to sample the food and experience the whole process, head over to Rumah Makan Belitong Timpo Duluk.

Rumah Makan Belitong Timpo Duluk
Jalan Lettu Mad Daud
22, Kampung Parit, Tanjung Pandan
Parit, Tj. Pandan
Kabupaten Belitung
Bangka Belitung

Fam ‘Getaways’ Trip to Belitung Island is made possible by MTN Getaways.

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