In West Lombok, NTB, there is a unique tradition of topat warfare. However, despite the name of war, do not imagine this tradition is full of acts of violence that can take lives. The tradition of the topat war of the people of West Lombok (Lobar) is actually carried out in a spirit of brotherhood and full of excitement.
The topat war tradition is the culmination of the celebration carried out by the people of West Lombok. Every year, precisely in November-December, between the time after harvest and before entering the new planting season, the Sasak people and residents of Balinese descent in West Lombok hold their own rituals simultaneously in Lingsar Temple.
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The Sasak residents who are Muslim hold a ceremony to spread the waru flower (the fall of waru flower). While residents of Balinese descent who hold Hinduism carry out rituals or celebrations of the feast day. The peak of the celebration was carried out with the tradition of pujawali topat war or throwing ketupat among citizens.
The ceremony which was held after the arrival of the rainy season before planting rice was intended to restore soil yield (in the form of topat) to origin (Lingsar). The results will be fertilizer (bubus vacant) for the rice seeds to be planted. Therefore, those who mainly attended the ceremony were members of the Subak of Lingsar and Narmada Subdistricts.
In addition, this tradition is an expression of gratitude to the Creator. Every year before the war Topat, there are some people from this Subak who go up to Mount Rinjani by carrying objects made of gold in the form of shrimp, gourami, nyale, and turtles. These objects will then be floated to Segara Anak Lake with the intention to invoke prosperity.
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The ritual which also carries the spirit of friendship is followed by all religious people who are around the Lingsar Temple. All citizens of any religion may join this event. Topat war is usually carried out on a full moon night which falls in December.
Before the start of the peak event, there was a ritual to parade the buffalo. Each religious leader holds a buffalo rope while parading around the Lingsar Temple park. The buffalo is paraded as a symbol of respect for Muslims and Hindus.
This Topat war was accompanied by a Baris Lingsar dance performed by 3 batek (female dancers) and 12 lingsar line dancers (male dancers). The leader of this dance will use Dutch while carrying firearms inherited from the Dutch in the 18th century, when he came to colonize Lombok Island.
After the dance was played, the core of the Topat War program began. With the ketupat in the hand that was distributed by the committee, the residents had begun to prepare. When the cue for throwing has been issued, small diamonds begin to fly in various directions against many people’s bodies.
The tradition of throwing ketupat in their hundreds of years old brings a feeling of joy to the participants from various religions. There is no anger, what happens actually makes them more familiar. Until now, this tradition that is able to strengthen relations between religious communities in West Lombok is still maintained.