Wahyudi English

an ordinary guy with an ordinary life


Posted by Wahyudi English on January 17, 2008

Saprahan is a unique tradition of Sambas Malay in which a group of six people join together to have their food in wedding meal or other ritual meal. A host of wedding party groups his/her guests six by six in a special tent which is called Tarup (comes from Arabic word “Ta’aruf”, normally a big tent built from bamboo with timber floor) or in his/her house depending on the party. Saprahan still can be found in most villages of Sambas regency or Sambas community outside the regency.

Originally, the group of people is seated in a circle facing their meal. There will be six plates for six of them with one or two baskets of rice and with various side dishes in front of them. The meal is always served by the host’s servants. The guests do not need to take their meal from a table. They only wait in their group patiently for their turn of having a polite service from the servants of party. They usually have a nice conversation with their fellow group while waiting for being served or while having their meal.

The philosophy of Saprahan is actually to grow the sense of togetherness, to improve a good relationship, and to build equity among the people. This has a big impact in Sambas community for harmonious life in their society. Sense of togetherness and equity gets rid off a big gap among the society.

However, nowadays many people start not to practice this genuine tradition, especially those who live in an urban area. They think this practice of serving their guests in a party is not practical, time consuming, and more costly. They prefer a modern practice, which is called Prasmanan model, to this tradition. In this model, every guest who comes to their party takes their own meal from a certain table, takes a seat on a guest lounge to eat their food up, after that congratulate the host, then leaves the party. It is so simple. No wonder why many people like to apply this model when they have a weeding party. However, it seems very individual. There is only little togetherness and warm communication among the people.

Is it one of the indications why lives are not as harmonious as when I was young? It’s only my curiosity.


One Response to “Saprahan”

  1. Loung Andi said

    Postingnya bagus dan sebagai urang Sambas saya sangat bangga Abang bisa menyuguhkan tulisan tentang Budaya kita yang unik. Jika abang memerlukan data tentang Budaya dan Pariwisata Insya Allah akan saya bantu. Kebetulan juga saya bekerja di Dinas Komunikasi, Budaya dan Pariwisata Sambas. Thank’s a lot Bang and U all the best

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