Eating Together, The Minang Way

Learn about the different traditions surrounding West Sumatran feasts

By Indonesia Gastronomy Network

Written by Reno Andam Suri (Rendang Traveler), Photography by Erison J Kambari.

The Culture Around Rendang by Erison J KambariIndonesia Gastronomy Network

Today we feast

Minang culture places food deep in their hearts and high on their order. Even more so in celebration of weddings or in this occasion, inauguration of the customary chief. This is a scene of such celebration held at Rumah Gadang

The Marawa

The banners you see greeting the guests are a Minang icon called the Marawa. The pole represents the voice to be heard are the voice of the commoners. The color black represents strength against adversity, red represents bravery and golden yellow represents greatness. 

The Culture Around Rendang by Erison J KambariIndonesia Gastronomy Network

The guests arrives wearing their best attire and brought the best dishes they could bring for the Para Sapangka (the host). The dishes were brought on dulang over their head, which is a type of flat tray or a bowl to bring the dishes, covered by layers of embroidered cloth.  

The Culture Around Rendang by Erison J KambariIndonesia Gastronomy Network

The Culture Around Rendang by Erison J KambariIndonesia Gastronomy Network

The Para Sapangka (the host) would be busy with all types of preparation, from tidying the place and plating all the dishes arrived.

The Culture Around Rendang by Erison J KambariIndonesia Gastronomy Network

The Culture Around Rendang by Erison J KambariIndonesia Gastronomy Network

Makan Bajamba

Makan bajamba is when all the guests would sit on the carpet surrounding the carefully plated food.
A datuk (chief of the customary) will mark the feast with a local folklore and then instruct when to begin and end eating. 

The Culture Around Rendang by Erison J KambariIndonesia Gastronomy Network

All the guests would eat in groups of 4-6 people from the same dulang. It is a special customary how people can eat together like this peacefully and keeping tidy.


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