Sunshine Whorshiper

My Scholarship entry - Giving back on the road

WORLDWIDE | Monday, 26 March 2012 | Views [103] | Scholarship Entry

I stood up on a hill. White sanded beach laid underneath with a small island and blue skies in the background. Some simple blue tents lined up on the beach. Feri and I were waiting for Bau Nyale Festival.
When I heard that the festival would take place, I did not think twice to flew to Lombok. On Pantai Segar, Kuta, visitors mostly coming from Lombok Tengah began to flood. Most of them were young couples. Some groups of villagers rented trucks and set up tents on the beach.
Feri and I decided to stay on the mountain since there were no more vacant rooms in the hotels around the beach. More and more people coming. At seven p.m. the streets were jammed and flooded by thousands of vehicles, mostly motorbikes.
Bau in Sasak languange means to catch. Nyale is local name for Palolo worm. It is said that this tradition has existed since 16th century. Sasak people believe that nyale is the incarnation of a princess named Mandalika from Tunjung Bitu Kingdom in South Beach of Lombok. Many princes wanted to make her their wife. To prevent war, Princess Mandalika jumped into the sea and turned into worms that could be savored by all. Since then, once a year, those worms turn up.
Around three thirty in the morning, Feri woke me up. With sleepy eyes, I followed him and joined the crowd hurrying and heading to the beach. On my right and my left, the crowds were watching traditional performance. Some people were sleeping on the shoulders of the street, undisturbed by the hustle.
We joined the crowds that had plunged into the sea. Bucket, spade, and flashlight were the must-have ‘weapons’ of the worm-hunters.
Feri and I really enjoyed this hunting we did not even care that our clothes soaked. I saw people chasing nyale further down to the sea got their buckets full with fleshy worms. Feri prompted me to move to better spot. We shrieked when we saw that nyale in the middle of the sea were bigger. Around seven a.m, people start leaving the beach.

Tags: Travel Writing Scholarship 2012

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