Javanese Paternal Bonding Ritual

December 20, 2015

Semarang, Central Java.

Dec 15th, 2015.

 

A culture as old as Java is likely to have highly evolved rituals and traditions.

And quite naturally their system of beliefs and life is different from any other. It would be completely bizarre and highly unprobabalistic if, out of the countless permutations of possibility, the path that evolved in that archipelago would be the same as that I grew up in, thousands of kilometers away. .

 

And so here is one practice that is completely different from anything I have heard of in my life and therefore extremely interesting:

When a baby is born, the mother is already considered to be physically close to the baby for obvious reasons.

But the father has not forged a physical connection with it yet.

In order to do so, a ceremonial ritual was devised and has been practiced for centuries, to establish that missing physical bond between the father and the child.

The ceremony is held a few days after the birth of the child and in a ritual that carries tremendous symbolism, the father consumes the umbilical cord of the child.

It is mixed with coffee or food and eaten and the newly forged physical bonding is celebrated.

 

What a fascinating custom!

 

!!!

 

jm

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