JAKARTA - Generally, various long processions will be undertaken by the bride and groom in a Betawi wedding. However, one symbol has a strong meaning, namely crocodile bread. This typical Betawi food implies a symbol of loyalty. An example of the most loyal animal.
The presence of crocodile bread, which is usually 50 centimeters long, always occupies an important position, which is mandatory for Betawi people. The reason is because the presence of crocodile bread has an important meaning as a symbol of loyalty in the life of the Betawi ethnicity.
Historically, the tradition of giving crocodile bread as an offering has been done since ancient times. Uniquely, this tradition was here to compete with Europeans in Batavia (Jakarta) who at that time showed love by giving flowers to the opposite sex as a symbol of affection.
The Betawi people did not want to be outdone, they then made a crocodile bread as a symbol of loyalty. That tradition has survived to this day.
For more details, we contacted the Betawi Young Leader Masykur Isnan. For him, crocodile bread also has sociological and philosophical values for the Betawi people. Moreover, the Betawi ethnic group has always lived close to rivers and swamps. Therefore, the Betawi ethnic group is closely related to the crocodile's habitat.
“For the Betawi people, crocodile loyalty is only an exemplary form. Because, in crocodile bread also symbolizes other things such as masculinity, full strength, and patience when hunting prey. So, in crocodile bread which is made up, all the good qualities of crocodiles can be represented in crocodile bread, ”he said when contacted by VOI, June 22.
In relation to crocodile bread for offerings, Abdul Chaer in the book Betawi Tempo Doeloe (2015), explains at length. According to him, a handful of crocodile bread was brought together from the start of the procession, from the doorstop procession to the marriage ceremony. His presence entered in the procession of the groomsmen to the bride's house.
In addition to the presence of the group leader who is also a pantunist, a sike reader, and a martial arts expert, relatives also joined the group carrying items in line, ranging from cakes, clothing, a pair of crocodile buns or a loaf of bread. a crocodile carrying his child.
"A pair of crocodile bread as a symbol of loyalty in the household. According to Betawi belief, crocodiles are animals that only have one partner and are clean animals. Meanwhile, crocodile bread holding a child symbolizes that crocodiles are animals that love children and their families, ”wrote Abdul Chaer.
Not only Abdul Chaer. Ratih Kumala, in the book Chronicle of Betawi (2008), mentions that Betawi wedding parties are generally not very generous. Even some tend to be mediocre. However, there are various Betawi cultural processions, including the presence of cultural bread, the wedding party becomes very lively.
“Crocodile bread, as a symbol of loyalty, was deliberately made big. That said, crocodiles are loyal animals. Not like pigeons. Crocodiles only live with one partner for their entire life. While pigeons, if their partner leaves, they can find another partner, ”Ratih wrote.
Even so, not everyone sees crocodiles as a symbol of loyalty. There are still many who consider the term crocodile to have a distorted meaning. Quoted from Samsudin Adlawi in his article in Tempo Magazine entitled Animals that Enrich Language (2012). He revealed, there are at least two terms that use the word 'crocodile,' namely the terms land crocodile and crocodile bread.
Although both use 'crocodile', the two terms have contrasting meanings. “The Betawi people are no stranger to crocodile bread. Because, in a Betawi wedding ceremony, a groom is required to provide crocodile bread. Apart from being a symbol of the groom's loyalty to the bride, crocodile bread is a symbol of a lifelong promise. This is consistent with the nature of male crocodiles, which are known to be loyal to their partners for the rest of their lives. "
Not surprisingly, land crocodiles are the opposite. The term land crocodile is used to describe men who are dualistic, neglectful, and even place their partners. "This is a stark contrast to reality in the world of culture."Proof of crocodile loyalty
Regarding the evidence of loyal crocodiles, various literacy has been discussed. The contents are more or less the same, which reveals that a male crocodile has only one partner. Throughout life, he only mates with one female. In fact, it is said that if the female dies, the male crocodile will still keep her promise of loyalty. He will not marry another female until death.
One proof of this can be seen in a journal published by a research group from Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge (RWR) in Louisiana, United States in 2008. In their ten-year study, they focused on examining crocodile loyalty. As a result they were amazed because male crocodiles would not turn to other females, and vice versa.
To the extent that, the male crocodile will always protect the female who is about to lay eggs, and the male will guard the eggs until it is time for the babies to hatch. On that basis, crocodiles are considered loyal to their partners. Even if the female dies first, the male will not remarry or find a new partner.
“We found that 70 percent of our reunited female crocodiles show loyalty to their partners. We are amazed that the crocodile pairs that were bred together in 1997 will still breed together in 2005 and are still together several years after that, "said RWR researchers in the journal Loyal Alligators Display Mating Habits Of Birds (2008).
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