For Minahasan people, there are several important things every year which are "Kunci Taong" or an annual events to celebrate such as the beginning of the year (early January), Easter (April), "Pengucapan" or Thanksgiving (July to August), and the last is Christmas. One of the important event of Minahasan people is Thanksgiving or better known for the local as "Pengucapan". This event can be said as part of the customs of the Minahasa community in expressing gratitude to the Almighty.
A Brief History of "PENGUCAPAN"
The philosophy of the Minahasa tribe comes from "Maesa esaan" (United) and "Mapalus" (mutual cooperation) has become part of the life of the Minahasa people themselves wherever they are. Therefore the Pengucapan tradition is held as a form of brotherhood or as one soul of Minahasa land.
Even Pengucapan activity itself depends on each region. Each part in North Sulawesi always celebrate it every year and become as main holiday.
For example, Minahasa Regency usually celebrates Pengucapan at the end of July and Tomohon City celebrates in August along with the Flower Festival.
This Thanksgiving is also celebrated on Sundays and as an expression of gratitude from the Minahasa community for a successful harvest so that on Sundays where Christians worship, the harvest can be seen in the church. The harvest is usually displayed near the pulpit and consists of not just one but a variety of crops. For example sweet potatoes, cassava, bananas, corn, and others.
Interesting Facts about Pengucapan
This tradition is passed down from generation to generation so that it is still maintained today and is an event that is eagerly awaited because this Pengucapan event is also a gathering place for all of the family from everywhere . There are some interesting things that can be found at the time of Pengucapan like below
1. Extreme Food
In the Pengucapan event, you can find foods that can be said to be extreme. Call it Snakes, Dogs, Bats, and Rats. This type of food is usually cooked with spicy spices to make the rancid . In the past, monkeys or Yaki (local language) were also one of the culinary delights available at this event, but since the ban from the government, these animals can no longer be found at this event as they are inclueded in protected animals.
2. Banquet Layout
For banquets, it is usually arranged on a long table with a banana leaf for each meal so that relatives can serve themselves with different food menus placed on the table.
Some Culinary that "a Must" in Pengucapan Event
This type of culinary is a mainstay for the Minahasa people and it is obligatory to provide this even though not all provide it. In the Minahasa area itself, it can be seen at the Pengucapan event, dodol is the prima donna to always take home as a souvenir. The ingredients consist of glutinous rice flour, brown sugar, walnuts or nuts, and water. There are some interesting facts about Dodol.
a. Cooked for 3 hours
Yup, right! The manufacturing process is very long. This process requires a lot of energy to cook, so sometimes you have to take turns stirring it in the pan. Dodol in the manufacturing process must pay attention to the fire used, not too big or too small and the dough must be constantly stirred. The reason is that the dough is not sticky and charred.
b. Wrapped in Woka Leaves
After the cooking process is complete, the Dodol will be cooled first and then packaged in Woka leaves then the Dodol will be hung to drain the oil. Woka leaves themselves provide a special taste and retain the original taste of Dodol.
2. Nasi Jaha (Ginger Rice)
The Minahasa community has its own uniqueness in cooking Nasi Jaha, namely by filling it in bamboo which has been filled with banana leaves first and then grilled. Of course, this bamboo must be considered so that it does not burn and the fire is placed in the middle then the bamboo will be rotated so that it cooks evenly. After the rice is cooked, the bamboo is then split and the jaha rice is cut into pieces which are then served with roa or fried sambal. The ingredients for Nasi Jaha are glutinous rice, coconut milk, ginger, and banana leaves.
Similar to Sate but the size is Jumbo. Ragey is quite easy to find in Minahasa restaurants because it becomes the main dish for Minahasa people. The ingredients consist of large slices of pork and covered with spices such as mashed garlic and salt. After that, Ragey is then grilled and served with raw or fried chili sauce.
This vegetable is always used by the Minahasa community not only at Pengucapan events but also at weddings or the like. This Pangi vegetable is usually sold in the market before Pengucapan and has been first sliced into small pieces so the buyers will be easy to cook it. Usually Pangi will be mixed with sliced pork or chicken which is then cooked together in bamboo. In the process of cooking using bamboo is similar to how to cook Nasi Jaha. The serve of Pangi is also fairly simple. After the cooking process is complete the bamboo will be split and then placed in a larger plate or bowl just like Nasi jaha (Ginger Rice).