Passing Down the Knowledge through Ngayah
For Balinese, a religious ceremony is not just an occasion to express devotion to God or to meet with families, relatives or community members but also an opportunity to pass down the knowledge that are need to hold the ceremony to the younger generation. A religious ceremony, for example temple anniversary needs various kinds of offerings and paraphernalia, it takes times and manpower to prepare the offering and the paraphernalia and for Balinese the preparation of the offerings is a good opportunity for passing down the knowledge of making and preparing the offerings to the youths.
In preparing the offerings for temple ceremony every household send its representative to work voluntarily in the preparation of the ceremony. The senior volunteers apart from preparing the offering they usually takes the role as instructor to the younger volunteers, teaching them how to make a certain kind of offering, giving suggestion how to arrange the offering or instructing them to find materials that are need to make the offering. Through these interactions the knowledge is passed down from one generation to another.
But, nowadays, it is common for Balinese to buy the offerings since it is considered more efficient and less time consuming that preparing the offering with the help of the family or neighbors. In urban area Balinese spend less time with others in their community preparing for temple anniversaries means less labor-time making offerings, which also mean they have less opportunity to learn the art of offering making. The fact that some Balinese may no longer have the offering-making skills that previous generations had has led to many government-sponsored events and contests in which people learn about and compete to make offerings in order to “preserve Balinese culture”.