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Home » People & Community

Sekaa Teruna: Traditional Youth Organization  

by on Friday, 8 June 2007No Comment | 2,376 views

Almost all Balinese youths either live in the island of Bali or outside are belong to the traditional youth organizations. Every hamlet (banjar) in has its own traditional youth organization, well known in Bali as Sekaa Taruna (derives from the words “sekaa” means “group” and “teruna” means “youth”. Each sekaa teruna has its own name, usually derived from Sanskrit word that its meaning varied from clearly connected “benevolent youth” to the obscure “immortal four”.

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Sekaa teruna is considered to be the council of junior hamlet members. The members of the sekaa teruna are always the children of its own hamlet members; it cannot take members from other hamlets.

There is no island-rule wide rule on the recruitment of new members, and all the recruitment process and requirements are based on the respective hamlet policy. For example a youth in a hamlet is qualified to be a member when he or she is already in the first grade of senior high school (about 17 years old)but in another hamlet one is eligible enough when he or she is in the third grade of junior high school (about 16 years old). In Tenganan village, Karangasem Regency, the requirements of joining a sekaa teruna are much more complicated. In addition to age requirement, all candidate must take an a-year-long training of custom, ritual and tradition of Tenganan village, this training process known as Teruna Nyoman, after the training is finished an elaborate initiation ceremony, known as Muran Teruna is held to initiate the candidate physically and spiritually.

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The sekaa teruna is lead by a chairman known as klian, he or she is assisted with a vice chairman, secretary, treasurer and messengers. The klian has no right to make a decision, all the decision must be taken on a meeting of all sekaa teruna members. He or she has no power over other members; he or she is just a coordinator.

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The activities of sekaa teruna are usually concentrated on the sport and art. Most of sekaa taruna has its own sport club, known as POR (contraction from Persatuan Olah Raga), and its own gamelan troupe or dance troupe. The most popular programs of sekaa teruna nowadays are, holding a charity night, popularly known as bazaar, holding a sport competition, participating in an Ogo-ogoh festival, participating in a gamelan competiton.

A youth is no longer a member of sekaa teruna when he is already married or expelled by the meeting of sekaa teruna members, or the worst of all, dead. When a member of sekaa teruna is holding a wedding ceremony the rest of the members come to his or her ceremony (madelokan), teasing the newly married couple with ribald jokes and games. Madelokan is always a merry occasion for everyone except, of course the bride and the groom.

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