A well-rounded person in our community, easy to speak with, and open minded, Deck Sotto gets along with everyone and enjoys connecting people to help the wider community. Deck Sotto is actively supports MDC (Malu Dong Community), a community clean-up campaign founded by Pak Bemo. Malu Dong’s main activity is cleaning up trash; you can see them every Sunday afternoon at Mertasari Beach picking up when hundreds of other residents choose to sit, swim, eat, and walk along the always crowded beach.
During the pandemic, Deck Sotto was working together with other fellow Sanurians on a mission called OTT (Operasi Tangan Tuhan), which can be translated as The Hand of God Action. The main activity of this mission was to distribute grocery packages (sembako) to Sanur residents who lost their income due to the Covid-19 pandemic. As we know, access to the beach was closed to the public in the early days of the pandemic, so vendors and hawkers who usually sold on the beach suddenly lost their income and couldn’t meet their daily needs. So, this basic food package was intended to help lighten their burden.
Deck Soto’s next goal is to create an app called “Mbah Google Bali” or which can be translated as “Grandpa Google Bali”. He sees the need in providing customs, traditional references and guidance for the younger Balinese generation in dealing with life events. Life for Balinese Hindus has many symbolic stages, beginning with birth, important dates throughout life, filled with joy and sorrow, accompanied by laughter and suffering, until finally ‘life’ returns to the Creator. There are 13 life events for the Balinese to mark and celebrate with ceremonies:
- When a baby is still in the womb aged five months, to maintain the safety of the baby.
- When a baby is born, as an expression of gratitude for his birth.
- When a baby’s umbilical cord still connected to the belly-button finally comes off.
- When a baby is 12 days old and a name is given to the baby.
- When a baby is 42 days old, to purify the baby and both parents. At this time, the baby’s name is confirmed.
- When a baby is three months old.
- When a baby is six months old.
- Teething ceremony.
- When a child’s tooth falls out for the first time.
- When a child grows up and is no longer considered a ‘child’, although always the child to their parents.
- Tooth filing which is a ceremony involving the canine teeth being filed to reduce or remove the evil traits within human beings.
- Wedding ceremony.
- Cremation – to return the Panca Mahabuta elements or the five elements that make up the human body to their origins.
Taking advantage of today’s technology and observing the attitude of young people who are actively using social networking applications, an App containing guidance on Balinese tradition and culture will be very helpful and relevant. The App will also have information on service providers, rental and sale of ceremonial equipment, choosing auspicious days for ceremonies, and other helpful sources to guide the younger Balinese.
For Deck Sotto, the spirit of ngayah or working voluntarily or as a labour of love, is a form of devotion to Ida Sang Hyang Widi Wasa (God Almighty). And this love demonstrated by the actions of an individual will surely benefit the whole society.