Ede’s health worship for elderly

H Xíu-Thu Hang
Chia sẻ
(VOVWORLD) - The Ede in the Central Highlands show their filial piety for grandparents and parents through a health worship ceremony. Family members gather for the ritual to the joyful sound of gongs, the aroma of wine, and the color of special clothes for elderly people.
Ede’s health worship for elderly - ảnh 1Ede girls dance at the health worship in honor of the senior villagers. (Photo: VOV) 

The long house of the Ede in Ako Dhong hamlet, Buon Ma Thuot city, is boisterous with the joyful sound of the gongs typical of a health worship ceremony for the hamlet’s elderly.

Inside the house, 12 vases of wine are hung on poles of various heights. Gongs welcome villagers and guests to the happy event.

The health ceremony is dedicated to 6 senior villagers between 76 and 84 years old. They wear new brocade clothes and sit at the center of the hall.

When the host orders the ceremony to begin, the gong performers play a melody called “Family reunion”. Ede girls dance in honor of the senior villagers. Then their children wish them longevity and good health and give them gifts. All participants drink wine from the 12 vases, dance, and sing folk songs.

81-year-old H Lu Arul, one of the 6 persons being honored, said, “This ceremony is for the children to show their respect to their parents. The administration has policies for the elderly and the local leaders come to congratulate us. Today all villagers are happy. We’ve prepared a pig and a cow for the ceremony.”

The health ceremony is an important ritual in the Ede culture. It is customarily for children to organize a health ceremony for any parent from 60. It’s an occasion for all family members, including those living and working far from home, to get together.

Ede’s health worship for elderly - ảnh 2 All participants drink wine together. (Photo: VOV)

H Zu Ni Nie, a grandchild of H Goc Nie, who is among the honorees, said, “I’m happy to attend the ceremony to pray for longevity for my grandmother. We wish her good health and longevity to live with us.”

Buon Ma Thuot city has a program to revitalize the original health worship ceremony in Ako Dhong hamlet. Some complicated worship procedures have been simplified, but the principle activities – playing gongs, giving bronze bracelets, and toasting – have been maintained.

Y Blah EBan, the chief of Ako Dhong hamlet, said, “In the past each family prepared cows and buffalos for the ceremony. Now we organize a community ceremony for all people from 70 to 80 years old.”

Traditionally a health worship ceremony lasted 3 days. Now it’s held in one day for all the elders of the hamlet to save costs for families but still follow tradition. It’s a chance for children to pay gratitude to their grandparents and parents and for family members to reunite.