Begawan provides meaningful and free after-school learning experiences for the local community through education programs that combine international and national curricula with an Indonesian and Bali-centric focus. Each learning theme at the Learning Centre always includes materials from Balinese cultural elements so that students participate in learning how to preserve Balinese culture.
In the theme, ‘Money’, one of the topics related to Balinese culture that students learned was about ‘uang kepeng’, an ancient coinage, also known in Bali as ‘pis bolong’ or ‘pis kopong’. Uang kepeng is a metal coin with a hole in the middle and symbols engraved around the edge, often used as an element in religious ceremony offerings.
In November 2021, Eco Warriors were invited to get to know more about various types of uang kepeng and practice its use in cultural traditions in Bali. ‘Kwangen’ is one of the prayers of the Balinese Hindu community that uses uang kepeng as part of the offering.
Dressed in simple traditional attire, 23 Eco Warriors looked elegant as together they learned to make kwangen from banana leaves, colourful flowers, leaf decorations, and coins. Banana leaves were shaped like a cone, then decorated with fan-shaped leaves. Both banana leaves and coconut leaves were assembled and then filled with flowers of various colours, and finally two pieces of uang kepeng were inserted inside the kwangen.
In small groups, Eco Warriors helped and learned with each other. The next day, the Eco Warriors searched for information on their tablets about the meaning of kwangen, then they presented their findings to the class. This series of activities made their learning about kwangen a fun activity, and added a Balinese atmosphere to the Learning Centre. (Ketut Desy)