Tumpeng, an Ephemeral Food Art

As a person who uses English as second language, the word ephemeral is a new vocabulary for me. And something kind of hard to visualize, too.

But thanks to Krista, she gave some easy examples, like leaves floating, children smiling, or even food. So, in my mind I imagine food presentation as a work of art that only lasts for a very short time.

To me, making tumpeng is always a work of art.



In Indonesia, tumpeng is more popular for birthday celebration than a birthday cake. Tumpeng is also an important dish in important events (like the grand opening of a store, etc), or religious ceremonies (like the birth of the Prophet Muhammad).

Tumpeng is a national dish of Indonesia. 

The dishes surrounding the tumpeng usually resembles balance. Something from the land (chicken, beef, eggs), something from the sea (fish), and vegetables.

The tumpeng also has a philosophical meaning. Tumpeng is a symbol of gratitude to God (that’s why it’s pointing upwards).



We made this tumpeng for our father’s birthday celebration.

This isn’t really an ideal kind of tumpeng. The ideal kind of tumpeng does not have fruits on it.

We made this out of whatever food we have at home. 😀

We have scrambled eggs, beef curry, beef floss, fried tofu, fried sweetened tempe, fried chicken, and grapes.. 😀



I always hope this tradition will never die… 😀

It’s one of Indonesia’s cultural proterty that I’m so proud of… 😀



11 responses to “Tumpeng, an Ephemeral Food Art

  1. Pingback: Ephemeral | My Atheist Blog

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