Mikaela Gayatri Djojohadikusumo: Classical Javanese 7-month ceremony for celebrity baby

Little Mikaela Gayatri Djojohadikusumo tries to grab the microphone from her father Aryo Djojohadikusumo as her mother carries her at Mikaela’s ‘tedak siten’ or stepping onto the ground ceremony. She is the granddaughter of Hashim Djojohadikusumo. (Photo: Prive. Doc)

IO – On the 7th of December Aryo Djojohadikusumo and his wife, Sachi Sophia celebrated the ‘tedak siten’ ceremony for their baby Mikaela Gayatri Djojohadikusumo. Aryo is the son of businessman Hashim Djojohadikusumo and his wife Anie. The ‘tedak siten’ or setting foot on the ground ceremony is a traditional Javanese ritual in which at the age of 7 months the baby is guided through a small ceremony that symbolizes the baby’s start to a successful life that brings honour and blessings to the baby and her family. After walking across seven plates with coloured glutinous rice, each colour symbolizing a different stage in life and then led up a small ladder made of sugarcane and having its feet bathed in ritual flower water, the baby is led to a bamboo cage with many toys in it. Each object symbolizes a possible future career and baby is left to choose its preferred toy. To the delight of her relatives little Michaela first picked up a book which as many guests declared foretold the possibility of a career as an academic or intellectual like that of her great -grandfather Soemitro Djojohadikusumo who as one of Indonesia’s foremost economists was one of the architects of Indonesia’s economic recovery under the Soeharto government. Afterwards the happy grandparents threw sweets and chocolate coins at the guests to ensure that Mikaela would be a generous hearted benefactor and philanthropist all her life. Aryo’s uncle Prabowo Djojohadikusumo, who is currently the Minister of Defence, was unable to attend the ceremony.