Putri Cening Ayu: Sekar Rare Full of a Mother's Love for Her Child

Highlighting the uniqueness of Balinese art, especially sekar rare, a traditional song often sung by mothers to their children like "Putri Cening Ayu." Beyond its soothing melody, the song conveys a mother's message about a child's independence. With simple yet profound lyrics, the song creates an emotional bond between mother and child. Emphasizing the importance of preserving art like gending rare, the article underscores the need to pass down life values beautifully to future generations.

Dec 20, 2023 - 06:35
Dec 13, 2023 - 20:47
Putri Cening Ayu: Sekar Rare Full of a Mother's Love for Her Child
A Mother Puts Her Child to Sleep (Photo Source : Personal Collection)

Mother, the first figure we know in this world. A figure who has fought and risked his life to conceive, give birth and raise us. He devotes almost all his time, energy and love to his baby. Starting from welcoming us when we wake up with his smile to every song he sings until we fall asleep is very calming. Every mother has a different way of loving her child. And that is part of “art”.


Childhood Photos (Photo Source : Personal Collection)


Talking about mothers and art, Bali has various works of art that are used to represent a mother's love. One of them is through songs. In Balinese art, there are many types of chants that have different uses. What Balinese children may have known since childhood is sekar rare.


Sekar rare are songs which are also called gegendingan. Usually sung by children, accompanied by gambelan using the common and plain Balinese language, using free verse, the content is a story, each song has its own name and moral teachings are always included in it. Sekar rare is divided into three, namely Gending Rare, Gending Janger, and Gending Sanghyang.


Gending rare are songs that are usually intended to entertain, calm or play songs for children. One example of a gending rare is the song "Putri Cening Ayu" which is often sung by mothers when putting their children to sleep because this song has a soft and soothing tone. The author of the song Putri Cening Ayu itself is still unknown until now. The following are the lyrics to the song Putri Cening Ayu:



Putri cening ayu

Ngijeng cening jumah

Meme luas malu

Ke peken meblanja

Apang ada daran nasi



Meme tiang ngiring

Nongos ngijeng jumah

Sambilang makumpul

Ajak titian dadua

Dimulihne dong gapgapin



After hearing the song Putri Cening Ayu, maybe all of you can imagine how calm we feel when our mother sings the song lovingly. Based on the lyrics of the song, Putri Cening Ayu tells the story of a mother who tells her child to stay at home while she goes to the market to buy food. However, what is the meaning of this song that shallow? Of course not.


A Mother Storing Food (Photo Source : Personal Collection)



This song is implicitly a noble message from a mother. Asking the child to stay at home alone can be interpreted as advice for the child to be independent and look after herself. When the mother decides to go to the market to buy food, it implies that a mother is ready to let go of her child who she thinks can take care of herself. The child agrees to his mother's request to stay at home, while waiting for her mother to bring food, this reflects a child who obeys her mother's advice, she will become an independent child, but she will still wait for his mother and the first person she will remember when experiencing difficult times is none other than her mother.


A Mother Taking Care of Her Child (Photo Source : Personal Collection)


Such a deep message is packaged in very simple language. That is the uniqueness of sekar rare. This aims to ensure that children can learn in an easy, light way, appropriate to their age. It's really beautiful how art is used to convey the messages of life. This is a signal for us young people to continue to preserve gending rare so that it can be enjoyed by our children and grandchildren in the future.