Every year, together with the people of the Wates Village we hold a “Hari Gotong Rumah” (A Moving House Day). A tradition of carrying out a house collectively as an effort to maintain the land through artistic and cultural activities. This tradition departs from the history of Wates Village, which in 1943 had to evacuate and carry their house to the neighboring hamlet because they felt insecure living near a military airbase made by Japan. After the Japanese were defeated by the allies, the people of Wates Village then carried back their houses and return to their villages, the land they had left. This re-occupation of Wates Village is what we commemorate and become a tradition. This event is important for us to continue as an attempt to make a cultural claim on our land which was claimed by the Indonesian Air Force since 1950.
The project was started by carrying the house by all Wates Hamlet residents, followed by the Cultural Speech, then ‘Istigosah’ and the recitation of prayers while surrounding the 1.5 meter diameter “Tumpeng Tanah” which was then symbolically handed over by Wates Village elders to representatives of the younger generation.