Padasan, A Local Wisdom That Becomes the New Normal During a Pandemic

"The health protocol for washing hands, which has been called the new normal since the Covid-19 pandemic hit the world, has been implemented by the Javanese ancestors since ancient times. This local wisdom called padasan is now an effective way to prevent disease transmission"

Published by : Farida  -  13/05/2022 09:44 WIB

3 Minutes read.

The Covid-19 pandemic that has hit the world has changed many things in life. One of the most noticeable is the recommendation for health protocols or prokes (protocol kesehatan) to wash hands with running water. Washing hands has also become part of the new normal since the pandemic. If you think about it, the process of washing your hands with running water is similar to the custom of using padasan that used to be practiced by many Javanese people.

Sumber: prfmnews.pikiran-rakyat.com

As released by the World Health Organization (WHO), washing hands with soap is one of the four best ways to fight the spread of the Covid-19 virus. Apart from washing our hands with soap, we still have to keep our distance, avoid crowds, cough in proper and safe manners, and use masks.

Furthermore, WHO also explained that hand washing is one of the most effective ways to prevent disease transmission, not only Covid-19. “Now is the best time to make hand washing a routine in life,” said Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, WHO Regional Director for Southeast Asia.

The habit of washing hands close to the Javanese community since ancient times

After WHO recommended hand washing which was then campaigned by the Indonesian government, many people made hand washing spots in front of their homes. This is similar to the Javanese community’s padasan concept in ancient times.

Sumber: lafatah.wordpress.com

Using padasan in front of the house to wash hands has become a routine for ancient Javanese people, especially in rural areas. Maybe it is a little different from today’s era which tends to use plastic water containers or directly from the water tap. In the past, padasan was usually in the form of clay jars.

A padasan is a water container which is shaped like a jar and is often made of clay. The front of the padasan’s lower part is given a spout for water to flow, for washing hands. Padasan is usually placed in front of the house.

Sumber: www.goodnewsfromindonesia.id

Padasan is used to wash hands, feet, and face. The homeowners usually use it after work or outdoor activities. In addition, it is also used by other people who want to pay a visit to a home as guests. The goal is to clean themselves and keep disease away before entering the house.

The guests also automatically use padasan because they adhere to the principle of not bringing disease or viruses (formerly known as sawan) when visiting other people’s homes.

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Reflecting on this, it can be said that washing hands to prevent the spread of Covid-19 is something that our ancestors used to do in Indonesia.

Padasan is not just a place to wash hands

If the WHO recommends a hand washing place in front of the house or office area, the tool only functions to wash hands. This is different from the purpose of a padasan. In addition to cleanliness, padasan can also be regarded as a tool for sharing, practicing sincerity, and building a responsible attitude.

In the past, adult people used to fill the water regularly every morning. Usually after the dawn prayer when people will start their activities. Then the padasan will be checked during the day to find out if the water is still available or needs to be added.

It’s a simple way of sharing but has a great effect. Padasan is not only used by homeowners or guests who come. Travelers who happened to pass in front of a house and in need of water can also use it. This is where sincerity in sharing will be formed.

On the other hand, there are no padasan users who use water arbitrarily or waste water. They always use it as needed. This reflects the high sense of responsibility of the people at that time.