Dancers from the Batin ethnic group carrying baskets containing sekapur sirih.

Tari Sekapur Sirih (Sekapur Sirih Dance)

In the Jambi Province, and in many other areas of Sumatra, there is a famous dance that is used to welcome honored guests into a village or city. The name of the dance is “Sekapur Sirih.” The dance is often accompanied by Pencat Silat fighters who ceremonially cleanse the area of evil spirits prior to the guests entry. After the dance the guests are offered a betel nut wrapped in a sirih leaf, which also has several other ingredients added to the package. It is considered an honor to be given one of these nuts to chew on.