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The Meaning of I Yayat U Santi
The Minahasa exclemation from the old days until today, I Yayat U Santi, currently attracts attention because the Minahasa crests today often contain the above writing. So, what is the core and meaning of this expression?
The literal translation is: Lift And Point (Your) Sword Upward
This expression is specifically shouted by the Waranei, members of the Kabasaran dance, a war dance with sword, in the face of being challenged by enemies. This is a kind of command, an order, but also to raise the spirits, at the same time enthousiasm to chase away anxieties and fears when facing challenges (enemies).
This expression is shouted by leaders of society to lead them to go forward together with unanimous determination and do whatever is the result of a mutual agreement for the sake of their childeren, grandchildren an great grandchildren. It also contains a shout in order that you are obliged to be strong, continuously go forward and refuse to step backwards.
The way the Waranei shout is with a high-pitched voice, firmly, really like an order, while lifting and pointing a hand with clenched fist forward. Then the shout is accompanied by cheers of Waranei colleagues or by responses or reactions Oohooy!! or Of course!! meaning Agreed, let it be so!.
If we use this expression and exclamation today, it means: To outfit ourselves with a teaching, a supernatural power, a wisdom and technology as wel as managerial skill.
That is our sword today that needs to be lifted to face all kinds of challenges that threaten our life, physical as well as non-physical, with all kinds of unanimous determination after a mutual agreement. These challenges are poverty, laziness, stupidity, famine, injustice, threat of colonial domination and anything that is a threat towards our way of living.
In Biblical terminology this also has the meaning of the manifestation of power of death. And because the power of death has already been conquered by the Lord himself by bringing back to life Jesus Christ, His Son, from death, there is no reason for us to not struggle for the sake of our way of life.
So, the cry I Yayat U Santi! and the cheering OoHooy! or Ofcourse! has the meaning: Let us face challenges of death together and ward it off for the sake of our way of life and for the sake of our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren..
Quoted from the book: "Injil dan Kebudayaan di Tanah Minahasa" (Teachings and Culture of The Minahasa).