To control the rain and heat for the Mandalika MotoGP 2022 event at the racing circuit in Lombok, a rain handler named Raden Roro Istiati Wulandari has been brought in.
The Kuta area in Central Lombok, where the Mandalika Circuit is located, was hit by heavy rain on the morning of Friday 18th March 2022. Reports from CNNIndonesia.com stated that thick black clouds lined the skies over the circuit.
From a white tent measuring 5×6 metres, a woman in a black shirt with tied hair was making solemn vows. She had been in the tent not far from the main entrance of the Mandalika Circuit since five o’clock in the morning praying.
Around 8am, the rain stopped. The sun’s rays began to reign as the sounds of motor engines began roaring in the following hour during the practice test session or the FP1 Asian Talent Cup.
At that time, four large incense sticks were lit; one in the tent, one right in front of the tent, and two in a small pool of water that was deliberately made, where there were also a number of offerings. Several other small incense sticks were also lit.
“I’m alone here. There was going to be another rain handler, but I refused. I didn’t want to. Finally, it was approved,” she explained to CNNIndonesia.com.
The woman, who was born in Papua and claims to be a follower of the Javanese belief kejawen, said that she had been in Lombok since 3rd March. She was also in charge of guarding the asphalting process for the Mandalika Circuit, as requested by Dorna.
Around 10 o’clock, during F1 Moto2, her cell phone rang. “There are new directions,” she said. “Not hot, but cloudy.”
She immediately rushed to perform the ritual again by lighting a handful of incense and stuck them at the four points. Firewood that had been lit within five metres of the tent was added to charcoal.
A moment later, two men came, named Haji Lalu Rama and Daangwho are known to be assistants helping Wulandari to fulfill all her needs and requests.
Daang, for example, was asked to light a cigarette and plug three dots. Prior to that, the young man, who was also serving as a marshal during World Superbike (WSBK), was asked to recite several prayers.
Not even half an hour has passed and Wulandari’s phone buzzed again. Appointed and a little hastily, a new ritual is carried out. The bonfire was turned off. It turned out that there was a request that the weather was not hot, but drizzling.
Shortly after that, the Managing Director of the Mandalika Grand Prix Association (MGPA) Priandhi Satria came to Wulandari’s tent and discussed a matter for about 10 to 15 minutes.
“I was asked not to be hot. For it to be raining, but not to flood,” she noted
“People think that the rain handler is just to stop the rain. They don’t know the truth. If there is a rain handler, why is it raining? In fact, a request could be to make it rain so it doesn’t get hot. I’m ready to be laughed at,” said the woman who was once asked by the Indonesian Football Association (PSSI) to modify the weather in the 2018 U-19 Asian Cup.
Regarding the assumption that the rain handler is against the destiny of the natural ways, Wulandari thinks otherwise.
“God is all good. Rain or not is the power of God. I’m just asking. All of this is for the good of Indonesia, which is hosting the Mandalika MotoGP 2022. We must make this event a success,” she expressed. “The important thing is that I can’t be about two kilometres from the circuit. If I go to the beach it will be hot later.”