Balinese like a ceremony, and witnessing their love of ritual and celebrations of life and death has been one of the most wonderful and eye-opening experiences for me.
Ceremonies and rituals take place every day in Bali. In the morning, offerings of flowers, fruit and incense (and often lollies, biscuits and the occasional cigarette) are placed outside shops, in the middle of streets and footpaths and in the numerous shrines to thank the gods and to bring luck for the coming day.
The ceremonies are traffic stoppers - literally. In Ubud we saw streets in gridlock as the official ceremony organisers brought the traffic to a standstill. The Balinese cremate their dead, but because the cremations are so expensive they will often bury a couple of dead relatives for a few years and then, when there's enough, they will dig up old Uncle Wayan and Aunte Made and go for the group cremation. Not a bad idea beacuse it costs to so much to have a ceremony. You know a ceremony is going on in a village because the entrance to the family compound of the family organising the do is festooned with intricately woven bamboo, coloured cloth and flowers.
A long time expat told me that the ceremonies send many balinese broke, but they continue to have ceremonies because it is tradition. And let me tell you now, tradition is being severely eroded here (more of that in later posts).
Here are some of my pics.
Ooh, better hurry and load pics as I'm sitting outside in public hotspot so I don't have to pay to blog. It's getting dark!