I heard some noises -the kind of beautiful and peaceful ones- just outside the homestay where I’m staying before I went to the villa for today’s workshop and it turns out that there is Ngaben ceremony going on. On my way to the bus stop I saw a group of people walking towards the main road, they carried the dead body in what they call a Bade or Wadah and the road is full of people with the music playing, I was amazed. Most of them were men, wearing Balinese traditional clothes and their Udeng, a head piece made of fabric. Since there are a lot of people in the main road, it caused a little bit of a traffic jam and I had to wait for the bus around 10 minutes, when normally it only takes 2 minutes or so. I arrived a little bit late at the workshop today but I count myself lucky to see the ritual, even it’s only for seven minutes!
The Balinese have many ceremonies, from Mesangih (the cutting teeth ceremony), Melasti (post Nyepi ceremony) to the most famous Balinese ceremony: Ngaben. Ngaben is a tradition carried for many generations by the Balinese; it’s a cremation ceremony, for a funeral ritual performed to send the deceased on to his or her next life.
What I like about Bali is not only their beautiful beaches, the kindness of the Balinese people or their famous tourist attractions, but also the consistency of their traditions and culture. Most of the Balinese women still wear their traditional clothes such as the Kebaya and even many men still do, I see many of them wearing their Udeng. The Balinese are still very much attached their culture and they are very open people. I hope I will get to see more traditions and ceremonies while I’m here! Visit www.indonesiaagainstaids.com/blog for more stories