My ceremony experience.
Since I changed locations, this area is even quieter than the last one, I like it. However, remote the location is, the Balinese people are welcoming and inclusive. My Airbnb host is a local priest and when I asked him if there would be any ceremonies, he invited me to one. It was rather unexpected and quick, but I also promptly accepted his invitation.
On the day of the ceremony, he delivered the sarong that I needed to enter the temple and I was all set to go. I did mention I would like to take photos and videos; everyone was fine with that. This was going to be a new experience. I have been to a temple before, but this was different.
I was getting strange looks.
At the agreed time I walked to the temple. There was hardly anyone there. I sat and waited under the gazebo in my sarong and my phone in hand.
I was given some strange looks by the men and women passing by, but it was ok. I was a little anxious and nervous. This soon passed when a group of women smiled and asked me what I was doing. I explained and I went with them.
We went about 50 meters and down some stairs where I saw this large statue. She was surrounded by what seemed to be a well. I then witnessed them taking the water out of the well and placing them into cups. This was to be a blessing with holy water.
The rain poured down.
Unfortunately, the ceremony was a touch delayed. It began to drizzle and rain. Then it was pouring rain and not only did we get holy water on us but also tons of rainwater.
Our journey was to be two stops. One here at the local temple. It would be the village temple and then head over to the large temple by the road. The ceremony itself would not have been too long but the rain certainly delayed it.
I must admit I was a wimp, the men all went and got soaked on their way to the temple. My friend’s wife said to stay, I didn’t argue. After about 30 min the rain eased up and we went to the larger temple.
This was a beautiful experience.
The temple we went to was large. There are many small ones and even some personal family temples that could pass for public ones. The temple could hold a few hundred people and unlike churches, these temples are all outdoors, with most having some sheltered areas for the Gamelan musicians and areas for the priests to sit.
While I have visited large temples in Denpasar, they felt like a shopping mall rather than a ceremony. This place was slow and quiet, not 100 people at one pushing and shoving to get the chore of the prayers over with.
This was a family occasion. Everyone in the village knows everyone else. They are a large family-style community. Everyone is dressed in colorful outfits and as the music played, I saw the young ladies dancing away to the Gamelan music. This was an amazing ceremony to witness. It got even more exciting when a possession happened to three people.
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