Monday, November 8, 2010

Cremation in Bali.

During our tours in Bali we witnessed something pretty unusual, at least for us; the public cremation of a member of the royal family. While coming back from the volcano visit we ended up detoured by the local police blocking the streets for the funeral procession. Our guides parked the van nearby and we walked to the cremation area to wait for the remains to arrive. First, arrived the bull, which is a vessel for the dead to travel to the afterlife. The bull was carried by about 40 men and brought to the cremation site under the scorching sun strangely with a happy mood. Then another group of carriers arrived with the remains of the deceased who was then put inside the bull through a trap door on its back. Family members and friends added a few items inside the vessel and finally a gas torch was set under the bull and lit to begin the incineration. The temperature of the flame must have been relatively high because after approximately ten minutes there were not much left of the burnt remains. By then the belly of the bull had collapsed and the corpse, or what was left of it, felt hence giving us the gruesome sight of the carbonized body leaning with its legs still hanging in the bull! I save you to choose this picture for this post! In all fairness I don’t quite know how to describe how we felt about the whole ceremony and personally I still prefer to just send the remains of our loved ones to the cremation center and getting the urn back with the ashes instead of witnessing the whole burning process. But again, other peoples other customs.