Attending a REAL BALINESE CEREMONY
- You go on vacation to Bali
- You find amazing beaches
- Drink coconut water out of actual coconuts
- You spend 2 weeks of your life in flip flops
- You meet people from all over the world
- You spend 2 weeks in the water (either ocean or the pool)
- You watch 14 sunsets
- You get the most amazing tan
- You eat freshly picked tropical fruits
We were staying at a friend’s Villa in Canggu (KTS, if you wanna check it out, it’s pretty awesome) and turned out that there was this big ceremony at his village. It was celebrated once a year around the time the temple was built to commemorate it; it was a massive celebration, the locals had been decorating and sending offerings for weeks. To our shock, our friend invited us to join him and his family during the ceremony and, of course, we couldn’t say no. We were about to experience a real Balinese celebration and we were both really excited.
On the afternoon of the ceremony, our friend showed up with traditional clothing for both of us. (Cool right?). Then, we went for dinner with him and his family to this little tiny restaurant is his hometown. Typical Balinese food, meatball soup, boiled rice, chicken and other meats that up to this date we are still not exactly sure what they were. From there, we took an hour ride to his family’s home where his mom and relatives were waiting for us.
They all got ready and left for the temple. The ceremony was starting at 9pm and the temple was packed with people. We were the only foreigners and being that both of us are blond, I guess you could say we stood out a little.
Everybody was sitting down, getting ready for the prayer; they all brought their offerings (we had one, too!) and then it all started; the chants, water purification, the rituals and the prayers,...it all lasted about an hour and it was pretty magical (getting goosebumps just remembering it).
It was one of those experiences were words can’t really express what you feel and what was happening. We sat down in this small space, knee to knee with villagers, it all started with a traditional Balinese dance, followed by a prayer from the pemangku (the temple priest), that people followed and quietly listened to. Then, everybody started praying and singing different chants while breaking their offering into pieces as the chants kept going.
Once the ceremony was over, people would just hang out and talk to each other for a while before heading back home. It was a fascinating evening that neither of us ever thought we would experience and we are incredibly grateful for it.
This shows that when you are open to life and new experiences, anything can happen.