A friend’s mother passed away here in Bali and we were invited to the funeral, or cremation to be more precise. The cremation ground was in Seririt a few kilometers west of Lovina.

I didn’t really know what to expect as I had heard Balinese funerals were spectacular events. We got there late and the body was already being cremated. The cremation grounds are on a hill with nice views to the Bali Sea.

The body was put in some kind of iron casing, which had open ends. Some kind of fuel was pumped into the flames. The fuel was stored up a tree and carried to the fire in a pipe. The whole set up looked kind of dangerous. People took turns prodding the body with a bamboo stick.

There was a Gamelan orchestra playing the whole time. The attendees just sat around chatting, smoking and eating nasi goreng. No one cried, people seemed happy. The men wore their usual shorts, sandals and tshirts with just a sarong around their legs.

It was a somewhat surreal experience. I had just been searching on the internet for pictures and information on Balinese funerals and most of those pictures were fairly elaborate affairs.

Just another weird and wonderful day in Bali.

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