Awoke this morning with nothing planned. Adi was given the day off to tend to his family and I had thought I might spend the day relaxing for a change. At 8:30, Eri rang me... "What have you planned for today?" she asked. "No Program", I replied. "My niece is having her oton (Balinese birthday celebration) at our family temple this morning. My brother picks up the high priest to bring him here at 10:00. Why don't you come? You remember where my mother's place is?".
So, quickly throwing myself under the shower, I washed, packed my cameras & proper temple dress, hopped on my motorbike and braved the morning traffic up the the village of Kedawatan. Husband Roy was waiting for me roadside and escorted me throughout the family gate & into the compound where ceremonial preparations were already well underway by the village "mangku", the lower ranking temple priest who was busy chanting magic incantations, sprinkling holy water on elaborate offerings and shrines liberally scattered around the massive family compound. Roy quickly reintroduced me to the assembled family, priests & attendants, all whom I had met and photographed during my last visit to the island three years ago.
|Putu & Her Grandmother|
A short time later, Putu, niece of Eri, was brought to the priest by her parents, dressed in beautiful sarong & kebaya blouse for the final blessing rituals... the placing of special yellow rice on the face & forehead, the draping of string soaked in holy water, the wrapping of her head in special strings made from leaves & flowers, and again... more holy water.
Following the final ritual blessings, the family gathered round to enjoy the traditional feast of Bali Guling... roast suckling pig stuffed with herbs & heavily spiced, then cooked on a bamboo spit, Mei Goreng... Indonesian Fried Noodles with vegetables & meat, cooked jackfruit, blood sausages and the ubiquitous staple of the country... rice. Man, was it ever good! Enak sekali!
|Pork Blood Sausage|