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Yves Straten aka Fonzie

This is Yves Straten's (Fonzie's) diary

Godspeed dear friend!

Offerings, burial objects and the small ceremonial coconut for the ashes of the deceased are ready at the Balinese Cremation (Ngaben) of our friend
Everything is ready for the ceremony

Today was the date of the 2nd cremation of our dear friend Kadek. After his death, his body had been burned just a few days later and then the remains had been buried in the cemetery. A few days ago, the remains had been unearthed and purified. Today, they were burned to ashes and then given to the sea, so that our friend’s soul could reincarnate.

When we arrived at the cemetery, where the Ngaben took place, the Sekaha, the Balinese Orchestra, was already playing Gamlean in full swing. As it was a mass Ngaben with about 200 people to be cremated, the remains were cremated in batches.

The firefighters even came to the Ngaben, because the bamboo roof over the cremation place had caught fire. Luckily, nobody was hurt and the fire could be extinguished rapidly.

The cremation spot where the remains of the dead are burnt
Our friend’s remains are being cremated

When we arrived, our friend’s remains were being cremated. His spot was the leftmost one.

Closeup of the cremation spot.
Kadek’s spot is the leftmost one

Here’s a close-up of the cremation spot. Unfortunately, our rollover script isn’t working any more, but it should be visible nevertheless.

In the afternoon, when all the remains had been burned, the ashes of the deceased had been put into ceremonial coconuts, the small orange colored ones, and placed in huge decorated plates with offerings and burial objects that would help the souls of the deceased on their journey to the realm of gods and into their next life.

After all the attendees of the Ngaben had prayed together, everybody gathered to the beach where the boats that would take the ashes, offerings and burial objects out to sea, were waiting. The sun was already beginning to set at this time.

The sun is hiding behind the evening clouds while we're still waiting
The boat is getting ready

The boat that would bring our friend Kadek and five other people’s ashes out to sea was number 10. Shortly before the ashes of the dead arrived, the boat was made ready for this important trip.

My friend Yan Melon made a selfie of us
My friend Yan Melon

We met quite a lot of friends this day as we already know many families of the village and since it was a mass Ngaben, almost everybody was present. Either as a relative or as a friend of at least one of the deceased who were cremated.

A Group selfie shot by our friend Nikto
We’ve met quite a few friends today

Of course that was an opportunity for many to greet and also shoot some selfies as memories of the day.

In contrary to European funerals, Ngaben isn’t an event of sadness. It’s rather a moment of meeting friends and families and accompanying the deceased to their last journey.

We also made a short movie for you with impressions of the Ngaben, so that you can also hear the Gamelan play.

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