Whilst we were away we had a regular driver called Putu. He is the cousin of Suri who looked after us at the villa. She cleaned up after us all without a single complaint – even the dirty ashtrays! Anyway, Putu is a new Dad and his little baby girl Emita (apologies for any wrong spelling as I’m sure that’s not right) was one month plus one week old. This means in Hindu that it’s time for a ceremony. We were given the privilege of attending on a sunny afternoon at their compound.
The proud grandfather
When we arrived the main man who was to conduct the ceremony was about to start. There was incense, lots of it; offerings and oil. At one point Putu’s father came to the table with two young chickens in hand. Oh, oh, what was going to happen here? Well, nothing as far as I could tell. Maybe something happened to them behind the scenes but we never heard or saw anything.
The main table and offerings
Guests looking on
This was a very casual ceremony. We couldn’t help comparing it to an Australian christening, where everyone is smartly dressed and children are kept quiet in the church etc. Here it seems that every day life continues around the prayers, even the dogs wandered in and out. Towards the end of the ceremony we were warned that Putu would be lighting three pieces of bamboo which would explode with a “Very Loud Bang” and is meant to warn the evil spirits to stay away.
So we were all ready for it but it wasn’t that loud, didn’t even bother the baby! Notice in the photograph the hand holding the cigarette. That’s the grandfather who is a chain smoker. He is also a school teacher and we did wonder what the school rules were about smoking!
And then it was all over. We all had a cup of tea and some snacks and a cuddle of the baby (of course), who had been very good throughout and we were then invited to have a wander through the compound. It became apparent that this family compound was pretty substantial and that they were not a “poor” family. In the next photograph you will see rice, which had been sent to the compound from around Bali, to be dried and bagged.
Laid on the ground to dry in the sun (with the odd chicken having a bit of a nibble)
Gathering it together to be covered under tarps.
Further along in the buildings to the left of the picture were the piggies. All 68 of them and all different shapes and sizes. I did ask some questions about how old before they go to market or local restaurants (I think I may have eaten a bit of one the day before in Ubud) but in typical fashion I can’t remember the answers!
Finally it appeared that Putu and his friends were going to have “a bit of a session” in the local garage next door. There would be beer and food and the local arak. I decided that maybe this should be a bit of a boys thing and declined the invitation and the other two girl friends said the same so we left M and W with the boys to finish off the day in true Balinese fashion.
They had a ball.
More to come……..