Ulian Macekan Agung Klungkung, part 1
Having been going to Bali for 13 years, I have been to numerous ceremonies already like the ngaben or cremation and other traditional commemorations, all of which are in public places. It was my first time however to be invited by my two closest Balinese friends to a ceremony that gains you entry inside the temple- the holy Ulian Macekan Agung ceremony no less. While temple courtyards and gardens are open to tourists, the inner gates leading to the actual shrines are off limits to non-Balinese Hindus, unless you intrude of course. The occasion was the long 10-ten day celebration between the Galungan, the biggest holiday in the Balinese calendar (about 12 months x 35 days) and the Kuningan. The temple was in Gelgel, Klungkung, the central temple for the Pasek Balinese clan.
Taking pictures without standing out was an ordeal. I fit right in for I was just any other brown Asian in Balinese attire but I was torn between capturing the images and the rituals of the shrines (there are 3 courtyards with gates until you get into the inner sanctum courtyard) and feeling guilty for the intrusion. The least obstrusive opportunity to take photos was when the almost thousand teeming masses jostled their way through the narrow three pairs of Balinese gates. In the push to get inside, I think nobody paid notice to one intimidated Filipino raising his camera up in the air, praying that one shot will capture the intimate procession.
Pura Gelgel, Klungkung, Bali, Indonesia
part 1 of the Ulian Macekan Agung Klungkung ceremony series; followed by image 2