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A Glimpse on Inconformity of Balinese Hinduism  

by on Wednesday, 3 January 20074 Comments | 6,892 views

To give a better idea on the inconformity of Hinduism in Bali, the Pegatuakan ceremony that fortunately, happen today will serve as a good example.


Today, Balinese celebrate Pegatuakan ceremony, this ceremony mark the end of Galungan bigger period (the smaller period ends on Kuningan Holiday). Today the hallmark of Galungan, Penjor (a long bamboo pole about eight meter high with curved end, and decorated with palm leaves, rice paddies, corn on the cob, coconut, cakes, a piece of white or yellow cloth, etc) will be uninstalled, and a great festivity will accompany this ceremony.


Pegatuakan ceremony is celebrated by presenting some offering to the merajan or sanggah (family temple) and to the Kahyangan Tiga (three main temples in every village). A parade of women carrying offering on their head can be seen today on every road in south Bali. Temples will be decorated with colorful fabrics and symbolic ornaments made of young coconut leaves. The scale of pomposity and the size of offering are equal with the Galungan (Balinese Christmas) ceremony. Moreover, today is full moon, a holiday that happens together with full moon (Purnama Kapitu) will be considered as a Nadi, grand holiday. Of course, the offering and pomposity of grand holiday is bigger than ordinary holiday.


Only the Balinese in south Bali celebrate the Pegatuakan ceremony in great pomposity. Balinese in north Bali do not celebrate the Pegatuakan ceremony as pompous as their colleagues in south Bali. In some area in north Bali, there is no celebration today.


This kind diversity is common in Bali. There are great and various diversities on the religious aspect among hundreds of villages in Bali. The concept of Desa, Kala, Patra (place, time, and circumstance) is the sole base of this diversity. Balinese believe that every village has its own way on celebrating and preparing a ceremony, range from the kind of offering to kind of ceremony which is celebrated (some offering are used in a certain village but not in other one, a ceremony is celebrated in village A but not in village B). A phrase ‘the way it is in Bali’ is totally nonsense.


Dr. Hildred Geertz the author of ‘Kinship in Bali‘ desperately said ‘a law in a village is exception in the next‘, a statement that clearly define the uniformity in Bali.

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