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Death, End of the Story?  

by on Monday, 28 January 2008One Comment | 692 views

To Balinese, death does not mean the end of the story for the deceased, it does not mean all the past grudges are forgotten, it also does not mean the actions of the deceased and their consequences have to be buried in oblivion. For the Balinese, the death of someone is a time for grand evaluation of all his deeds, his mistakes and merits, and the time for reciprocating all the deeds of the deceased.


How much mistakes or merits or how good or bad the deceased in the eyes of the community can be seen right after his death is announced. Few spontaneous sentences of lamentation by the members of the community to show how difficult community life will be if the deceased is not around, or to retell the merits of the deceased is the sign that the deceased is a good person. An odd silence or a conversation to discuss the proper way of delivering the communal revenge to the deceased at the time of his cremation ceremony is a sign of a bad person in the eyes of community.

If the time of death is the time for grand evaluation then cremation ceremony is the time to retaliate the deeds of the deceased. For a good person, his cremation ceremony is a moment of joy for his family; all relatives and members of community are ready to assist both financially and morally. Work force for the preparation and the execution of the ceremony is not a problem since all the members of community want to pay their social debts to the deceased. However, for a bad person cremation ceremony will be a nightmare; no relatives or members of community assist the preparation and the execution of the ceremony and worse of all there is a possibility the members of community settle the odd score by disgracing the family of the deceased by throwing the body of the deceased into a ditch or dragging it along the way to the cemetery.

For Balinese death is not safe gateway for all the problems, it is a pay back time.

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