Introduction to crematorium
Cemetery in Bali
In Oxford English Dictionary, “cemetery” is defined as a burial-ground generally; now esp. a large public park or ground laid out expressly for the internment of the dead, and not being the ‘yard’ of any church. The concept of cemetery as a public place however is not applied by Balinese. Cemetery in Bali is essential part of a village, each village has its own cemetery, some have two or three cemeteries.
In simple logic the exclusivity of the cemetery can be explained as follow : as a member of the village, a person has some responsibilities to the villages such as working voluntarily for the anniversary of the village temple, etc so he or she has a right to use the facilities of the village. Cemetery is an apparatus of a village and only a village member can use the cemetery.
A public cemetery for Balinese is a foreign concept and can not be defined as a popular one so when a Balinese is excommunicated from his village he lost the right to use the cemetery and when he passed away his family has no placed to bury or to cremate him. This problem is also experienced by Balinese who join transmigration program or stay for long time outside Bali, most of them have renounced their village membership in Bali island so when they come back home with an intention to die in the land of the ancestor, they find out that they have no place for the final send off (cremation ceremony).
For the Balinese who come back home this problem is usually solved by “purchasing the cemetery” or paying a fine that is called “penanjung batu” (kicker of the stone) but for the Balinese who is excommunicated the village usually do not provide this option. To solve this problem and to provide alternative for Balinese who do not have access to the cemetery crematorium is the answer.