YOU shall not pass.

Aug 25, 2016
This tradition largely predates the modern paved motorways. If I speak to my wife, my mother in law or any elderly people I may meet I am very confident that they would tell me that the community has always paid respect to their dead and has always helped the family to overcome the loss by gathering to the house of the defunct.

We are not talking about 5 or 6 persons showing up, but whole kampungs coming to one place, which as most house in Indonesia, are not build to hold people by the hundreds or even the dozens. This, among other things, is one of the thing which helps Indonesian communities and families to remain unified and caring for each other.

During these ceremonies, not only people support each others emotionally, they also do it financially. Each people/family will leave an amplop to help pay for the ceremony (which often allows poor family to pay respect to their dead in a descent manner, thing they would perhaps not be able to otherwise). In their large majority, people help and support each others in Indonesia, unlike perhaps in the western world where you often hand up alone in similar circumstances. This money, for the poorest, may also help a widow and her sons/daughters to deal with the future when the bread winner is departed.

So, yes I believe that preserving this tradition, which lightly impact traffic and costs a few precious minutes of a bule life when it can help whole families to overcome the death of a loved one, is not a detriment to public at large. Let's face it: who, other than a bule, would have the idea to horn during a religious ceremony or enter in a masjid to unplug a speaker during al fajr?

Don't get me wrong, many are annoyed to have to waste two minutes to go through a maze of unknown lorong when one could go straight, but, in the aircon of their car they usually know why the road is blocked and how important the ceremony may be for those less fortunate than them. Thus, they don't horn, nor yell or loudly spit venom. Personally I just smile and, sometimes wave an hand and, to release the anger, mutter a quick inaudible "you fucking bitch/asshole, you couldn't die another day/somewhere else?" while keep smiling. Much better and safer than jumping on my horn, believe me.

I'd also like to kindly ask you to point me where in my previous post you have read that I may encourage or imply that one stay silent. You can always go to your RT/RW and, if you suffer any inconvenience, let them know. In my own experience it works very fine. One of my neighbor kicked the bucket a few years ago and for the empat puluh hari (or was it the one year ceremony?), the family organized a big gathering, totally blocking the road. It was a bit of an annoyment because it meant a loss of five minutes for any truck of us going out. It was a tanggal merah but we were working. Despite saying to my guys to put rocks in front of the warehouse gate so that no one park in front of the gate and block the access/exit, they forgot to do it and, with no surprise, two cars blocked our gate. I went to the ceremony, spotted the pala (the equivalent of RW here) and kindly ask him to inquire who the owners of the cars were. It took a good 20 minutes but he finally found them in a crowd of 200+ people.

Comparing (putting on a similar level) your loss of 3 minutes of your time in traffic with female genital mutilation and corruption? Really? Were you serious?

Whenever I am in an area where I don't know all the lorongs I just approach any of the guys who help to direct the traffic and ask what is the easiest way for me to get back to my direction. So far I had only very positive reactions with even one time a guy escorting me on a motorbike he borrowed to show me the way.

I have tried to have my wife promising me that, when it will be time for me, she would not hold such ceremony with a thousand people coming to shake my relatives hand (and plunder our food stock), half of them or more being unknown of me. I failed. She told me she wouldn't be able to and that even if I would put it in writing, no one would believe that I refused to my family the departing ceremony and to let them (and the invited crowd) paying respect to me. I just managed to get a promise that they would not patrol in convoy the whole city to my final resting place. I asked for a cremation and my ashes to be scattered in one of our land in front of the house so I shouldn't be a burden for the traffic.
Does anybody have information about Cremation Service in Bali. I heard that your body will be picked up and then cremated without big ceremony around. The ashes will then be handed toothed family. Thank you

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