Selasa, 03 Maret 2009

In big cities like Jakarta, Surabaya and Bandung, people may witness several kinds of funerals because of various citizens’ backgrounds. Islamic funeral is familiar to us since most Indonesian are Moslems. The mourner holds three religious ceremonies in home, mosque, and cemetery. The corpse is covered with a piece of cloth called “pocong” and carried to the cemetery in a bier. It is buried in a grave by orienting the corpse toward Mecca. The burial needs only short time and the funeral is simple.

Christian’s funeral is almost the same with Moslem’s. The dead person is fully dressed and beautified as if it is still alive. Holding a Gospel and rosary, the dead is placed in a coffin and buried. The religious ceremonies are also held in home, church and cemetery.

Some Moslems and Christians are still practicing a very traditional ceremony heavily influenced by Hinduism. They are telung dina, mitung dina, matang puluh dina, nyatus, nyewu or mendhak pisan, ngrong tahun or mendhak pindho, and nelung tahun or ngentek which mean the third, seventh, fortieth, one hundredth, three hundredth and thirty sixth, seven hundred and thirtieth and one thousandth days after the death.

Cremation is a Hinduism or Buddhism funeral. In this ceremony the corpse is placed in a heap of wood and burned. For not wasting time some people choose electricity use instead of wood. The ashes of the dead who has been ceremonially burned are sometimes put away in a funerary urn. Among the cremations, Balinese Hinduism ceremony costs the most. That’s why, it is hard for the poor people to cremate the dead directly. They must save their money until they feel that they are able to do cremation. Generally, to minimize the cost they cremate the dead together with some others. Waiting for the cremation day, the corpse is buried in a temporary grave.

A unique funeral is seen in trunyan, a very small village located on the shore of Lake Batur, Bali. Trunyan people, the native Balinese, are only about one hundred persons. When a native dies the fully dressed corpse is not buried or burned but laid on the ground under the Trunyan trees. Surprisingly, although decayed, the corpse is not odorous at all. A bier is used to shelter the corpse from being eaten by dogs or crowns. When the flesh is extinct the bones and the skull are placed on a provided altar. Only natives are permitted to be laid on this unusual cemetery. The dead of immigrants though they are husbands or wives will be sent to their homeland.

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