I’m a calendar-ignorant person. When I flied to Bali about 3 weeks ago, I didn’t know Bali would be celebrating Silence Day (Nyepi) this month. It was Mas GoJek who informed me and I was so excited to celebrate it here! He even explained things clearly about Nyepi although he was Javanese. When I met other travelers, I wondered if they knew about Nyepi (no go out, no light, no fire— also means no cooking). Some knew and some didn’t. Some of them responded like ‘okay, this is new thing to me and I want to try it’ yet some were surprised and tried to escape lol. Usually travelers escape to Lombok during Nyepi to avoid such a veryyyyy silent day.
If you were here, which choice would you choose?
According to Wikipedia (seriously because when I asked about Nyepi to Balinese people, different people gave me different details), Nyepi is celebrated from 6am to 6am next day and during that time; each individual needs to do self-reflection. Any actions that might interfere are prohibited; and those prohibitions are no lighting fires (and lights must be kept low), no working, no entertainment or pleasure, no traveling, and for some no talking and eating at all. No outside activity is allowed; even the airport is closed. There are Pecalang (traditional security men) who patrol and ensure all prohibitions are being followed; if you dare to break the rule, let’s say going out; you will be taken to Banjar (a kind of traditional public hall) and you have to wait there until Nyepi is over. My landlord also said the trespasser will also be charged million rupiahs.
So, my room in Bali is located in the corner and it’s usually very dark at night. The toilet is outside and I have to walk in darkness that I usually use flash light from my phone lol! I don’t even turn the lamp off when I sleep because I am scared. There are also stickers of political party with the face of landlord’s deceased brother in my room. Good thing the face is handsome (so sad he died in such a young age) but at night, I try to avoid to see the stickers. With those conditions, I was afraid to be able to celebrate Nyepi here. Monica and I had a plan to go to her friend’s house along with other friend (confusing? Haha) to spend Nyepi together. I already packed everything but on the last day, there were no further news so I guess I had to stay at my place.
Anyway, there are some rituals must be done before Nyepi. My Balinese father, Pak Putu, asked me to join his wife to do the rituals together but I forgooootttt the first T^T.
It’s performed 3-4 beforehand, a kind of purification ritual. Balinese people will go to the temple near the sea and the ritual is meant to purify sacred objects and to acquire sacred water from the sea. So sad I missed this! Totally forgot!
Taken on day-1. This ritual is meant to vanquish the negative elements and create balance with God, Mankind, and Nature. People will make giant demon figures out of bamboo, styrofoam or else and burn it as a symbol of burning negative elements in our life. Somehow, Pengerupukan is something that everybody loves the most, especially the youngsters. They spent 1-2 months before to make very cool Ogoh-Ogoh. They create their own demon figure, some are so so but many of them are super cool with awesome details.
All Ogoh-Ogoh that each Banjar made will be paraded along the street. In the center of Ubud, there are 6 Banjars and each Banjar will parade 2-3 Ogoh-Ogoh and they gather together in Ubud’s soccer field. It was such an exuberant celebration. So many tourists enjoyed the show! Anyway that was the last day for all people to buy things because you couldn’t go anywhere on the next day. I bought stocks of mineral water and foods at around 2pm and was so shocked because every minimarts were soooo crowded. Understandable tho. Worse, I only got Rp 20.000 left, I wanted to get some cash from ATM but WTH the atm was already off from the mid-day. AAAKKK, I didn’t know this. Gladly I could still buy important stuffs for my life. Lol.
Okay, back to Ogoh-Ogoh, here are pics of them.
Some Ogoh-Ogoh were very big and tall that 2 men should lift the power lines with bamboo to let the Ogoh-Ogoh pass. Such a good teamwork!
Well, not all had good teamwork.
Well, Ogoh-Ogoh parade was still up until late but I was already too tired so I went back to my place and my landlord asked me to stay there. There would be so many foods on Nyepi so well, oke laaa.
The day! I was so lazy, my kind of nyepi lol. I ate, went back to my room, watched movie, tidied up the room, took a bath, talked with the whole family of my landlord, discussed about paintings, then ate again, watched movie again, and took a nap. Wanted to meditate of celebrate Nyepi in a proper way buy WHYYYYYY…..I did the opposite T^T.
The night was about to come, landlord reminded us to take a bath before the light is off. I did it QUICKLY! It was almost 7pm. Then her son gave me candles so I could have a low light in my room.
I spent the evening gathered with other people in the outdoor living room. Bali was sooo dark, so fresh; the stars are sooooooooo many and they shone brightly. Seriously! We spent so many hours there; I even downloaded comics on Webtoons to read in case I couldn’t sleep fast that night. We talked a lot and I was so sleepy that I was glad morning would come faster. When I looked at the clock, it was still 10pm wtf lol! I also thought we would spend the night together in the living room but a married couple insisted to sleep at their room. It would be only me and Mas Kardiono and it would awkward if we spend the night there so we decided to sleep in our rooms. I took a deep breath. I lit the candle and didn’t drink so I didn’t have to go to the toilet. Derita orang beser T^T. I read comics and everything went well but omg, at midnight I wanted to pee T^T
I held it for some minutes and the pain was killing me so oke laaa, let’s go to the toilet. Well, it was nothing hahaha. Scary but not that scary. One thing I think I obtained from Nyepi is that it helped me to overcome my fear at least ;p
From the wikipedia, there are still some rituals to celebrate after Nyepi but dunno la, I asked my landlord’s son but he said it was done and no more rituals. One thing I know, Balinese people are sooooo gooooodddd and soooo niceeeeee. I received kindness from Mak (my landlord) and thankful for her everyday invitation: “Yuuuu, makan dulu yuk.” She asks me to have lunch there everyday. I pay the room for all-in-one package: electricity, water, and foods for such a good price! And even though not every Balinese celebrates Nyepi in such a proper way (no talking, meditate more, etc), their connection with God is shown in daily life: offerings, praying, and their way of life. Pak Putu once told me: “We don’t use word must, kid. We always go with the flow.”
A millionaire asked me to go out and we’ve been dating for 5 days and he proposed me yesterday.
Happy April Fools day.