Indonesia

In Remembrance

Indonesia, Bali, Ubud, Cremation, Foundry 2015, Jamie Chan, No Foreign Lands, Leica

About a month ago, I was in Bali for the Foundry Photojournalism Workshop 2015 and had a wonderful time connecting with like-minded peers while coming up with a photo essay for a presentation on the final night.
The Foundry Photojournalism Workshop for 2016 will be held in Cape Town, South Africa and I highly recommend it. I will touch more on my experience in the workshop during my coming posts but for now, I would like to share the story I worked on during the workshop.

Ngaben or a cremation ceremony is a ritual the Balinese perform as part of their funeral process.
I did not speak a word of Bahasa and my driver kind of left me there for 6 hours which made it really awkward in the beginning since I was the only foreigner with a camera yet, without a word, the Balinese families welcomed me and allowed me to silently document their ceremony.

A fellow Foundry participant, Quinn did a story on the cremation too.
The entire ceremony was elaborate with many rituals; yet from what I understood, what I photographed was the ‘cheaper and fast-forwarded’ version of the real ceremony as it is very expensive and lasts a couple of days. In some cases, a mass ceremony will be performed because it is more affordable.

Indonesia, Bali, Ubud, Foundry 2015, Jamie Chan, No Foreign Lands, Leica, Boy running

A boy runs through the funeral grounds

Indonesia, Bali, Ubud, Foundry 2015, Jamie Chan, No Foreign Lands, Leica, dead, body, Funeral

Two funerals were held at that time slot

Indonesia, Bali, Ubud, Foundry 2015, Jamie Chan, No Foreign Lands, Leica, Prayer, ceremony

A prayer for the dead

Indonesia, Bali, Ubud, Foundry 2015, Jamie Chan, No Foreign Lands, Leica, Prayer, ceremony, body

Body with the various offerings

Indonesia, Bali, Ubud, Foundry 2015, Jamie Chan, No Foreign Lands, Leica, cleaning, ceremony, body

Everyone helps with cleaning and preparing the body for the cremation

Indonesia, Bali, Ubud, Foundry 2015, Jamie Chan, No Foreign Lands, Leica, Prayer, ceremony, body, daugther

Daughter of the deceased

Ubud, Bali, Indonesia, daughter, friends, Foundry, 2015, No Foreign Lands, Jamie Chan, Leica, Balinese Tradition, Ceremony

Thanking her friends for making it down.

Ubud, Bali, Indonesia, friends, Foundry 2015, No Foreign Lands, Jamie Chan, Leica, Balinese Traditional outfit, daily life

A rather joyous occasion in general

Ritual, Cremation ceremony, Foundry 2015, balinese tradition, funeral, Jamie Chan, No Foreign Lands, Leica

Walking around the bodies is said to confuse the spirit; that it will not follow the family back home

Balinese funeral, cremation ceremony, Jamie Chan, Travel Blogger, Foundry 2015, Photography, Leica, No Foreign Lands

Performing a ritual

Balinese funeral, cremation ceremony, Foundry 2015, Jamie Chan, Travel Blogger, Photography, Leica, No Foreign Lands, husband

Saying a final goodbye to his wife

Balinese funeral, cremation ceremony, Jamie Chan, Foundry 2015, Travel Blogger, Photography, Leica, No Foreign Lands, bones, ashes, ritual

Picking out the bones

Balinese funeral, cremation ceremony, Jamie Chan, Travel Blogger, Photography, Leica, No Foreign Lands, fire, Foundry 2015, Earth

Cremation

Jamie Chan, Travel Blogger, Photography, Leica, No Foreign Lands, fire, Foundry 2015, smoke, sky

Smoke from the cremation

Jamie Chan, Travel Blogger, Photography, Leica, No Foreign Lands, fire, Foundry 2015, river, tradition, peace

Releasing the ashes in the river, ending the ceremony

0 replies »

  1. Hi Jamie, Beautiful shots. I live in Ubud and have attended quite a few cremations (ngaben), but you’ve captured scenes that I’ve not yet been privy too. Where did this one take place? It’s quite the colorful and captivating procession and ceremony, isn’t it?! Looking forward to seeing more photos on the Foundry site.

    • Thank you so much!
      Yes, the ngaben are an incredible ceremony to witness!
      This was held in Denpasar, right near a river. It is a little strange that funerals are such joyous occasions for them as compared to the funerals that I am used to.
      Ubud is lovely! I was there for a good part of my trip; I miss the food!

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