Festive ambience of Pagerwesi celebration at a number of cemeteries in Buleleng looked to decline if compared to previous years. As evidence, it could be seen from the celebratory atmosphere that was usually thronged by people, but this time only few devotees were seen. As observation of Bali Post on Wednesday (Jan 16), since early morning the Hindus in Buleleng looked passing to temple or merajan shrine to hold worship. Main roads in the town of Singaraja looked deserted, too. Such ambience occurred because the office of government agencies was closed.
Meanwhile, the worship atmosphere at the cemetery of Buleleng customary village did not look bustling. Only a few people came to cemetery located in the heart of the city. As usual, they presented some oblations to dead family members that had not been made a cremation ritual. After delivering the oblation, the family then enjoyed the food content of the oblation presented.
According to Kadek Rudi, a resident from Jawa hamlet, Singaraja, the ritual was held to express his togetherness with the soul of the deceased. It served as a reunion while celebrating the religious holiday. In addition, the families left also begged safety and apologized for having not held the cremation procession. “As long as the family is unable to perform the cremation, we come here to present the oblation every religious holiday. This presentation is also meant to beg safety and celebrate the festivity together,” he said.
On the other hand, Rudi said the number of devotees holding the worship at the cemetery recently had begun to decline. It was caused by more frequent mass cremation held by customary village so that the dead body buried in the cemetery diminished. As a result, cemetery worship during religious holidays was increasingly deserted. “Maybe, it happens because the more frequently held mass cremation. Then, only few families that still have the dead bodies buried at cemetery. Having been cremated, they no longer present the oblation to cemetery,” he explained.
Similar opinion was disclosed by a toy seller that did selling every religious holiday at the cemetery. He said that only some few devotees paid homage if compared to previous years. Such condition was perceived because only few toys were sold. “Last year, many devotees have come early in the morning. But now until midday, there are no people left and no toy is sold,” said the seller. (BTN /kmb)