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Jakarta Post

Praying for the deceased in the month of ‘Ruwah’

Tue, May 15, 2018   /   10:28 am
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    A man scatters rose petals on top of his relative’s grave. JP/Boy T. Harjanto

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    A cleric leads a prayer for the deceased. JP/Boy T. Harjanto

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    A man prays for his deceased family members. JP/Boy T. Harjanto

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    An empty basket for the praying ritual. JP/Boy T. Harjanto

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    Red roses are placed on top of a tomb. JP/Boy T. Harjanto

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    Three children play at the cemetery with Mount Merapi visible in the background. JP/Boy T. Harjanto

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    Villagers gather to pray. JP/Boy T. Harjanto

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    Villagers share food after praying. [JP/Boy T. Harjanto

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    Sharing food tightens the bond among villagers. JP/Boy T. Harjanto

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    Villagers share various foods that are brought into the cemetery complex. JP/Boy T. Harjanto

Boy T Harjanto

Mount Merapi looked so bright from Kaliadem village in Cangkringan district, Sleman regency, Yogyakarta, on May 6. Kaliadem is the last village on the southern slope of the mountain.

Hundreds of villagers had prepared to pay a visit to the nearest cemetery. They paid their respects to their deceased ancestors, which is conducted every 20th of Ruwah (a month in the Javanese calendar).

The tradition — of paying respects to the deceased — on that particular day is called Nyadran and has been done by many Javanese a month before the start of the Ramadhan fasting month.

Villagers brought various food, rose petals and other items for mass prayers at the cemetery. After that, they shared food with other visitors.

Before the 2010 Mt. Merapi eruption, the cemetery was very close to the village. However, the government relocated them to a further area to be away from the danger zone of the volcano.

When Mt. Merapi erupted eight years ago, villages in the southwest of Gendol River were destroyed. Now, villagers live in a safe zone designated by the government. [yan]