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Jakarta Post

Trunyan: Where the dead lie

  • Simon Marcus Gower


Trunyan   /   Thu, April 22 2010   /  09:27 am

The island of Bali is generally thought of as an island full of life. When and where death does encroach, it often becomes a spectacle of cremations and elaborate ceremonies.  One small part of Bali however upholds an unusual and apparently quite ancient tradition pertaining to death.
Sitting at the edge of Lake Batur in Northern Bali is a small cemetery known as Trunyan, where people from the nearby village of Kuban “bring” their dead to rest on top of the ground.This unusual practice has become something of a macabre tourist attraction. Perhaps it is not really an “attraction” but a place that pricks peoples’ curiosity. The local people, though, have clearly become used to tourists coming to this site and so haggling and near constant pestering for “donations” has to be dealt with.Unusual ritual: Flimsy bamboo cages and cloths cover up the deceased. JP/Simon Gower...