Wedding Daniel & Ade
The 27th of August was going to be a very
special day. Many moons ago I held Daniel in my arm when he still was a
baby and this day I had the privilege to attend his wedding with Ade
There was excitement in the
air when I woke up. I enjoyed my breakfast and greeted Ulli, Nyoman and
Daniel who all had big smiles on their faces. Then the first guest
started to arrive, all friends of Daniel. The vibe was great and
everybody was looking forward to a great day. Wayan, one of Daniel’s
friends helped my with my traditional outfit so I did not make a fool of
myself. Not much later Nyoman’s family from Denpasar arrived and we
were good to go.
Several festive decorated
cars had been arranged for family and friends and I was in a car
together with Ulli and Nyoman. When everybody was seated we left as a
group towards Ade’s parents house, a journey that did not take us longer
than 30 minutes.
On arrival there were
already many guests present, all dressed up in traditional Balinese
outfits. We were given seats at the front row and like everybody else
were now waiting for the events to unroll. During our wait all guests
were given a snack box with something to eat and drink, a nice gesture
to make our wait comfortable. The place was full with offerings, not
only the courtyard where we sat but also the area that housed the family
temple. It was stunning but also overwhelming.
By now the courtyard was
full, I guess that about 300 people must have been present. Family,
friends, and what must have been the complete neighborhood as well. It
was a very relaxed atmosphere and everybody looked very festive. And
then, without any announcement or ceremonials Ade and Daniel arrived.
They were led in front of 3 men and the ceremony started so quietly it
was hardly noticeable.
There was a lot of talking
going on, apparently with a lot of humor as well, as I could make up
from the plenty of laughing. The whole ceremony was in Balinese so I
could not understand a word. After quite some time the rings and the
presents from Daniel to Ade were blessed and finally the big moment of
exchanging the rings had arrived. Then the official papers had to be
signed by Ade, Daniel, Ade’s mother and Nyoman. One would normally have
thought that this would end the ceremony but not in Bali…
I noticed that all the
guests present were very relaxed and enjoying themselves. Witnessing the
ceremony apparently wasn’t the most important, but being present was
the main thing. The more the merry, and Ulli had already told me that
for Balinese standards this was a very small wedding. For me though the
whole sequence of ceremonies was very special and I did not want to miss
a single thing of it..
There was a short moment
for the official photographer to make some pictures of the newly wed and
their parents after which another ceremony started. This time it was
lead by Ade’s mother and two other ladies. They had a tray with colored
threads, coins and flower leaves. Ade and Daniel stood in front of them
with their hands stretched out after which the individual items were put
between and around their fingers and toes. A priest was present to
bless the items and did a short prayer after the ritual.
With this ceremony finished
we were not yet done for the day. I had already noticed that in front
of the house temple another priest was performing some rituals and now
Ade and Daniel went over there. In front of the house temple a table
was placed which was covered with offerings, one of them a suckling pig.
The bride and groom now took place in a small pagoda and their parents
took place at the side of it. Then the priest started another ceremony
of prayers and blessings. Ade and Daniel, as well as their parents,
joined in the prayers.
Although I did not really
understand what was going on the way the blessings and rituals were
performed were so unmistakable and unique Balinese. I was completely
intrigued and immersed myself in what was happening around me. Over the
years I had witnessed plenty of ceremonies in Bali but this was the
first wedding I attended. The fact that it was Daniel’s wedding made it
even more special.
Once the prayers were
completed the group continued to another temple, in front of my seat,
where even more prayers were conducted. At the end of that Ade and
Daniel were given a plate of food and they had to feed each other. That
completed the morning ceremonies.
In the mean time a
wonderful buffet with Chinese food had been prepared and we joined the
queue for our turn to make our choice. Ulli, Nyoman and myself found a
free table upstairs and reflected on the morning whilst enjoying our
lunch. I was sharing the table with two extremely happy and proud
parents, a wonderful thing to see.
Lunch completed the events
at Ade’s parental home, now it was time to continue to the second venue
of the day. All rituals and ceremonies to commemorate that Ade was now
leaving her parental home were completed but according to Balinese
tradition more ceremonies were to be conducted.
The second ceremony took
place in the festively decorated garden of the Griya in Gianyar. We were
there early so we had to wait till Ade and Daniel arrived and the
festivities could continue. Time flew by quickly though as I was talking
to Daniel’s, as well as Ulli and Nyoman’s friends. It was great to
finally meet them and I felt warmly welcome, in spite of the fact that
we met for the very first time.
Shortly before 3pm Ade and
Daniel arrived and a priest was already waiting for them to start the
first series of rituals and ceremonies that took place in front of a
table that was filled with offerings.
Once the priest was
finished a new ceremony started that was led by Ade’s mother and two
other women. Ade and Daniel were given different things from daily life
and it seemed like they were explained about their uses. To me it
appeared to be an explanation of how to run a household but then, not
understanding a word of what was said, i could be completely wrong. Also
over here the atmosphere was very light with a lot of laughter. I was
enjoying it tremendously and as I could see all involved were having a
great time as well.
There was a short break
after this but I had already spotted yet another priest who had started
preparations for the next ceremony, which of course, contained more of
blessings of the young couple.
Once this ceremony was
completed Ade and Daniel went together to the house temple for another
series of prayers which was done in font of some beautiful offerings.
Every time I see a ceremony on Bali I am deeply impressed by the sheer
beauty of the offerings that have been created to please the Gods. This
time was no exception.
A little bit later Ade and
Daniel joined by their parents who were already waiting for a final
prayer that concluded the official part of the day. All Ceremonies,
rituals and prayers which are an important part of Balinese life had now
been conducted and Daniel and Ade were now official husband and wife.
Once again there was some
time for some official photograph’s after which everybody returned to
their seats. The party was officially to begin.
I returned to my table and
mingled with the other guests. What an impressive day it had been, a day
that I thoroughly and without doubt was the highlight of my trip. What a
coincidence that my third attempt to visit Bali ended up with the
wedding of Ade and Daniel. It was third time lucky indeed.
A wonderful buffet of
Indonesian style food was opened and it appeared there was way to much
for the 250 people present. I absolutely loved it but had eaten so much
of the main course I could not make it to the dessert buffet.
Time was flying by quickly
and Nyoman noticed I was getting tired. As the party would not be going
on for much longer he proposed to return to Guci Guesthouses where we
changed into less formal clothing. Back to shorts and T-shirt…
About two hours later Ade
and Daniel arrived. We opened a bottle of Balinese champagne that I had
bought earlier for this event and reflected on a most memorable day. But
all of us were tired so we did not stay up too long.
The next morning I started
packed my luggage and relaxed a bit at my veranda. Then Nyoman came to
see me, he wanted to show me something he had been working on…
In the garden he had placed
8 paintings he had been working on the last couple of months. Nobody
had seen hem so far, it was my honor to be the first one… And I was
blown away by the sheer beauty of Nyoman’s latest work. 8 Very abstract
paintings, one even more beautiful than the other. I really liked what I
saw and fell in love with the new work. And so did Ulli, Daniel and
Ade, as neither of them had seen the new work so far. It was a big
surprise to all of us. Although this was not the intention I decided on
the spot to buy one painting that I really liked. It did not take long
for a second painting to be sold to another guest who was also blown
away by the new work and I was told later a third painting had been sold
within a week.
We chatted the rest of the
day but then my taxi driver arrived and it was time for me to say
goodbye. Ulli, Nyoman, Daniel and Ade came along to wave me out and I
still saw their waving hands when my taxi disappeared in the distance.
About an hour later I arrived at the airport, checked in for my two
flights and was ready for the long journey home.
As you already might have
noticed this trip has not been as adventurous as my previous journeys,
actually it was my first holiday “holiday” since years. Shattering the
ashes of my father in Malang was a beautiful thing to do. It was
followed by an extremely relaxing experience, a true holiday for the
soul. Not having visited Bali for 5 years I really rediscovered it’s
charm (and it’s food) and I can only say I truly loved it. How wonderful
was it to meet my friends again and continue there where we stopped 5
It has been a fantastic trip and somehow I have the feeling it will not take another 5 years till my next trip.
Bali, until we meet again…..
Yus, Ayu, Ulli, Nyoman, Daniel, Ade,