Thursday, 19 August 2010

Diego Vergés: Bali Wedding Ceremony

Photo © Diego Vergés-All Rights Reserved

I was glad that Diego Vergés has just sent me some of his work in Indonesia, which includes photographs from a typical Balinese wedding ceremony in his distinctive style. It's opportune as I just returned from Bali myself and also photographed a wedding.

According to Diego's diary, he was driving in Randang, not far from Ubud in the east of Bali, where he was invited to a wedding. The ceremony was to start at the groom's family house with a lunch offered to all guests. Subsequently, the guests went home, while the groom's friends and family started to slaughter pigs and ducks as offerings to the temple, and for the large dinner on the following day.

Many of the guests arrive early morning, with the religious rituals over by noon when food is offered to the guests. In the afternoon, the groom and his bride will visit her family's house when she bids them farewell, as she will live thereafter with her in-laws.

I experienced the same sequence in tradition when I attended a wedding in Ubud. In essence a wedding-crasher, I was nevertheless considered and treated as a valued guest, and offered food and water whenever I was seen with neither in my hand. Hindu priests (known as a pemangku) officiated the ceremony, which required the bride and groom to perform symbolic rites. It also required them to endure a couple of hours of make-up, and wear traditional wedding attire.