vrijdag 11 december 2009

Ceremony in Puri Anyar Kerambitan

For some years we are customary visitors of the Puri Anyar in Kerambitan.

We developed a special relation with the twin princes Mister Oka and Mister Rai, as we use to call them. And specially with Tujoes, the son of Mister Rai and the artist/painter of the royal family.

This year we were invited to attend the annual ceremony in the royal temple of the palace.

At that occasion the royal family went round in teh temple with the holy krisses and the statue of Shiwa.

In fact there are two palaces in Kerambitan. The other one is the Puri Gede and is the oldest. Anyar means new, so the Puri Anyar is the new one and is not far from the Puri Gede. Both very nice places, with beautiful gardens.

Bapak Oka (full name: Anak Agung Ngurah Oka Silagunadha) is thirty minutes older than his twinbrother Bapak Rai (full name: Anak Agung Rai Girigunadhi) and form together the ninth generation. They differ of character but physically they are almost the same. We already made some mistakes meeting them.

You never know who is who when you meet them first site in the Puri.

The main job of Mister Oka is to receive high royal guests from other countries as the the king of Jordania and famous artists like Mick Jagger and David Bowie.

Proudly he showed us one time the framed pictures which are hanging on the walls of a royal pavillion.

Some years ago he was head of the welcoming committee of the visit of Prince Bernhard of Holland, when he was visiting Bali.

He is specially in charge of organising the famous Palace Nights which includes the traditional welcoming, with the local big cow bells, “okokan” in Balinese, sitting in the middle with the guests during the big buffet, which ends with the local dancing.

Mister Rai together with his son Tujoes is more responsable for the guests who want to rent a room. And that’s how we got to know them.

Pak Oka and Pak Rai are the grandsons of the last king of Kerambitan, who had seventy wives, as Mister Rai told us during the many sessions, as he or his son Tujoes was always accompanying us while taking the always great meals. You never sit alone there in the palace.

Besides how it feels how it is to stay in a palace, in this way we also heard many stories.

As already knowing something about the Bali history they found good ears with us.

Funny are the stories Mister Rai told us about growing up as twins.

And he told us also the history of the palace(s).

In the sixteenth century there was one king of Tabanan, who had no successor, because he had no son. Becoming more and more old he decided that the first son born should be the future king, even if it was from a wife of a lower caste. And so it happened.

So the son of the lower caste woman became the king when his father died. But in the meantime the old king was also blessed with a son of a princess.

His name was Sira Arya Ngurah Gde. He had not a official position, but still a prince, he went out one time for a journey to the north of Bali and stayed a while with a priest in Banjar.

His brother, the king, was worried and started to look for him and when he found him he asked him strongly to come back. Gde only insisted if he could have his own place. His brother agreed and the priest gave the advice to build the palace on the spot where smoke arises from the earth.

Looking around southwest of Tabanan they found a beautiful place. On arriving they also saw smoke, so this was the place. They called the area “rawit”, which means beautiful or art.

Rawit becomes Kerawitan and later developed in Kerambitan.

In the Puri Anyar it is written on the Guest Book in golden letters: Beautiful is art, art is beautiful.

After the Land Reform in 1961 and after also their father died, Mister Oka and Mister Rai decided to open their palace for the tourists.

Because as Mister Rai told us, many land was taken away from them and because of that they have less income, but people still come for advice and expect that we protect them and ask for sponsoring the templeceremonies.

The stone which has been put in front of the palace with “taksu 1967” on it, is about that decision.

the puri

Mister/Bapak Oka

Mister/Bapak Rai

the royal twinbrothers together

prince/painter Tujoes with wife Dewi, daughter and son

outside the puri under the big banyan tree

preparation of the ceremony in the royal temple

the ceremony begins

porcession with the holy krisses and the Shiwa statue

procession, praying and offering in the royal temple

praying, offering and putting back the holy krisses behind closed doors