Some observations from travels

Men at Work in Ubud, Bali

When you’re woken up at three in the morning by a pig squealing for its dear life,  there are two things you can thing of what’s happening.  Either you live near an abattoir (which was not the case here) or someone from the nearby temple was butchering the poor thing for a celebration!  The latter was more like it.  This was part of the series of activities villagers in Ubud did to culminate the cleansing celebration that have been going on for the last few days.

Gladly we managed to get back to sleep.  But my curiosity woke me up as the sun rises at six and wondered whatever happened to that poor piggy.  As I opened my balcony door I could not help but notice a hum at the nearby temple.  Sounds like busy Balinese men working.  So as quickly as we could we went out to find out!

It was an organised chaos of, men only, members of the village, chopping, mixing, sorting, grilling and steaming every part of the butchered pig.  What came out was masses of rice, satays, salads and sauces which they allocated equally to every member of the team to offer to their respective temples and eventually take home and share with their family gathering later in the day.

This was an amazing display of efficient teamwork and camaraderie between the villagers.  The women were not to be seen around this particular event except for the inevitable task of doing the offering rounds.

I really enjoyed that experience.  Walking away from the wonderful smell of satay wafting throughout the temple hall I could not help but feel a bit of (hunger pang in my tummy!) and jealousy for what I have just witnessed.  Members of the villages here contribute to their temple potluck for celebrations such as this one, collectively involve everyone in the preparation and then partake of their efforts.  Why are we loosing this togetherness in other, more developed, western countries?


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