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DateThursday, March 10, 2005   Comment

you've heard me, in my tunes
when I still heard confusion...

if there's one day. and days, when all I heard were confusion, nothing better to explain than this week.
an Indonesian girl who had been moved for eleven times in her whole life, hanging around with two Japanese who lived in Bali and a trance-photographer who travel a lot, in a car with Balinese driver, at the Bali day of festivities, Galungan. it wasn't the people who made me confused. but the thought, language, culture, situations and most of all, things happened that day.

It was Wednesday and we went to one of Kaoru's friend's house. he's a teacher. I saw him and his family praying and recall everything I had from Casper about the highest principal in Islam and what Khai had told me about how this whole praying and offering things are meant to be served for something floating beyond, between human and God. we went to the bigger pura afterwards, and they do the same thing there. I'm just watching from outside, not very close but not far either. then we went to another bigger pura and again, I kept thinking about how they really believe in things floating between them, so that everything need offerings. this is an ancient pagan worshipping I witnessed. religion that grow from their surrounding. from the water, and land, and fire.

at two o'clock or so, we ahead to nusa dua. there will be a dance performance. they said it was something about an old tale called 'calon arang' which I recalled a bit, but couldn't remember all. round around and got lost before we finally found the place. it was in the middle of the street. I kept wondering what it feels to dance barefoot on hot-hot asphalt. it was a sacred dance as almost every dancer is being chanted by the priest before performs. you can tell whether a dancer played protagonist or antagonist by the mask and color of their costumes. white and decent or black with 20 cm long nails in each finger. the offerings for antagonist ones are equipped with living chick. they asked a living creature to be sacrificed.

and so the dance goes. the telek groups, the bad influences, the sacred lion-barong and the rangdas. I must say that that those rangdas are very special. evil-widow-witches... I believe that the word 'rangda' came from the same root with 'randa' or ‘rondo’, which means widow. moderate brown-haired rangda with red costume and white cloth contained black magic as weapon. devilish white haired rangdas with dirty creamy costume and again a cloth-contained black magic as weapon are even more stunning. they're spoken a language I couldn't tell with deep-sharp-high-pitched voice used only by witches in movies.

when the white-haired ones came out, something strange happened. some people got trance. is it because of the music? is it because of something else I couldn't think of? something very odd is floating in the air. if I weren't still alive to write, maybe I think that I was dreaming. that I was dreaming without sleeping. hallucinated in a delirium state.
it was so hard to find, logically, what was going on. they got trance, then holding sharp daggers and tried to stab those rangdas. they got trance and they turn into something else. one hundred percent focused without any slight traces of the man they used to. same horror-hysterical-hurt expression. like really want to burnout and cry...
I witnessed it twice as we also went to other similar performance in jimbaran. man-women-children and even old priest... got trance.
with an expression and state of mind I cannot find in google or any gadget-related explanation.

and with these Japanese, it was even worst. they, who came from a hi-tech country believed in those pagan worshipping even more than me. like a devotee, they fluently speaking of my land's culture. things I-myself, never known before. while we're surrounded by cars, hand phone, digital camera and lenses made by their technology. its just like moving back and forth from local to global, tradition to modern, real to surreal, past to future, over and over and over again...

I'm dizzying. and nausea whirling in my stomach...
it was just too much for one day…