File puptcrit/puptcrit.0604, message 95

Date: Sun, 9 Apr 2006 07:29:42 -0500
Subject: [Puptcrit] Fwd: Balinese children rule 'ogoh-ogoh' parade

This is my favorite Balinese holiday. The Ogah-ogah often have moving 
parts. The event is Bread and Puppets, Halloween, and the Macy's Parade 
all rolled into one.

Begin forwarded message:

> From:
> Date: April 6, 2006 5:31:50 AM CDT
> To: undisclosed-recipients: ;
> Subject: Balinese children rule 'ogoh-ogoh' parade
> excerpt: "There are over 800 Ogoh-ogoh jammed in the streets of 
> Denpasar
> tonight and a large majority of them were created by the city's little 
> children"
> The Jakarta Post
> April 6, 2006
> Balinese children rule 'ogoh-ogoh' parade
> I Wayan Juniartha, The Jakarta Post, Denpasar, Bali
> The parade was still two hours away but twelve-year-old Yudi hurriedly 
> left
> his family's compound in western Denpasar. His younger brother, Ari, 
> 10,
> trailed him, his short paces making it hard to keep up. Similar looks 
> of enthusiasm
> and anticipation brightened their faces as they approached a narrow 
> alley
> several dozen meters north of their house.
> "What can I say, the only thing that occupies their minds these days 
> is their
> Ogoh-ogoh (papier-mache doll). They have spent most of their time with 
> their
> friends constructing the most menacing Ogoh-ogoh they could conceive," 
> their
> mother said.
> "They can't wait to take that Ogoh-ogoh into the parade. Those boys, 
> they
> even forgot to have their meals," she sighed.
> In front of the alley, a group of several young boys were busy giving 
> the
> final touches to their Ogoh-ogoh -- a flaming red Rangda, the 
> terrifying
> witch-queen of the local mythology. Soon, Yudi and Ari joined the 
> group in tying
> several bamboo poles into a grid that would be used to transport the 
> Ogoh-ogoh on
> their shoulders.
> "Our Ogoh-ogoh might be smaller than the other ones out there but it is
> surely no less terrifying," a boy said.
> Ever since the mid-80s, Ogoh-ogoh has became a regular feature of the
> Ngerupuk parade, which is held the night before the Balinese Hindu 
> holy day Nyepi
> (the Day of Silence). The noisy parade is a sort of island-wide 
> exorcism aimed at
> scaring away the demons and regaining the universe's natural state of 
> harmony.
> The terrifying forms of Ogoh-ogoh are actual manifestations of the 
> demons as
> well as the tools used to frighten them away.
> Previously, the making and parading of Ogoh-ogoh was the exclusive 
> affair of
> the Sekeha Teruna (the youth organization) of the Banjar (the 
> traditional
> neighborhood association). This year, however, the parade was 
> dominated by the
> children.
> A few weeks before Nyepi, the island's children, in what might be 
> seriously
> considered as evidence of the existence of a collective consciousness, 
> started
> banding together in small groups of up to 20 boys and girls, and began
> constructing their own Ogoh-ogoh. "They did everything by themselves, 
> from designing
> to constructing. Only when they needed money did they come to us," a 
> proud
> father said.
> The Banjar's official Ogoh-ogoh might cost up to Rp 27 millions to 
> build,
> while the unofficial Ogoh-ogoh of the children's groups, which are 
> smaller in
> dimension and have less bells and whistles, cost somewhere between Rp 
> 200,000 and
> 500,000.
> "That is the construction's cost and it didn't include the cost of 
> snacks,
> drinks and costumes," Yudi's mother said with a smile on her face.
> When the parade hit the street on the night of March 29, it was quite 
> obvious
> that it belonged to these little boys and girls.
> Dressed in traditional costumes, Yudi and his gang proudly carried the 
> Rangda
> in a vivacious march through the city's business district, Gajah Mada. 
> When
> they reached the district's main intersection, they lifted the 
> Ogoh-ogoh high
> above their heads before running frantically in circle, spinning the 
> Rangda
> around, until the speed and momentum of the movement threw them down 
> onto the
> asphalt ground.
> They screamed and laughed together before standing up and taking the
> Ogoh-ogoh into the next leg of its journey.
> "There are over 800 Ogoh-ogoh jammed in the streets of Denpasar 
> tonight and a
> large majority of them were created by the city's little children," 
> Pecalang
> (traditional guardsman) Made Bawa said.
> Their innocent faces and fresh enthusiasm won them loud applause from
> thousands of Denpasar's residents who had flocked into the city's main 
> streets. "The
> enthusiasm of these children has convinced us that this colorful and 
> vibrant
> tradition will survive the challenges of the modern time," a spectator 
> said.
> ------------------------------------------
> Joyo Indonesia News Service
> ------------------------------------------
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