Hindu Temple Ceremony

by Andrew Stein

Street traffic is heavier than usual and people are cleanly dressed in their sarongs all heading in the same direction. I ask the obvious question and learn there is a Hindu ceremony taking place at a nearby temple. I ask the next obvious question and they said it was worth a try. I follow the masses towards the temple and when I get there, I am greeted more than warmly as I am wrapped in a sarong, given something to wear on my head, and allowed to enter the temple. After asking another obvious question, I am excited to learn that I can photograph anything and everything.

I meander around the temple often with several eyes following me as I am one of two foreigners among hundreds of Balinese. When my eyes meet theirs, I smile, they smile back, I nod, and they nod. Although this seems like an almost impossible scenario in which to feel comfortable, that is exactly what I feel. I had the opportunity to observe this authentic ritual that included people of all ages, all levels of faith, and all classes. The smells were of incense, the atmosphere comfortable because of both the friendliness of the people and the slight drizzle that dropped the humidity, and the importance of the event obvious from the numbers of people who attended.

The pictures tell a story better than I can describe in words.

hindu prayer

hindu ceremony music

baskets at hindu ceremony