The Melaspas Ceremony
Everyone who has ever been to Bali knows that here religion is still a serious issue. The proverbial tolerance of the Balinese toward other religions is quite contrary to their dealings with their own religious rites. Some examples: You can drive with a car only once it has been consecrated by a ceremony. The same applies to motorcycles and bicycles and, if they exist here, probably also to trycicles. A house is not a house, if it does not have at least one temple, which is provided several times a day with offerings. Each building, from the simple barn to the stately palace, must be consecrated with a special initiation ceremony, the so-called Melaspas Ceremony, to expel various demons. Our new home should soon become familiar with local customs. Everything began with the need for a temple. It took a while, however, for this information to arrive, because, as I said, the tolerance of the Balinese is famous. From the statements of our employee Komang, which contained nothing so crude and undiplomatic as real information, we were able to conclude, on the basis of the frequency with which this subject was addressed, that the existence of a temple on our property is important to the locals. Actually not just one temple, but two. And such a temple must, of course, be consecrated by a priest. And the priest could also consecrate our houses, so carry out the Melaspas ceremony already mentioned. But, of course, that is entirely up to us. Only if we want that. Anyone can decide for themselves. Everyone should do as he liked.
Of course, we wanted to do it right and agreed with temple and ceremony and anything else which might be necessary.
It turned out that the following was necessary: 3 huge roasted suckling pigs, 3 ducks, dozens of kilos of fruit and vegetables, several baskets of flowers in various colors, some gold, chalk, various colored threads, liters of holy water, a respectable holy priest with chains, earrings and a crown, 20 ceremonial auxiliaries, a loudspeaker system with microphone, 3 huge holes in our garden, a 40-piece gamelan orchestra, representatives of all professional groups involved in the construction of our cottages including architect and garden designer, 2 furiously colorful tents, dozens of square meters of decorative sheets, catering for all participants and 5 hours of time and patience. It was a complete success. We now have a guaranteed demonless home and happy employees. Latest update from Komang: The ceremony has to be repeated every year. But, of course, that is entirely up to us.