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Royal Cremation in Ubud on July 15th

300,000 Residents and Visitors Expected at Cremation of Ubud Royalty.

(7/13/2008) Local press reports estimate 300,000 local residents and tourists will flock to Ubud over the coming days leading up to the grand cremation of 3 members of the Puri Ubud royal household on Tuesday, July 15, 2008. In all, more than 68 traditional villages will play a formal role in the multi-day celebration.

The Puri Ubud ceremony will bid farewell to Tjokorda Gde Agung Suyasa the head of the royal household and leader of Ubud's traditional community since 1976; Tjokorda Gede Raka a retired Denpasar police officer; and Gung Niang Raka. Tjokorda Agung Suyasa was born on July 14, 1941, the third child of Tjokorda Gde Ngurah and Tjokorda Istri Muter. The oldest son of 10 children from Ubudís last Raja, Suyasa died on March 28, 2008. Tjokorda Gde Raka died one week prior to Suyasa, while Desak Raka died on December 23, 2007. The current ceremony is the "final" and grand cremation for the three deceased.

A spokesperson for the Puri Ubud. Tjokorda Raka Kerthyasa, told the press that the current ceremony is biggest event of its kind since 1979. Royal households in Bali represent the focus of Bali's religous and cultural life, the Ubud cremation will involve the active participation of more than 68 villages. In addition to the three members of the royal household, 68 corpses from four Banjars will also be added to the funeral pyre.

Explaining the role of cremations in Bali, Kerthyasa told the press: "A cremation is not program of mourning but an organized program of entertainment for the souls of the dead to ensure they are not distracted by the tears of those left behind. On another level, a cremation is a shared enterprise of in which the deceased's family and the local community each play a role in order to share the burden and expense of the event.

The highlight of the event will take place on Tuesday, July 15th when all the human remains will be gathered on a purpose-built bade or portable platform standing 28.5 meters high and borne on the shoulders of the men of Ubud over a distance of 2 kilometers. The funereal procession will travel from the Puri Ubud complex to the Pura Dalem Puri Peliatan.