Garebeg preparation

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Abdi dalem (royal court servants) of Keraton Yogyakarta palace preparing to make gunungan offering for Garebeg Sawwal ceremony to be held on the Eid ul-Fitr, marking the end of the fasting month Ramadan. Shot on assignment for a U.S. magazine, Yogyakarta, 26 July 2014. Photo: Budi N.D. Dharmawan

Doni Maulistya’s father

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The funeral procession of Edhie Wibowo, Doni Maulistya’s father, at Padepokan Seni Bagong Kussudiardja, Bantul, Yogyakarta, 3 July 2014. Photo: Budi N.D. Dharmawan

I first knew Doni Maulistya, or Aul, around the time of his mother’s passing in 2005. I didn’t know much about his mother at that time. Only later I found out that she was a dancer and daughter of a great dancer Bagong Kussudiardja—she is his oldest child. My friendship with Aul later showed me how close he was with his mother—he is her youngest child.

Yesterday, nine years later, his father rejoined his mother. He had been treated in the I.C.U. for the last five days for his sickness. Aul and his two sisters posted prayers and hopes on social media with wording like “praying for the best”. But still it shocked us when the news broke. There is a saying, each of us will eventually die, but none of us is ready to die or to easily accept the death of our loved ones.

Aul, Andit, and Diar (L–R) praying at their father's grave. Yogyakarta, 3 July 2014. Photo: Budi N.D. Dharmawan

Aul, Andit, and Diar (L–R) praying at their father’s grave. Yogyakarta, 3 July 2014. Photo: Budi N.D. Dharmawan

Aul’s father (and mother, if she was still alive) is as old as my parents—well my parents are slightly older—which made me think a lot about them while attending the funeral. Both Aul’s parents died of sickness while my own parents are not in great shape (hope they are well).

To my friend Doni Maulistya and sisters Paranditya Wintarni and Indiartari Kussnowari, please accept my heartfelt condolences on the loss of your father. May he rest in peace and may the sorrow you feel in your heart lighten by the love that surrounds you.

P.S.: My mother’s mother died April 2005, two months after Aul’s mother passed away in February 2005, and my father’s mother passed away this February, five months before Aul’s father died yesterday. Coinsidence?

Illusion

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Sun flower planted by Dionisius Sony at Kelas Pagi Yogyakarta gallery façade blooms today, as photographer Ng Swan Ti’s work “Illusion” is showcased inside the gallery. Yogyakarta, 23 June 2014. Photo: Budi N.D. Dharmawan