Important Information: Merdeka, Resi Gana, and Saraswati THIS WEEK

Dear Green School Community,

Please read below some important information about some incredible days ahead.

Wednesday: Merdeka!  Indonesian Independence Day Celebrations (wear red and white).   Separate details for how each Learning Neighborhood will celebrate will be posted on the GS blogs.

Thursday: No School for Independence Day.  However at 8am we will have our traditional flag raising ceremony at School.  All are welcomed to attend.  Balinese attire recommended.

Friday: Resi Gana Ceremony (Important information below).  This is a  once in every 25 years ceremony that we are all privileged to witness and will re-connect our community with the energy and spirits who live on and care for this land.  Students in Middle and High School and adults on campus and HS are also expected to wear Balinese attire (though Kebaya can be replaced by a nice Tshirt).  Alternatively, very modest clothing that covers the legs with a shirt with sleeves is also acceptable.  EY and PS students do not have to worry about a dress code. SPECIAL NOTE: LUNCH WILL BE SERVED IN THE GYM THIS DAY as many elements of the ceremony take place in our temple next to the Heart of School.  NO ASSEMBLY ON THIS DAY.  PICK UP IN THE HEART of SCHOOL at 3.15pm as per normal.

Saturday: The second day (part) of the Resi Gana ceremony is on Saturday alongside our beloved Saraswati ceremony from 10am – 12pm.  Please arrive at 9.30am.  Balinese celebrate Saraswati day every 6 months.  This is a special day dedicated to Dewi Saraswati, the Goddess of knowledge.  She blesses humans with knowledge for prosperity, peace and human civilization improvement.  All families are invited to attend.  It is especially important for our new families to attend Saraswati, as it is Balinese practice for newcomers to present themselves, by attending, in order to “spiritually register” themselves.   This is a beautiful, cleansing, loving, bright ceremony held at our temple next to the Heart of School.  The only requirement is to attend in traditional Balinese attire.

Resi Gana (Friday, August 18, 2017)

This ceremony is a very special ceremony that brings harmony to a space by re-building and re-connecting our relationship with the spirits and energy with whom we share this space.  It helps us all tune into our place and creates a deep connection with the environment through all the spirits who live here and care for the land.  Resi Gana is one of the most important and deep cultural experiences the land on which this campus sits will ever experience.  It is a part of the ritual from the local community and the priests who are the custodians of the spiritual health of the land.  They have placed great significance on this ceremony.  It is not specifically a Green School ceremony but a regional one for the land, people, river, and spirits.

As always, we respect and follow the guidance of our Balinese staff, local priests and the traditions of this land as led by the King of Sibang in this situation.  His family has given us the strong support to have our students to witness this special day.

To ensure, we don’t create any interference with the ceremony process, the King’s representative as asked for students and staff only in the HOS and lower campus areas on this day.  If you are planning to be on campus that day, please note the dress code fo MS and HS above as that is important for all adults on campus.  We ask parents, as always, to stay in the community gathering space at the front of school.

The Resi Gana ceremony will take place between 10am – 2pm on Friday.  Significant thought has gone into how to engage the students in understanding of the ceremony throughout the day, while also completing our normal school-day routines.  Thus, school starts and ends as per normal on Friday.  See above for notes on dress code for Middle and High School students.  There are no special dress code changes for Early Years and Primary School students.   Please note, lunch will be in the gym this day.

This is a big and complex ceremony with many elements that we haven’t experienced here in the past.  Traditionally, animal sacrifice is a part of this particular ceremony.  These animals are very blessed and are moving to the human world.  While this practice may make many of us uncomfortable, we respect the deep and rich rituals and traditions of Balinese society.  This part of the ceremony will not occur on campus and it will not be visible to the students or to us.  Deep respect is being given to this part of the ceremony and to the animals involved.

We expect there not to be anything significantly different than ceremony than regular ceremonies.  We don’t expect to see or witness anything unusual about this ceremony but it is the energies that it is addressing that could be strong.

It is difficult for us to really understand the true meaning, importance and intensity of a ceremony like this.  If you feel that your child may be uncomfortable with that energy, please feel free to keep them at home for that day.  We would understand if you would prefer to keep them at home.  Please let your teacher know if you choose to keep your child at home on Friday.

Ibu Ika and myself are very happy to meet to discuss any concerns or explain the importance of the ceremony further.  Please feel free to contact us:  tirka.widanti@greenschool.org and leslie@greenschool.org.

Resi Gana is actually a two day ceremony with the second day being Saturday, the same as Saraswati.  The two ceremonies will be combined and thus Saraswati will seem quite the same as usual but the priest will be doing some special prayers to close off the Resi Gana ceremony on Saturday.  We all take something different from each ceremony, but it is an opportunity to come together as a community, be mindful, and pay respects to our host culture.

With deep respect,

Leslie Medema (Head of Learning)

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