Ubud and the Aussies

The Australian's Jakarta correspondent Sian Powell takes the opportunity of the worlds focus on Ubud during last weekend to look into the strong relation between Ubud's royal family and Australians:
THE doll-like child wearing an elaborate gold headdress and a magenta and pink tunic swayed as her litter-bearers pressed forward, carrying her palanquin to the cremation ground. The thousands-strong crowd roared as she passed on the way to her step-grandmother's royal funerary rites in Ubud, Bali. Tjokorde Maya, or Princess Maya, may seem like a tiny goddess, but in reality the halfAustralian child in the palanquin is a Sydney schoolgirl.
bullThe great-granddaughter of the dead Balinese princess is carried to collect holy water for the cremation. Picture: REUTERS
There is a strong Australian connection to the royal family of Ubud. Another half-Australian Balinese princess, Tjokorde Istri Sari Sudharsana is related to both the royals whose deaths were central to Saturday's cremation. The ceremony primarily honoured the death of Tjokorde Istri Muter, the last child of Tjokorda Gde Sukawati, the man referred to as the last real king of Ubud.