Saturday, May 17, 2014


Do you tell a child that there are parts of his or her body which are indecent, obscene and unacceptable and he or she must learn to feel shame with regard to them?  Chances are you do although you might not do so in so many words. Throughout our lives, we enforce the belief that there are parts of our bodies which are so obscene and indecent that they cannot be exposed and seen by others.

It is this societal reinforcement since early childhood that there are parts of our bodies which we should be ashamed of that has led to a great deal of needless anxiety and fear and this has been seized by criminals to trap and blackmail adolescents that we see on the news recently. See this BBC report.

But why do we come up with this ridiculous notion that there are parts of our bodies which are obscene in the first place. There can be only one reason - our obsession with sex. People who are dead opposed to any form of nudity are usually sex-crazed and they associate the human body with sex. They probably accept a worldview that looks upon sex generally as wrong and embarrassing.

Religions such as mine have very strong words against any form of sexual conduct that does not conform to its strict rules of permitted sexuality - sex within a monogamous marriage. But this is important - Christianity has absolutely no prohibition on nudity and while St Paul may rail against sexual misconduct, the church in his day conducted Holy Baptism in the nude. I will talk more about this later. The fact is St Paul and the early Christians did not equate nudity with sex. In other words, although St Paul had a lot to say about sex, he was not one with a singular obsession with sex and he was quite unlike many we see in the church today.

For a long time, humankind had no problem with nudity. In ancient Greece and Rome, nudity was not considered such a huge embarrassment. Greek gods are represented in their naked glory and athletes who competed at the foot of Mount Olympus (the origin of our Olympics) were all without exception stark naked. The early church did not view nudity as inappropriate. The early church fathers tell us that the Sacrament of Holy Baptism was conducted entirely in the nude. It was only after a Christian had been baptised that he or she was clothed in new clothes to symbolise a new life in Christ. Today, it’s unthinkable to have anyone naked at baptism. It would most certainly be looked upon as sacrilegious.

Below are pieces of early Christian art depicting nudity during the Sacrament of Holy Baptism.

What caused this change?

The monastic tradition made us look upon the naked body as sinful and evil and ought to be subjugated. In the early church, there were heretics who held precisely that belief. They claimed that Jesus was totally spiritual and divine and only appeared to be in the flesh. They denied the Incarnation of Christ.  They held the view that the human flesh was sinful and evil and Jesus could not have taken on bodily flesh since he was perfect. These heretics, also called Docetists, were condemned by the New Testament writers. St John’s Gospel which clearly spelt out that Christ came in the flesh was meant to put down this belief of Docetism. Docetists looked upon the human body as not just corruptible but totally corrupt and should be repressed and covered and to expose the naked body was to encourage people to commit sinful debauchery.

The monastic tradition of the church somehow harked back to this Docetist view of the body but without altering the Christology. As long as the doctrine of the nature and person of Jesus Christ was not affected, the Church was happy to accept any view that puritanically relegated the human body to the depths of depravity while at all times preserving the doctrine of Christ’s humanity and Incarnation and St John’s teaching that Christ came in the flesh remained intact. So the human flesh was thought of as evil and the naked body as filthy and unacceptable. Monks would carry out the practice of self-flagellation as a means of subjugating the sinful body and there are accounts of monks who whipped themselves to death.

The Dark Ages are over and we no longer whip ourselves but we continue to carry the shame and guilt that we attach to our bodies as evil and sinful. That explains the shame that we feel and there are many of us who would rather give an arm and a leg than have our nude photos posted online by a blackmailer. How warped we are that we view a perfectly fine organ of the body that is necessary for the propagation and continuation of the human species with so much shame, guilt and distaste.

As I have shown, religion does not criminalise nudity. It's our perverted and warped thinking which is motivated and charged purely by our unhealthy obsession with sex that makes us view nudity with so much shame and loathing.  The more negatively you react against nudity, the greater your obsession is with sex.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Oh God!

Our perception of God is sure to have undergone some transformation since the time we were toddlers. A toddler's understanding of God cannot be the same as that of an adult. But on a broader plane, humanity's perception of God also differs from culture to culture and from time to time even within the same religious culture. As always, I will only zoom in on my own religion which I'm familiar with.

Almighty God, in the Christian sense, has not meant the same thing throughout the ages. He started out as a more physical or carnal version of the divine. He made many physical appearances . He was weaker and less knowledgeable. He had a face that could be seen but nobody dared to view his face and they were content to look only at his back. He didn't know why Adam and Eve hid themselves away and had to ask them. Of course apologists scramble to explain that He knew all along but just asked anyway, possibly to get them to confess. He also wrestled with Jacob all night.  A subsequent generation re-wrote the passage and referred to God in this wrestling match as "the angel of the Lord". But as always, when scribes re-write the Bible, they are averse to changing everything probably out of reverence for the text they consider sacred and so the passage looks odd with the angel of the Lord also being referred to as God himself. Elsewhere, we read of the angel of the Lord receiving worship, which in the Judeo-Christian tradition is reserved purely for God.  The Church tries to explain away this anomaly by postulating that the angel of the Lord is the pre-incarnate Christ.

That leads to a problem more thorny than the original one that we have. We are precisely a month away from Trinity Sunday (which falls on 15 June this year), a day that meant a lot to me many years ago when I was an altar boy. Trinity Sunday is an important day in church. It's one of the Principal Feasts and I liked the day mainly because we would recite the Athanasian Creed which I found quite hilarious. That's a creed which we don't always say because it's so long and convoluted and if anyone is going to trip over his creed, it's got to be this creed. I thought of it as an amusing creed and the name ascribed to it in our prayer book, "Quicunque vult" made it, at least to me, the clown of all creeds.  But the creed underlines the basis of our faith, or so my vicar (who subsequently became an Archdeacon) told me. It separates the world into believers who say the creed and heretics who don't.  The Creed and Trinity Sunday were devised to dispel the Arian Heresy.

Briefly, all Christians, whether they are Roman Catholics, Protestants or Orthodox, believe in God as the Holy Trinity. The Arian Heresy is the heresy that declares God the Father to be above the other two, namely, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. But the dispute only came about in the 4th century. There were notable scholars and theologians in the 3rd century who had a belief that although predates the Arian belief is similar to it but I'll talk about them later.

Every Christian is taught from the cradle that there is one God, one Lord but three Persons.

In the Athanasian Creed, we say that the Father is God, the Son is God and the Holy Spirit is God and yet there are not three Gods but one God. Why is that so? That's because the unity of God is central to the Old Testament and the whole of the Old Testament also forms a part of the Holy Bible which we Christians revere as the Word of God.

In the Athanasian Creed, we recite that the Father is Lord, the Son is Lord and the Holy Spirit is Lord and yet there are not three Lords but one Lord. Now, why do we say that? Again, because in the Old Testament, God commands the people to recite the shema twice a day: "Hear O Israel! The Lord thy God is one Lord".  So we can't have three Lords but only one Lord.

Any Jew today will tell you that to call Jesus Lord and the Father Lord and the Holy Spirit Lord would be to contravene the clear wording of the shema. What the Church has done is to play around with words. We insist that all three are Lord but there is only one Lord and yet the three are distinct.

What the Church does is to introduce a new term into the idea of God.  And that term is "Person". As the Creed provides, there are three Persons in the Holy Trinity. We don't say three Gods because that would fly against the very pillar of monotheism which Christianity claims to be and we don't say three Lords because that would contravene the precise wording of the shema. But we say three Persons because the word "Person" is a new introduction into the religion.

But just think about it for a moment. How would the writers of the Old Testament prevent our Christian introduction of the Holy Trinity into the concept of God? What they have devised is as clear as it can be. "Hear O Israel! The Lord thy God is one Lord". How were they to know that we would introduce "Person" into the Godhead? Even if they had said "The Lord thy God is one Lord and one Person", I assure you the Church would have said the Father is a Person, Jesus is a Person and the Holy Spirit is a Person and yet there are not three Persons but one Person. And then we will introduce another term, perhaps "Entity" and say God is in three Entities. It's one God, one Lord, one Person but three Entities. That's how creative the Church is.


This has not always been so for the Christian Church. In the third century, the great Christian scholar and theologian, Origen, who was a prolific writer of theological books declared that Jesus was the firstborn of all creation, ie Jesus was the first creation of God. But he didn't get into trouble because the Church had not yet come up with its clear teaching of the Holy Trinity. In other words, the properties and nature of God had not yet been fully determined by the Church. Besides, he was merely repeating the words of St Paul which appear in our Holy Bible that Jesus is "the firstborn of all creation". Of course at that time, the Church had not reinterpreted that verse to declare that the firstborn of all creation is not a creation. This may sound strange to non-Christians who are not used to the concept of reinterpretation by the Church. Whenever we encounter a problem verse in the Bible that doesn't square with the doctrines the church has come up with, what the church does is to reinterpret the verse to mean something the language itself does not mean. We do the same thing with verses that are obviously wrong. Eg when Jesus declared in at least five different places in the Holy Gospels that he would return to earth in the lifetime of his first apostles and obviously he didn't, the church decides that Jesus didn't mean that when he said that.

So, no Christian will have a problem with saying that although Jesus, according to the Holy Bible, is proclaimed to be the firstborn of all creation, he was never a part of creation. We follow the reinterpretation of the church and to hell with the clear wording of the Bible.

But how was poor Origen to know that in less than a hundred years after his death, the Church would redefine the properties of God so that Jesus became co-eternal with the Father? All Origen's books were declared anathema by the church and poor Origen became a heretic posthumously. What a rotten thing to do to a person who cut off his own genitals just so that he didn't sin against God with his lust. Again, this is what Jesus says in the St Matthew that if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it into the fire. Poor Origen made the horrible mistake of following the Bible too closely.

In St John's Gospel, Jesus says, "If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I". Arian heretics have all depended on this verse to justify their belief that Jesus is not equal to the Father. But if you don't go along with the Church's redefinition of God, you're a heretic, never mind the biblical verses you can call upon to justify your stand.

So the way I see it as we progress towards the holy Principal Feast of Trinity Sunday, God has undergone various redefinitions over the centuries. He started out as the God of a nomadic tribe and he was more earthy and physical; he appeared in person and although nobody dared to look at his face, they all saw his back. So God had a back like any creature that can be gazed upon. He even wrestled with Jacob for the whole duration of the night. Of course Christian theologians have given a thousand different meanings to that episode and have romanticised it and infused the wrestling God with the Person of the Pre-incarnate Christ but that's a later reinterpretation. As the Israelites settled down, God took on a more spiritual nature and became less earthy but at the same time, he became more powerful and omniscient. And his unity or one-ness is emphasised. God is One. Jesus started out as someone subject to God. But by the time the Gospel of St John was written (that's the last of the canonical Gospel to be written), Jesus had assumed divine stature but God the Father was still greater than he (John 14:28). By the late 4th century and certainly by the First Council of Constantinople, the co-equality of Jesus with the Father became indisputable and if you don't say "Credo" to that, you're a heretic and all your books anathematised.

What do I see for the future of God in this age of easy access to information and beyond this age? Will God further evolve into anything else? God has transformed from being physical to spiritual. Will God undergo a further transformation so that he becomes metaphorical? I see that as a very likely possibility but the church moves slowly and woe betide anyone who goes ahead of the church. He'll be branded a heretic.


I was once eating lunch alone in a warong in Ubud listening to the soothing strains of the gamelan quartet and thinking to myself how tender the bibik in my mouth was when the gamelan players took a break from their instruments and one of them asked the rest if they were going to "the ceremony" the next day. It immediately caught my attention because I had made no plans for the following day and any Balinese ceremony should be interesting to me. I smiled at them and showed some interest in the conversation. One of them asked me if I understood Bahasa Indonesia. That was the opportunity I was waiting for and I told them I was fluent in the language. I then casually asked them what "ceremony" there'd be the next day. A cremation ceremony, one of them told me. Telling a tourist in Bali that there's a cremation ceremony is like telling gold diggers during the Gold Rush that you'd found gold up the river. There's sure to be a scramble for it. I asked where it would be held and what time. The information I got was not as precise as I would have liked. I was only given the name of the village. But what's the address? I won't miss it, they assured me, if I went to the village. But what time is the ceremony? Just go in the morning, I was told, which wasn't much of a help.

The next morning, I got a cab to take me to the village. I asked the cab driver if he knew about the cremation. He didn't. He dropped me off at the village and I walked round looking for a house that stood out from the rest.  I was getting a little worried if I was in the right place. After all, I had only heard of the cremation from the gamelan players and they weren't very precise with the details. Perhaps they were mistaken.

But I walked down a few roads looking at the rows of houses and trying hard to pick up something that might indicate that it was a house of mourning.

I didn't have to go very far before I saw this - the golden calf - and I knew I just had to stick around.

I could identify the house which had a flurry of activity. There were very loud and garish decorations in the house which were filled with people walking in and out. I looked around me and I spotted an elderly Caucasian couple. They were Americans and the husband was a Christian missionary in Bali and they had lived in Bali for three of four years. They had come to witness the cremation. I asked them if they would like to accompany me into the house just to get to know the family. I felt it wasn't right to just gatecrash a funeral. Surely the least we should do was to convey our condolences to the family? The elderly woman said they didn't speak a word of Indonesian and they would just stand around and wait. So I proceeded into the house.

I spoke to somebody who looked like he was directly related to the deceased and I asked him in Bahasa Indonesia if I could convey my condolences to the family. He took me into the house and I was introduced to the wife of the deceased and the rest of the family. What puzzled me was everyone was in good spirits and there was no mourning at all. They were all smiling and joking. I was told that the deceased died many months ago and they had kept the body for this cremation day. A funeral was a happy occasion, they told me.

It's not easy for me to go to a house of mourning because I can't remain mournful for long. But a Balinese funeral is not in any way mournful. Soon, I was joking along with the family. They told me that the procession was about to start. They would be taking the body to the cremation ground. Everyone was leaving the house carrying food offerings for the dead.  I asked the family if it was all right for me to take photographs. They told me I was more than welcome to take as many photos as I wanted. That was the green light I was waiting for. I couldn't just take photos of a funeral without the express permission of the deceased's family.

I left the house together with everyone else. The American couple were nowhere to be seen. Perhaps they felt uneasy and had gone off. That meant I was the only outsider in the entire village. But I felt quite at home with the people. And I really put my camera to work.

This decorative structure forms a part of the funeral procession.

There are lot of people at the funeral and they all seemed to have their own roles to play.

A priest blessing some of the attending ladies.

The house of the deceased's family.

There are dozens of ladies carrying on their heads food offerings for the dead

The person who is dressed in this horrid looking mask and attire is the grown-up son of the deceased. He is walking on stilts. It's probably a part of the funeral ritual.

More food offerings

The coffin is being moved from the house to the hearse.

Another son of the deceased dresses up as this monster, probably some character in a story from the Ramayana.

The village musicians.

This is the unsheathed machete I was talking about in my earlier posts. It's the sort of photograph I fancy National Geographic might take an interest in.

The funeral procession.

We arrive at the cremation ground.

The village gossips, I mean, minstrels.

The musicians make themselves comfortable on the grass

The deceased receiving a final blessing from the priest

The grandchildren are taken to see their grandpa for one last time. Interestingly, nobody sheds a tear, not even the children. We have a lot to learn from them. For many of us who claim we believe in life after death, we certainly don't behave that way at funerals.

Village musicians and singers taking a rest

The funeral pyre is lit

The body is still on top of the golden calf

The body has collapsed to the lower level - under the calf.

The skull takes a very long time to burn

The 4th and final part of this series will be written when I'm next in Bali, the Island of the Gods.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014



There is a village in Bali called Trunyan which according to the Lonely Planet guide many years ago is inhabited by a tribe of original Balinese people called the Bali Aga. These people are known to be generally hostile to foreigners and strangers and unlike the traditional Balinese who cremate the bodies of their dead, the Bali Aga do not. You probably think that if they don't cremate the dead, they must of course bury their dearly departed. No, they don't do that. They just leave the corpses to rot.

I drove my rented four-wheel drive through rough terrain until I came to the part of the road where a small off-beaten path departed from the main road and seemed to go over the cliff to the lake below.

I looked carefully and I saw that the path went down a steep incline and I wasn't sure I dared to drive my car down such a slope. There were no barriers on the side of the sandy path and a mere slip to one side would spell disaster. But the lure of the village of Trunyan was too great and I emboldened myself and took the plunge, literally.

It wasn't so bad as I had expected. The path was very long but soon I was down on level ground. The road from which I had come was way up in the distance above me and I was now on the bank of Lake Batur.

The imposing volcano Gunung Batur stands over the lake.

The only way to get to the island of Trunyan is by boat.

Approaching the village of Trunyan.

There were groups of villagers staring at me as I entered the village. I was careful not to take their photos because at that time, they were still not familiar with the sight of tourists and I was the only outsider there. The boatman was a little nervous and he kept telling me not to take photos of the people. But I had to at least take some photos.

Below are pics of the village temple. Not the spruced up tourist-friendly temple but one that services the village well.

The boatman said his prayers in front of this altar before ushering me to his boat for it was time for us to go to Kuburan, again, accessible only by boat.

Kuburan is the burial ground for the dead. No, there is no burial. It's more like a dumping ground, for want of a better term.  Upon arrival at the bank of Kuburan, the visitor is greeted by a row of skulls.

All the dead bodies are placed on the ground and covered with 9 different kinds of flowers to take away the smell of the rotting flesh. All I could smell on Kuburan was the strong fragrance of flowers. But the smell was not that of any flower I'm familiar with. I think it's an odd mixture of the smell of rotting flesh and flowers but it's not so bad as to put off a visitor. You wouldn't know there were dead bodies around you just by the smell.

Around each body, a small "tent" of bamboo sticks is erected.

Here's a close up of one of the tents. You can see the body within and a hand that seems to have come out in between the bamboo poles.

Before leaving Kuburan, I felt I had to take a final shot as a personal souvenir. I checked with the boatman who didn't think it was disrespectful so I proceeded with this pose.

I had thought of squeezing two different funeral styles that I have witnessed in Bali into one page but I can see that this post is already extremely long. I will break it up so this 3-part series on Bali will become a 4-part series. In Part 3, I will post a story about a totally different funeral ritual that I attended in Bali. Part 4 will be a story which I will post when I am in Bali which will be not long from now. I promise you Part 4 will be something quite different from what the average tourist has experienced.  Yes, very different indeed. In fact, it may be so outrageously unconventional that I might be compelled to password-protect Part 4 or segments of it.

Sunday, May 11, 2014


Bali evokes all the magic and mystery of the mystical East but this is only true to those who live in the West. For most of us who live in the Asia-Pacific region, Bali is such a common holiday destination that we get the usual surprised look when we tell someone we're going to Bali for a holiday. The usual question is, "Haven't you seen all of Bali?" Many of us think we have and Bali has nothing further to offer us. As my mum puts it, she can recognise every grain of sand in Bali. 

What I hope to show in this 3-part series on Bali is that Bali has a lot more to offer even to the most seasoned Bali visitor. The first part deals with Bali as any tourist knows it to be. The second part shows the darker side of Bali and if you are disturbed by graphic photos of dead bodies and a particularly disturbing photograph of a throng of villagers brandishing unsheathed machetes coming towards me and my camera, please do not read Part 2.  Part 3 will be written on the spot - in Bali itself. I will be visiting a part of Bali I've not been to and I will document on site what I see and experience.

NOTE: All photos in this blog, unless otherwise specifically stated, are photos I've taken myself and they are fully owned by me.

There is a lot more to Bali than what the average tourist gets to see. The Kecak dance is probably the first cultural activity that a tourist goes to. Next is the Barong dance. After these two dances, you probably feel you've had enough of depictions of stories from the Ramayana but you shouldn't miss the Fire Dance which is really quite spectacular. Before the Fire Dance begins, a young male devotee is blessed by a Hindu priest. By the way, all these dances have strict religious significance and they can only be performed after the participants are blessed by a Hindu priest. I once attended a Kecak dance which could not start on time and had to be delayed for half an hour because they couldn't get a Hindu priest to conduct the blessing. Let me go back to the Fire Dance. A large bonfire is built at the centre of a clearing and the boy then prances around on a toy horse (it's usually made of straw and metal) and he goes in circles and very soon he's in a trance-like state. He then begins to kick the bonfire and helpers erect barriers to stop the burning coal that is flung all about from hurting the spectators. The boy continues to dance and kick the bonfire until everything is extinguished.
 Fire dancer receiving a blessing from a priest
The boy is careful to avoid stepping on burning coals and in the right pic, you can see how difficult it is with burning coals strewn all over the clearing.

Below is a more experienced fire dancer. He kicked all the flaming coals with a great deal more energy and he played the part of an entranced spiritualist much better. At the end of the dance, I chatted with him in Bahasa Indonesia and I was surprised to see that he truly believed he was protected by the Dewi, a goddess. I was curious why it was a goddess and not a god which protected him but I didn't dare to ask for fear of causing offence. I didn't want him to throw some remaining embers still smouldering at me! But if you look at the photograph I took below, you can see that his feet looked burnt.

There is much more to Bali than the beaches. True, the beaches are beautiful but then, so are most beaches. You won't ever find gravel beaches like what you see in some parts of England. No, our beaches are always beaches of fine sand and it's always the same breeze, the same coconut trees and the same blue sea. Kuta beach used to be lovely but it became overused. You get to see the sun rise in Nusa Dua and Sanur and the sunset in Jimbaran and Seminyak. But then one might argue that you get to see the sunrise and the sunset on beaches outside Bali too and so what is there for Bali to offer?
Left: sunset at Jimbaran beach                  Right: sunset at cliff near Uluwatu.

Next we have the temples.  Naturally, on the Island of the Gods, one expects to see temples. The temples of Bali are unique but once you've seen them all, what else is there? Uluwatu is really a must-see but you've got to be careful with your glasses and other possessions. Here's where monkeys are trained to steal your glasses or camera and you will be compelled to pay someone (and he's probably the monkey's trainer) to retrieve your possessions for you for a fee. Tanah Lot is beautiful only because it's out there in the sea and is only accessible at low tide. But tourists aren't permitted in the temple so there really is no point waiting for low tide unless you want a photo of the temple at low tide. Other temples that aren't that commonly visited include Pura Gunung Kawi which is really quite impressive and Goa Gajah which is quaintly pretty.

Left: sunrise at Uluwatu                           Right: sunset at Uluwatu.

Left: Low tide at Tanah Lot                         Right: Gunung Goa.

I will not post photos of many other temples in Bali which aren't really all that special. Besakih is always mentioned as a must-see but I really don't recommend it unless you've been to Bali many times and you feel something is missing if you don't see it. Pura Gunung Kawi (photo below) is far more impressive even though my photo doesn't do justice to the splendour of the place.

Sometimes, the name of a temple sounds just like something that comes out of an Indiana Jones film and I set out one morning in Ubud for the Sacred Monkey Forest. I was eager to see the Temple of the Dead. But after trudging deep into the Sacred Monkey Forest which is actually more like a park with dense foliage, I saw this nondescript little building (see below left photo) and that was my Temple of the Dead. But true to its name, the Monkey Forest is at least full of monkeys (right photo below) but my Temple of the Dead didn't resemble by any stretch of the imagination the kind of temple Indiana Jones would steal the magical eye of Kali from. Not in the least.


And if you are wondering why I have a sarong wrapped over my trousers, many temples in Bali require visitors to be dressed in a sarong or a sash. It makes sense to buy a sarong and wear it for all your temple visits.

Now that I've dealt with the beaches,  the culture and the temples, what more is there? After all, I've stayed in hotels, villas and resorts in Kuta, Sanur, Nusa Dua, Ubud, Jimbaran and Seminyak and I have visited many other places which I've not stayed overnight in. So, really what more is there? Wait for Part 2 and you will see how much more there is to Bali that the average tourist can't possibly even dream of. Before I conclude, my "Bali Part 1" would not be complete if I did not talk about an event I attended in June 2005. It was a huge event organised by the Indonesian government and which was attended by State dignitaries. There were festivities and dancing on a large stretch of Kuta beach. Security was tight and the ceremony which was called "Kuta Karnival" was designed to show the world that Bali and specifically Kuta which was bombed by Muslim terrorists just three years before had  bounced back to life and Bali was once again the ideal tourist destination.

There was dancing everywhere.

Indonesian dignitaries releasing turtles into the sea as a mark of peace.

Sadly, 3 months after this event, Muslim terrorists launched a second Bali bombing simultaneously in Kuta and Jimbaran, killing more than 20 people and injuring more than a hundred.  For the past 9 years, Bali has been peaceful and let's hope it stays that way.

I will soon continue with Part 2 but like I've said, if you are easily troubled by vivid images of dead bodies and of villagers armed with machetes heading in my direction, please do not read or view the photos in Part 2.