Balinese people

OGOH-OGOH Parade – Bali’s “New Years Eve”

The famous OGOH-OGOH parade is where Balinese men and boys parade large, mythological (mostly demonic) creatures through the streets on the eve of Nyepi.  This is known as Bali’s ‘New Year’s Eve” and is accompanied by much noise and gamelan music.

Ogoh ogoh is a kind of statue / giant doll which is made of light materials eg. combinations of wood, bamboo, paper, and styrofoam, so it is easy to be lifted and paraded. They are usually made by groups of village artists.

As with many creative endeavours based on Balinese Hinduism, the creation of Ogoh-ogoh represents spirituality inspired by Hindu philosophy.

An Ogoh-ogoh generally stands on a pad built of timber planks/bamboos. The pad is designed to sustain the Ogoh-ogoh while it is being lifted and carried around the village or the town square. There are normally eight or more men carrying the Ogoh-ogoh on their shoulders.

During the procession, the Ogoh-ogoh is rotated counter-clockwise three times. This act is done at every T-junction and crossroad. (Rotating the effigies is intended to bewilder the evil spirits so that they go away and cease harming human beings).

Tourists and visitors are welcome to watch the parades, take pictures and witness this unique spectacle. Some of these ogoh-ogohs are actually burnt after the parade as a symbol of self purification. A unique spectacle!

images sourced

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Kuningan Day Holiday

Kuningan Day

Kuningan Day is 10 days after Galungan.  You may notice businesses closed as Balinese Hindus’ return to their home to celebrate with their families. They participate in ritual prayers where they celebrate the return of their spiritual ancestors to heaven and express gratitude to the Gods.

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Kuningan comes from the word “kuning” meaning yellow. The celebration of Kuningan is similar to Galungan, however yellow is used as an offering instead of white.

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The bamboo poles known as Penjors, previously erected at the entrance to businesses and houses is redecorated substituting the colours of white with yellow. This symbolises prosperity.

Bali June 2014 with Cindie 591

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Waisak Day – The Buddha’s Birthday…

Buddha in the pond of Semadhi in Pemuteran

Waisak Day is a holiday observed by Buddhists in Bali, it is also a national holiday in Indonesia. The exact date of Waisak varies according to the various types of calendars. In the Gregorian calendar, it usually falls in April or May. This year, Waisak will be on 15th May 2014, the theme is to carry the spirit of self-contemplation and living in harmony.

Waisak honours three important events: the birth, life and teaching of Siddhartha Gautama.  Early Buddhist scriptures describe that the Buddha was born enlightened and died on the full moon day of the fourth lunar month, Vesakha.

On Waisak day, Buddhists assemble in various Buddhist temples for a ritual. The ritual comprises of collecting water from a holy spring, lighting a torch from the eternal flame, food donation for Buddhist monks and meditation under the full moon.

pics: sourced.

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Legian to Fine Bali Visitors who Give Money to Street Beggars Rp. 2 million

Time Out for Hand Outs

Cooperation between three local community elements in Bali has resulted in a new regulation intended to once and for all eliminate beggars from the beach and streets of Legian.

In the future those who hand money to street beggars are liable to a fine of Rp. 2 million (US$174).

Quoted in DenPost, the chairman of the Legian People’s Association (LPM), I Gusti Oka Wardana, said on April 28, 2014: “Beggars will always operate if people continue to give them money. If no one donates money to them, automatically the receivers (beggars) will disappear.”

Oka Wardana said it will take several months to socialize and make the new rule effective. Local community leaders will coordinate the publication of the new rules to accommodation providers in Legian who will, in turn, inform their guests.

Wardana is confident the new program will eliminate beggars in Legian.

 

News attributed to http://www.balidiscovery.com

Photo:  Jakarta Post

 

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Capturing precious memories in PAINT…

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With the assistance of our average phone cameras these days, we’re easily able to capture special photos of loved ones including family, friends and pets – and holiday snaps too!

Have you ever considered having these photos transformed into paintings?  A favourite photo or memory captured forever in paint.

There are a number of artists on the island of Bali who do these. My all time favourite however, is Julio at Julio’s Art Gallery in downtown Legian.

He has artfully captured the essence of my children on canvas, from photo’s and I adore his ability.  I really do recommend Julio highly!

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Just take a photo for him to paint and depending on workload, a painting will be ready in about 3-4 days.  They’re a  fabulous keepsake for your family and something that can be passed on for future generations.  I have seen family pets, loved ones who’ve passed, wedding moments and special family portraits there all captured by Julio in paint.

Examples of some of his in-shop art work below of well know celebs for sale…

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JULIO Art Gallery (All Painting Specialist)

Address:  Jl. Legian Kaja No. 466

Kuta 80361

Phone:  (0361) 752 567

Email:  julio_arts@yahoo.com

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NOTE: Comments and recommendations are based on my own personal opinions or experience, or those of close friends.

 

Do you speak the lingo?…

Have you mastered the art of speaking Bahasa?
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Bahasa Indonesia is considered the official language of Bali.  It’s interesting to note however that Indonesia consists of more than 17,000 islands with over 300 native languages and over 740 spoken languages.
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English is so widely spoken in the tourist parts of Bali that in my opinion, the only words you really need to get you through your whole next holiday to Bali are:
  • Terima kasih – Thank-you (pronounced Treema kasi)
  • Tidak – No
  • (So, Tidak terima kasih is used often)
  • Sama sama is a response to Thank-you.  It means you are welcome.
  • Permisi – Excuse me
  • Jalan Jalan – Walking (This is handy to use if being hounded by Transport people on the streets)
A few other basic conversational skills are:
  • Apa kabar? – How are you?
  • Baik – Fine/good
  • Baik, terima kasih – Fine, thank you.
  • Maaf – Sorry
  • Tidak/Ya – No/Yes
  • Nama saya – My name is…
  • Selamat Pagi – Good Morning
  • Selamat Siang – Good Midday
  • Selamat Sore – Good Afternoon
  • Selamat Malam – Good Night
  • Sampai Jumpa Lagi – See you later

If you spend a little time with the locals, just about all will be more than happy to give you impromptu lessons during normal conversations to help you advance your language learning.

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What is it about Bali…

My ♥Bali…

Bali is an island drenched in incredibly diverse things to see: each highlighting stunning natural spaces and stirring, artistic mediums.

I swoon at the stone sculptures, ceremonial dances, occasions and offerings, ornate wood carvings, fabrics, gardens, architecture, music and paintings.

The innate beauty of long sweeping coastlines, cliffs, terraced rice paddies, calm seas and picturesque volcanoes are all inspiring.

As if that wasn’t enough, the Balinese people are warm, polite, humble and welcoming.

What is it about Bali that calls your name?

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A Day of Silence: Nyepi

Nyepi is a traditional “Day of Silence.”  It marks the Balinese New Year in the Hindu calendar. This is the Hindu New Year and like the christian Easter, the date changes annually – though it usually falls during March and April. The fundamental nature of Nyepi is to rid the Island of evil spirits, and renew both the environment and your individual philosophy.

On the eve of Nyepi, spectacular ceremonies, parades of great bamboo monsters and fireworks occur.   It is a wonderful celebration!

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The following day is Nyepi and is a day of silence and seclusion.  It is a time for self-reflection.

From 6am until 6am the following day, the island simply stops.  Lights must be kept low; no-one works so businesses are closed; there is no entertainment; no travelling; and even lovemaking is not supposed to occur.  The belief is that by doing this, the Gods will be fooled into believing the island is uninhabited and no evil spirits exist. Everything can then start afresh.

Out of respect , non-Hindu residents also observe this day of silence

Tourists too are not exempt.  Major hotels generally permit their guests use of their various facilities with the understanding that guests will not venture outside the property.   Even the staff will have to sleep over at the hotel that evening.

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A quiet peace reigns over Bali where the usually busy streets are empty, all is quiet and there are few signs of activity – even in homes.

As a tourist, Nyepi can be a wonderfully cathartic, therapeutic experience whereby you are forced to slow down.

NOTE:  Since the date of Nyepi is not set until late in the year prior, flights and accommodation may already be booked for travellers.  The airport is closed for the full 24hr period of Nyepi however!  This may necessitate some changes to existing bookings.

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Balinese Offerings to the Gods…

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Daily offerings to God, also known as canang sari or blessings, are a fundamental part of every day life for the Balinese.  Canang Sari are usually made every morning.

Sukawati markets

The Hindu Balinese believe offerings appease the spirits and brings prosperity and good health to the family. It is a duty and an honour at the same time.

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The placing of offerings can be seen daily on beaches, footpaths, at temple steps and shrines.  It is a daily ritual of giving back what has been given to you by the Gods. It is believed to be a sharing based on gratitude for the privilege of existence.

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When Hindus devote their offerings and prayers, it is believed God’s universe is recharged and continues its existence unaffected. To not observe this responsibility is to bring disturbance upon the Balinese and their world.

Offerings are made on a daily basis crafted from the natural kaleidoscope of beauty found in Bali’s forests, farms and general vegetation.

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Why is this man named Ketut?

THE BALINESE NAME PROCESS MADE EASY

Did you know there are only 4 first names on Bali.

1: Wayan (pronounced “Why-Ann”)
2: Made (pronounced “mah-DAY”)
3: Nyoman
4: Ketut

Every Balinese child is simply named by his or her order of birth. If a family has more than 4 children, they start from the top of the list again, regardless of sex.  If nothing else, it makes naming ones children easy.  Lol.

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There are variations on this theme however.  The first born child could alternately be name Putu (though that name is traditionally reserved only for upper cast families).

The second child could be named Kadek instead of Made.

The third child could be Komang, or even NgNga (a very rural name) instead of Nyoman.

The fourth child however (and multiples of 4th) is destined to be Ketut, and only Ketut.

Just to make things interesting, a first born could also be called Gede.  A first born girl could be Iluh (pronounced El loo).

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What would your name have been if you had been born in Bali?
My name would be Made!

 

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