Bali, let yourself be charmed by the island of the gods

in #travel4 years ago

This Indonesian island is considered a paradise on Earth. Its landscapes marry beaches, mountains, forests, rice fields and temples. What more? That's not all! Bali is also rich in its cultural and religious heritage. Being a predominantly Buddhist island, the inhabitants of Bali worship many gods, to whom they are used to make offerings. Get ready to fall in love with Bali!

Geographic location

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The island of the gods is located between the islands of Java and Lombok, Indonesia.

Climate

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Located south of the equator, Bali has two distinct seasons: a dry season from May to October and a wet season from November to April. The average temperature on the island is 30ºC.

Religion

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Although Indonesia is a country of Muslim culture in Bali, the vast majority of the population is Hindu.

Influences

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There are also some Buddhist influences. The people of Bali believe in a supreme spirit.

Gods

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In Bali, local people believe and worship many gods.

Offerings

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It is common for tourists who visit Bali, to cross the path of offerings, arranged in the streets of the island. "Canang sari" are made of flowers and banana leaves, and sometimes even include sweets, money and cigarettes.

"Sarong"

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To enter the temples, men and women must wear a "sarong", a traditional dress, as a sign of respect for the gods.

Beliefs

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Balinese believe in life after death, and believe that cremation frees the mind and starts a new life.

Cremation

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The cremation ceremony is called "Ngabem" which, as surprising as it may seem, is a joyous celebration accompanied by music and offerings.

Collective cremation

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Because of its cost, it happens that cremations are collective.

Reincarnation

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The Balinese are convinced that newborns are the reincarnation of their ancestors or other Balinese.

Housing

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Balinese houses are like family villages, where whole families live.

The areas of the house

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The rooms are divided into pavilions, such as the rooms, the family reunion room, the kitchen and the area where the rice is stored.

Mount Agung

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The family temple must always face the sacred mountain, the Agung volcano, because the Balinese believe that the gods live at its summit.

The names of the children

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Another Balinese tradition is that children receive their names according to their order of birth: Wayan, Putu, or Gede (the first), Made or Kadek (the second), Nyoman or Komang (the third), and Ketuk (the fourth).

Rice

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Rice is sacred in Bali. Planting, cultivating and harvesting this cereal is an integral part of local culture and religion.

Religious holidays

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The moment the rice is planted determines the dates of the religious festivities.

Meal

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So it's no surprise that rice is present in all meals, including breakfast.

Gastronomy

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Balinese cuisine is a blend of Malaysian, Indian and Chinese cuisine.

Sport

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The most popular sport in Bali is the rooster fight.

New Year

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The Balinese New Year is different from the one celebrated in the West. Bali celebrates the Lunar New Year, which is made up of 210 days.

Ogoh-Ogoh

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During the Ogoh-Ogoh parade, huge and frightening images crisscross the streets, in order to repel the demons. It's a Balinese New Year ritual.

Nyepi and silence

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"Nyepi", the day of silence, is also commemorated on the island. The Balinese do this to show the demons that the island is empty.

Language

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The official language of the island is Indonesian. However, Balinese is also used. The different castes speak different Balinese variants.

For tourists

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English is the language most used by tourists.

Visa

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A visa is required upon arrival at Bali Airport. Your passport must be valid for at least six months and you must have proof of your return flight.

What you must not do in Bali

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Do not enter a house or temple with your shoes. It would be considered bad manners and a lack of respect.

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Do not enter a temple without wearing a sarong, the traditional Balinese skirt.

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Do not touch the head of a Balinese. This is the holiest part of the body, and touching another person's head is perceived as an insult.

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Finally, do not walk on the offerings made to the gods, which are scattered in the streets and temples of Bali.

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