Balinese culture

Bali has its own calendar with 210 days in one year. A Balinese annual festival is decided by this Bali calendar. Every Balinese hindu have a copy of Balinese calendar in their home. In this calendar, important things such as festivals, holidays, full moon, new moon and other regular ceremonies are written; Balinese hindus mainly use this calendar for their daily reference. Bali is famous for its festivals, which include rituals from birth to death, family temples festivals, village festivals and is almost a spectacle all year long. Balinese not only participate in this festival, but also in their daily prayer. This page will introduce briefly of Bali tradition and customs.

 

Religion

Nearly 80% of Indonesian are moslem (Islam), but in Bali, close to 90% of the population believes in a unique religion called Hindu Bali. Hindu Bali is the basis for Balinese life, culture and customs. Bali Hinduism is originated from Hinduism in India, but in Bali, the practices are slightly different due to the buddhist influence, thus the term Civa-Buddha reitterated in Bali. Balinese offers daily prayers, and on certain date such as full moons/new moons, aa special celebration and prayers are offered. For everyday prayers, Balinese uses Canang Sari made of coconut leaves, flowers, flour and slices of bananas. When praying at temples or during festivals, Balinese prepare collaborative fruit offerings, cooked meat such as chickens, pigs and so on. Baliese worship both upper and underworld, which you can see everyday; putting on offerings on the streetside to ensure harmonious relationship between all of these worlds. Almost the whole island rooted with hinduism, this unique culture can be observe on a daily basis and practically done all around the island.


Language

Bahasa Indonesia is the basic language in Indonesia, but English is relatively common in tourist spots and restaurants. Bahasa Indonesia is used to unify the world’s most diverse country, Indonesia, which consists of over 17,000 islands and about 300 ethnic groups with each ethnic group has its own dialect.
This national language is aimed to unify the nation before and after the national independence; a simple language created so everyone can converse and unify the nation, with Bahasa Melayu (Malay) is used as the basic of this language.
Bahasa Indonesia is spoken in all the Indonesian archipelago, and especially with the technological development today, everyone can basically converse with this national language.
The word “Tidak apa-apa” has a direct translation to “No Problem” in English and is quite a handy word if you are fail to understand your counterpart. It may be important to learn some basic language skills, to ensure that your purpose does not lost in translation.

Traditional Dance

Balinese perform dance in a ceremony or during a ceremonial occasion. There are different purpose of each dance, depending on the ceremonies.
Dance is an integral part of Balinese culture and is indespensable part of Balinese Hinduism. Balinese dance is emaculated, progressing from simple static movements to dynamics, and vice versa in an iterative structure. Everything is working closely with traditional music called Gamelan with both the dancers and the Gamelan leader orchestrated the performance.
【Some of the Bali famous dances】
Legong Dance … A dance created for princess /palace and the royals with physically demanding postures which require a significant level of flexibility, perform usually by girls prior to puberty.
Barong dance … A story dance narrating the fight between good (symbolizes by Barong) and evil (symbolizes by Rangda or the evil witch).
Kecak dance … A dance with tens to hundreds of dancers chanting the word ‘Chak” in a synchronize and harmonious voices, depicting the story from the folklore Ramayana. Kecak dance is the most dynamic among the three famous dances.

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