A Reminder: Bali Bomb Survivor

I can vaguely remember the way the policemen blocked the access to Kuta in 2002. There’s been a bombing, they said. Whilst I remember the day, my memory is nothing compared to those directly impacted, or even indirectly, by the events of that fateful day. Once a year, on 12 October, they commemorate the tragedy

A Look into Bali’s ‘New Normal’

We usually follow a similar pattern in life. We then repeat this a certain number of times. Then, we call this our ‘normal life;. It is still normal, even when one country in the world has a virus that kills hundreds to thousand of people. Though embellished with a surreal feeling, knowing that it exists

The Ideology of Balinese Masks

For the Balinese, masks have a higher value than just the representation of character in dance or for decoration. It serves as protection, as a sacred object in ceremonies and a medium for the worshipped gods to give their blessings. Since the development of mass tourism in Bali, market demand for cheap souvenirs has increased.

Nyepi Kasa : A Second Nyepi at Buahan Village

In Buahan, a village north of Ubud, a rare custom takes place whereby the community don’t only celebrate the official Nyepi, the day of silence, but celebrate a second Nyepi called Nyepi Kasa. Nyepi literally means to be silent and Kasa means the first month in Balinese calendar. It’s the second celebration of Nyepi held

Arak For Life

In Bali, ’arak’ isn’t just an ordinary traditional spirit, but a means of religious tradition as well as the daily livelihood of its farmers. One of the traditional producers are in the village of Tri Eka Buana, Karangasem regency. 336.5 hectares rich with coconut trees, which are considered to trees of blessings, as many parts

Holy Offerings: The Real Life Practice of ‘Yadnya’

The Balinese Hindu believe that we can balance the spiritual, human and environmental through ‘yadnya’, the holy offerings. This is intimately intertwined with rituals and the instruments involved. An unusual dry season, flooding, water scarcity, air pollution, all of these are good reasons for a big ritual, often seen as a way to overcome the

Bali Farmers : Surviving in the Tourism Era

The Balinese believe that there is a great unseen power that results in a good harvest in their rice field. That power comes from Dewi Sri, the Goddess of Fertility. Good harvests and a gratitude towards the Goddess are strong foundations to the Balinese community’s rituals. Today, instead of functioning as a staple supply of

Everyday Plastic in Bali

I am one of the millions of human beings who contribute to destroying the environment. It sounds dramatic, but for me bringing my own container when I’m in suddenly in the mood for some street-side mung bean porridge is just such a hassle! So, I end up using their disposable plastic. When my stomach rumbles

The House Spirits

The Balinese believe that every house has its own guardian spirits who live in a small shrine at the front gate called the Penunggun Karang. These are intended to repel negative auras or people that attempt to enter a home, be it the ‘seen’ or the ‘unseen’. If people with bad intentions enter a home,

Megesah : Torturing the Newly Weds

Answer these questions – and quickly!“What is your name? Where do you come from? Why do you want to marry him? When was your first kiss with him? Is he a good lover, or just average?” Imagine this is you in the hot seat, with the village youth surrounding you, barraging you with all sorts

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