Cendrawasih : Beauty of a bird of Paradise

I’ve watched the Cendrawasih dance several times now. Even though each performance features different dancers on a different stage, it is always captivating. The Cendrawasih dance is neither classical nor sacred in Bali; rather it is a relatively new dance with choreography inspired by classical dance routines. The last time I watched this dance was

Kartika D. Suardana

Jean Couteau – Our Very Own Historian

It was early 2009 when I first met Jean Couteau at an editorial meeting. The Frenchman, who speaks Bahasa Indonesia fluently, arrived in white trousers and a long sleeved white shirt. He spoke extensively about Balinese traditions and cultures and how we should raise awareness of this rather than always the island’s sun, sea and

Ngelawang: The Door-to-Door Ceremony

Galungan and Kuningan, the two big holy days of the Balinese Hindus, are celebrated in a very special way. Galungan always takes place on the Wednesday the week before Kuningan. Various processions, such as Penampahan which is characterized by women preparing offerings and men decorating temples, are held before Galungan. Meanwhile Kuningan is always on

When The Balinese Go to The Sea

The Balinese have an ambiguous attitude toward the sea. The sea opens to the exterior world and is therefore threatening and promising at once. Deadly grubug (diseases) arrive from the sea, sent to the island, as people say, by the evil king Jero Gede Mecaling. All around the island’s coast are small altars from which

Artdiscovery by Artpreciation

  The truth is, many people don’t know how to look at art. You will see most people in the art museum hustling through, pausing for only a minute at each painting or sculpture, looking either bored or perturbed, before traipsing on to the next piece. Is there anything that can be done to encourage

The Moslem Saints of Bali

If you follow Western news a little too much, you’ll be aware of the fear of Islam; what you hear about is terrorism and fundamentalism, and the spectre of a conflict of civilization. But if you read the article below, which is about the cult of the 7 Moslem saints in Bali, the Wali Pitu, you will

The Ballet of Abimanyu

With the arrival of Hinduism to the Indonesian archipelago came the great epics from the India Sub-continent, which also served as a vehicle to spread the Hindu teachings. The epics, which have been passed down from generation to generation, have influenced the Hindu moral standards about good and bad as well as giving an understanding

A Fusion of Art, Memory, and Luxury

In 1923, Walter Spies, a Russian born German painter arrived in Java. After four years of living in Jogjakarta, in 1927, the handsome painter started a life in Ubud. At his house in Campuhan, Ubud and later at his mountain house in Iseh, Karangasem, Spies completed a collection of special and distinctive paintings. He would

The Invisible World of THE GAMANGS

According to beliefs still common among the Balinese, there exists, parallel to the world of humans, another world, inhabited by ‘gamangs’. It is difficult to find a great deal about them, as they are said by some to be the spirit of the lost souls, or of men who have disappeared without leaving a trace…This

A Dance Celebrating Life in Ubud

The weather in Ubud was cool, with a soft breeze flowing through the town, it was perfect weather for a night in the enchanting Ubud Palace. I sat quietly in the courtyard, surrounded by a dozen or so people; all of us longing for the next performance – we had already watched two stunning fable

Balinese Offering NOW Bali Magazine

The Purpose of Offerings and The Balinese Story Of Sangjaya Kesunu

Unlike religions from the Middle-East, which rest on a “revelation” transmitted through the entreaties of prophets, and in the case of Christianity, of a Messiah, Balinese religion rests on the notion of cosmic balance. The Universe and Man are considered as “similar” to one another. They consist of the same five elementals (Panca Maha Bhuta)

Kamasan Redefined

Teja stands tall – almost as tall as his iconic paintings. His serious nature allows for no frivolity and he is a man of few words – his words and whimsy are reserved for his art. Even though he was born in Tuban, his familial roots are from Klungkung – the home of Kamasan. This

Now Bali