Legong Trance

It was 6 pm when two men started arranging the red plastic chairs at the front yard of PuriSarenUbud, a palace owned by the Ubud royal family. Members of the royal family still live here, within theinner compound, but allow the community to use the front patio for cultural performances in the evening. The Legong

Kartika D. Suardana

Sanur’s Sacral Side

A whisper came to me from a friend – a fabulous ceremony would be happening in the PuraDalemKedawatan at the northern end of Sanur. I quickly whispered the news on to a couple of other colleagues and on the appointed day, made my way down to Sanur’s salubrious flatlands. The temple was already busy by

Ni Nyoman Sani

Coming from a traditional Balinese background Sani has also had to contend with the voices of her peers who have a mild disapproval of her leap to the less traditional world. Jealously is easy to manifest in a traditional world but Sani tries to rise above the pettiness. Daily offerings? No need to make them

Jauk Keras

At first glance, one may think that all the Balinese mask dances look the same, but in fact they each have their unique qualities. In Bali, there are perhaps more than a dozen variations of mask dances. These mask dances are one of the many cultural performances that are passed down from generation to generation.

Darkness And The Story Of Lubdaka

The longest night of the year, or the 14thpanglong of the seventh (Kapitu-or agha) month of the Balinese Sakacalender, which fell this year on the 19th of January, is fully consecrated to Shiva. It is therefore called the Night of Shiva, or SiwaRatri, which is a night of meditation aimed at cleansing the impurities accumulated

The Art Of Love

Art is filled with love; perhaps it is because through art, love can be expressed without any barriers, becoming a representation of pure feeling and emotion. The Russian-French artist, Marc Chagall, was once quoted saying that “Art must be an expression of love, or it is nothing”. Love is ever present in Bali, and in

Seven Balinese Rituals

Bali is filed with exotic happenings. Rituals and ceremonies happen almost every day of the year with concentrations happening around the culmination of the full moon or Purnama and certain important days on the Balinese calendar. The primary purpose of ritual is to cleanse. Both objects and people can be cleared of negative aspect, while

Balinese Reincarnation

Understanding Reincarnation, The Balinese Way

You’ve heard about reincarnation, right? Of course you have. But my guess is that you have heard about the formal, reformed-Hindu version of it, “You will reincarnate as a dog if you behave like one”, meaning, you will bear the consequences of your deeds in your future incarnation(s). While some narrow-minded Balinese will insist this

Ngendag : The Awakening of the Dead

Historian and art critic Jean Couteau brings us stories depicting the life on Bali, sometimes real, sometimes myth, always meaningful. Here he shares the story of Ngendag , a Balinese ritual in which buried corpses are exhumed to be cremated. This and other stories can be found in Jean Couteau’s book, Myth, Magic and Mystery in Bali . 

Buy A Bererong

  Westerners and modern people have a bad habit when it comes to making money: they have a rational approach to economics. You work, they say, save and invest, and then you will earn x % or more, if lucky, in one or five years. There is little pleasure to be had, and no fear.

Sauh Munyi – A Promise to the Gods

  The practice of oath taking is very common among the Balinese. It takes the form of barter. “If I am bestowed this favour from the gods, I will fulfil such and such a promise”. It can also apply to a promise between humans. “If I get what I wish for, I will do this

Tari Topeng (Mask Dance)

The performing arts in Bali were once performed solely as offerings to the Gods and deities. Nowadays, some dances are used to entertain devotees during religious events in the temple and some are performed to project social and spiritual messages to audiences. Tari Topeng (Mask Dance) is one of those which uses acting as a

Now Bali
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