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, once they pass the Penunggun Karang, these intentions are said disappear.
When I traveled to
Thailand I saw a similar practice of this concept. Whilst 95 percent of the
Thai population is Buddhist, they still believe in the supernatural.
The Thais believe that every home has its own invisible guardians, who live at the front gates of the house. They call these guards Saan Chao Thii and Saan Phra Phum. Rather than getting rid of these spirits, instead they provide a special place in the home for them, finding that befriending them is a more beneficial solution. They believe it will also create harmony in the world.
When Thais are about to leave their house, they inform Saan Chao Thii, or the House Spirit. They keep grandpa or grandma dolls as a symbol of these spirits. Other symbols are dancer or elephant dolls. The Thai even feed them with red soda drinks, especially in Bangkok and Chiang Mai.
The Balinese also provide offerings for the spirits of the Penunggun Karang with coffee, bread, rice and canang, the daily offering made up of palm-leaf basket as a tray, filled with flowers as a representative of the colour of the God (white, red, yellow and blue or green).