Barong: good vs evil
The Barong is one of Bali's most-loved creatures - a shaggy-looking, fun-loving dog-lion. Representing the forces of good, the Barong battles with the forces of evil represented by the Rangda.
One of the amazing features of the Barong dance is the coordination of two 'puppeteers' who direct the movements of the Barong from within (akin to dragon dance of the Chinese). The result is a lively, action-packed performance that is very impressive visually.
Gianyar's Wood Carvers Suffering a Severe Shortage
For the past year,
carvers from Bali's woodworking centers
in Gianyar have faced an ever increasing
shortages of teak wood.
Traditionally, teak wood
used by Bali's wood carvers
originates from Surabaya, Banyuwangi, Sulawesi and Kalimantan.
In the past several years
the cost of a cubic meter of
teak wood has increased significantly from
Rp. 1 million (approximately US$95) to Rp. 1.75 million (approximately US$166).
In addition to higher cost of raw materials,
woodworkers are also facing increasing uncertainty of supply.
Despite problems of supply and cost of woods,
Bali's wood working craftsmen have been
reluctant to increase the price of their goods,
concerned that higher priced handicraft would
fail to sell in the a highly competitive marketplace.
Meanwhile, efforts to replace teak with other woods,
such as jackfruit wood,
have not been enthusiastically accepted
by handicraft consumers who still prefer teak products.
According to a report in the Indonesian language
newspaper Kompas, in 2003 Gianyar recorded
14,368 woodworking units employing a total 37,150 workers.
© Bali Discovery Tours.
Articles may be quoted and reproduced if
attributed to http://www.balidiscovery.com.
Western Cafe - Eastern Application
This cool place is like a funky western café with a zesty Balinese infusion to keep things lively and friendly. Catering firmly to the western palate it does the meanest espressos and lattes we found in Bud and some serious cakes and light meals! They also have a great tea selection and local favourites such as Iced Tea and a rather yummy drink called ‘Calpico’.
It has some great balconied areas and traditional Balinese seating around solid low tables from which you can see the world go by or just chill.
We seemed to end up here a few times as it was between where we were staying and the centre of town, so it literally was a welcome ‘halfway house’ – especially during the all too frequent monsoon like showers or power cuts! Whenever the latter occurred, the candles were out on the tables quick as a flash adding to the already idyllic setting…
Prices are a slight premium above the main, but for the surroundings they were well worth it. I realise it seems more of a tourist haven than a ‘real Bali experience’, but sometimes it is nice to have familiar things around you from time to time and it is owned by a Balinese couple (the same ones who own the Ramah Tamah Deli a few doors down), so it can’t be all bad… Awesome Cakes (carrot!), best Coffee in Ubud, cool and zesty local drinks and great tuna steak salads
KECHAK FIRE DANCE
This is a traditional Balinese dance where the dancers are accompanied by a choir of 100 men rather than the gamalen orchestra. It was spectacular performed at night.
We saw this at the Pura Dalem in Ubud. Tickets can be organised through your hotel or bought on the night. Tickets were only 50,000 rupiah each. Good value for a great nights entertainment.
Wood Carvings in Mas Village
Small woodcarvings of every sort are widely available in Ubud, Tegallalang, Pujung, Nyuh Kuning, Mas, Teges, and in abundance at the Sukawati art market, about twenty minutes south of Ubud. You can get pieces in naturally-finished woods representing animals, religious figures, people and so forth. Some woodcarvings are art, and others are simply craft.
One word of warning to craft-shoppers. Prices are usually very, very flexible. Be prepared to bargain. But always be polite. Some merchants are firm about prices, and rightly so. A final word of warning. Tour companies, drivers and guides are given large commissions for bringing buyers to art shops, and the cost of the commission is tacked onto the price you pay. So if you want the best price, go on your own, or choose a driver or guide who agrees to take you shopping without chasing commissions