Bali: the Surfer Paradise
Bali is an Indonesian island located at the westernmost of the Lesser Sunda Islands, lying between Java to the west and Lombok to the east. It is one of the country's 33 provinces with the provincial capital at Denpasar towards the south of the island. The island is home to the vast majority of Indonesia's small Hindu minority. It is also the largest tourist destination in the country and is renowned for its highly developed arts, including dance, sculpture, painting, leather, metalworking and music.
Unlike most of Muslim-majority Indonesia, about 93% of Bali's population adheres to Balinese Hinduism, formed as a combination of existing local beliefs and Hindu influences from mainland Southeast Asia and South Asia. Minority religions include Islam (5.7%), Christianity (1.4%), and Buddhism (0.6%). These official statistical figures do not include immigrants from other parts of Indonesia.
Balinese and Indonesian are the most widely spoken languages in Bali, and like most Indonesians, the vast majority of Balinese people are bilingual or trilingual. There are several indigenous Balinese languages, but most Balinese can also use the most widely spoken option: modern common Balinese. The usage of different Balinese languages was traditionally determined by the Balinese caste system and by clan membership, but this tradition is diminishing.
English is a common third language (and the primary foreign language) of many Balinese, owing to the requirements of the large tourism industry. Japanese is also a prominent language on the island, learned by its inhabitants and used on signs. Staff working in Bali's tourist centers are often, by necessity, multilingual to some degree, speaking as many as 8 or 9 different languages to an often surprising level of competence.