Bali Local Customs

  • Local Customs
    by DaHongHua
  • Local Customs
    by DaHongHua
  • Local Customs
    by DaHongHua

Most Recent Local Customs in Bali

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    Visit to temples.

    by explorer001 Written Sep 28, 2006

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    A visit to the temples in Bali requires a decent dressing. Sleeveless shirts/blouse and short pants are a no-no.
    However, you can always rent 'sarongs' at the entrance to each temple. You must negotiate the price.
    A small donation is required for smaller temples - except Besakih temple. Refer to my 'Warnings' section.

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    Things to remember when visiting a temple.

    by cokes Updated Aug 14, 2006

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    When you visit a temple you can`t enter with a shorts. So bring a serong with you if you think its too hot to wear a long paints. Some of the temples has serongs that you can use but just incase they don`t please be prepared as you don`t want to miss out on some Balinese attractions.

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  • balisunshine's Profile Photo

    That Special Ceremony

    by balisunshine Updated Aug 13, 2006

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    Come to our ceremony!

    DEWA SRAYA CEREMONY AT PURA TULUK BIYU, KINTAMANI

    The more time you spend
    engulfed in the Balinese traditions,
    the more you will become aware of
    how these people are very spiritual.

    Bali has been blessed with
    the smiling faces, the passive attitudes,
    a close society, etc.

    With all the prayers and ceremonies
    that are held in honor of the deities,
    it seems that a mystical aura surrounds them.

    One very special ceremony that
    is held every 5 years,
    takes place in Kintamani, Bali
    sometime in the fall.

    This cosmic ceremony
    (called Dewa Sraya) which,
    is done to restore spiritual balance
    and to create a better future for themselves,
    for Bali , and for the entire world.

    These people are doing this for us!
    For all of us no matter where we live in the world.
    By getting involved in any and
    all aspects of this ceremony
    has a deep meaning and impact on all of us.
    One Love … One World

    By participating in this ceremony,
    on any level, with is a wonderful opportunity
    to gain a greater understanding of
    Balinese ceremonies and day-to-day life,
    along with a broader appreciation of
    the truly unique and systematic way the
    Balinese religion has evolved over many centuries.

    These ceremonies extend over 11 days
    and take place in several locations:
    Mount Abang, locations down in the Kintamani crater,
    and in the Tuluk Biyu Temple

    As the name translates;
    Dewa Sraya means,
    Get closer to God,
    Remember the way of God,
    Stay on the path that God has created for us.

    For those who would like to
    be involved with this event in some way,
    please feel free to send an email at: terje_hn@yahoo.com

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Festivals

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    Kuta is for drinking and Aussies

    by balisunshine Written Aug 6, 2006

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    Here comes the Aussie Rage!!!

    Before Kuta, Legian and Seminyak,
    where three villages that is what is
    known as the Kuta tourist areas.

    These breezy villages were once separated by coconut groves,
    pastures, and thick patches of vegetation.

    Now the villages stream seamlessly into each other
    like a miniature metropolis.

    New streets were pushed along the shore or
    simply bulldozed through residential areas
    to cater to tourism.

    The population doubled,
    then doubled again as
    migrants from Java
    and elsewhere flocked to this booming resort
    in search of an economic opportunity.

    Today, when high season comes rolling around,
    Kuta becomes very Aussiefied as they are
    happy to stay in cheap accommodations,
    which leaves them plenty of money for booze.

    If you have never encountered
    being amongst Aussies,
    this may not be the best place
    to base a first opinion,
    about their culture.

    Kuta caters to the Australian school break crowd
    at these seasons of the year.

    The surf crowd grows and Kuta begins
    to resemble Fort Lauderdale, Florida at spring break.

    If you're looking for paradise, Kuta is definitely not it.
    By early evening you will have been asked
    one hundred times or more to buy something.

    Beach hawkers peddle ‘Rolex Watches’,
    ladies in wool bennies offer manicures and pedicures,
    and the list goes on.

    As night falls the items sold on the streets get darker, too.
    All forms of addictions are available in Kuta,
    the most subtle
    is a legal one,
    from beer to the local, fiery Arak
    converting a vacation in Kuta
    like living a week in a liquor commercial.

    Bars like the Sari Club pump fuel
    for that obnoxious, Aussie Rage,
    that keeps going till the wee hours in the morning,
    till they drop like flies, rest,
    to start all over again.

    While the raging, Aussie flies are in coma,
    during the day, the older, middle class and usually,
    overweight crowd comes back out to look for those bargains
    at the already over priced stores in the Kuta area.

    Not quite the Bali that some would expect.

    Related to:
    • School Holidays
    • Study Abroad

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    Don’t loose face

    by balisunshine Written Aug 1, 2006

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    Where is my face???

    Balinese people will sometimes lie
    to avoid an unpleasant situation
    or to avoid loosing face.

    Telling the truth is desirable in Bali,
    but just not as important as
    protecting the face if those whom Bali feel respect.
    Many Balinese clearly believe
    there is such a thing as a noble lie.

    They will simply not tell the full truth.
    If someone answers your question with
    a noncommittal response ‘maybe’, ‘sometimes’,
    or even a straight forward ‘yes’
    it usually means the correct answer is one
    that you do not want to hear.

    Money may be the root of all evil,
    but ‘face’ is the root of much of the negative
    or confusing behavior displayed by many Balinese people.

    To ‘loose face’ means a loss of respect,
    being shamed or looked down on by others
    while ‘gaining face’ means gaining prestige
    or status in the eyes of others .

    On occasions it is the reason behind any lies or passive aggression.

    Remember that many Balinese believe
    answering a question by saying, “I don’t know’,
    when they could be reasonably be expected to know the answer,
    means the other person may think that they are less intelligent
    and result in them loosing face.

    To avoid this, they will sometimes give an answer-any answer-even
    if it is just a guess and totally inaccurate.

    By the time your find out the information was wrong,
    such as directions to place you need to go to,
    it is too late.

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    Looking For love the Indo way?? Part 2

    by balisunshine Written Aug 1, 2006

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    I luve You! I love your money!

    Even after several trips and
    in spite of all the advice,
    they are still paying vet bills,
    paying new roofs for distant houses,
    still buying motorcycles for unseen relatives
    and still getting dumped by the love of their life
    once their money runs out.

    The reality here is that,
    single foreign men here,
    are no longer the predator but the prey,
    no longer the hunter but the hunted

    Many foreign men come to Bali or Jakarta,
    make fools of themselves,
    fall in love with a charming local lady and
    marry after a two week whirlwind romance.

    So a bit of warning to all of you men out there…
    Learn first, fall in love later

    Related to:
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons

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  • balisunshine's Profile Photo

    Looking For love the Indo way?? Part 1

    by balisunshine Updated Aug 1, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    We will love your money for you!

    Taking advantage of tourist
    is a worldwide business and
    happens in every country.

    Some tourist object to it strongly
    while others consider it the price to pay
    for their lack of local knowledge.

    When observing those foreign men looking for adventure,
    one thinks that maybe he has lived through several divorces
    raised children and then dealt with years of rejections
    from any female remotely resembling a human form.

    Those male visitors find the gap between the Hollywood sex symbol super stud
    and find that their own fault ridden body has narrowed somewhat
    by believing the wooing compliments by
    that witty Javanese girl looking for a better life.

    It come as an ego massage to the male system
    to be continually told by beautiful young women that he is a sexy man.
    If he is told the same lie often enough,
    he starts to believe it.
    And maybe all the females with 20-20 vision back home are wrong.
    Hey maybe I am a sexy man- a 300 lbs, old, bald, genuinely sexy man!

    Sure, it may be all about the money,
    but to a mature man who’s ego has been shattered by
    an estrogens-dominated western society transfixed on the body beautiful,
    what price is too high to pay or an end to his low esteem?
    He may not find true love but
    it is the closest he is going to get at this late stage in life.

    These Indonesian girls
    are not only fun loving friendly,
    but happy and beautiful,
    with inner qualities which
    seem to strike at the heart of foreign men.

    It is not just their eyes or their smile
    but their ability to say the right thing at the right time
    which can turn grown men into putty.
    They are experts at making the tourist feel welcome
    and men feel like kings,
    and it would take a man of stone
    not to fall in love several times a day.

    Related to:
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons

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  • balisunshine's Profile Photo

    That seducing smile

    by balisunshine Written Aug 1, 2006

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    Don't try to analyze our smile, please!

    When we all first arrive,
    the one thing that seduces us all,
    is that Balinese smile.
    Later on, when living here
    one realizes that a Balinese smiling,
    may not necessarily indicate
    the same thing it does when you or I smile.

    Westerners smile to convey happiness,
    amusement or a pleasant greeting.
    A Balinese smile can mean these things
    plus it can also mean ‘I don’t understand’, give me’, or ‘yes’.

    It can also be a way of showing embarrassment
    or easing the tension if a situation looks to be getting heated

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  • balisunshine's Profile Photo

    Arrogance in Seminyak

    by balisunshine Written May 24, 2006

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    Ohhhh Please! I am so cool!

    Within the different areas of Bali,
    each town, each village, it neighborhood has
    it’s characteristics and personality.

    In Seminyak, many are the ex-pat poseurs of arrogance,
    talking down to the locals,
    pretending that much has been
    accomplished in the world
    thanks to their contribution,
    while in fact they support
    their lifestyle by living off of
    governmental alimony or family trust funds.

    Don’t get me wrong,
    I am a true believe that a Sabbatical
    can do good in ones life,
    but even that can be work
    if you are serious about.
    Trying to become a better person
    is definitely, not an easy job.

    But, quite a few are compelled to work for a living,
    while playing the role of something else,
    and criticizing others out of jealousy.

    Some of those who do work,
    have the income from exporting clothing.
    and they refer to themselves as designers.
    But actually, quite a few of them are
    high-pressured purchasing agents
    and production mangers for ready-to-wear fashion suppliers
    or department stores in Australia, Europe, and America.

    But don’t get me wrong,
    there are a number of talented artists
    and successful entrepreneurs.
    You just don’t see them flaunting and posing all over the place.

    When you are a resident here,
    and as time goes on,
    one realizes that the ‘real’ business people,
    keep a low profile,
    avoiding dealing with the numerous problems
    of operating in an environment with
    little support structure and less legal certainty,
    while putting considerable effort in keeping good relations
    with their Balinese neighbors and the local authorities.

    This is part of the tradition of a foreign adventure in finding success in Bali.

    Related to:
    • Business Travel

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    Don’t blame me!!!

    by balisunshine Written May 24, 2006

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    Don't blame me!!!

    Despite the poor quality of items,
    or the normal wear and tear of items,
    and even the out come of bad craftsmanship,
    when something breaks or falls apart,
    within a short time after you have had it made
    or you purchased it;
    if you decide to go back to
    the one who made it or sold it to you
    so to make a claim for the damage,
    the Indonesians have the tendency to ask you,
    ‘What did you do?’
    or say, ‘You break it”.

    Examples:

    I had a girlfriend that rented an old house here.
    Some kind of damage occurred with the electric system.
    When she asked the staff in charge to have it repaired,
    he asked her, “What did you do, to break it?”

    Mind you, that all that concerns electrical installation here,
    in most cases is poorly done.

    OR, after 4 months I had wooden, sliding doors installed,
    they shrunk to a degree that I couldn’t even lock them.
    When I made my claim,
    the builder who made them said,
    ‘I thought you were going to put bamboo blinds,
    to protect them from the sun.”

    Mind you, that if the wood had been properly dried,
    there would not have been any shrinkage.

    Another example,
    I bought some shoes at a moderate price,
    and when I tried them on at home that same day,
    the string of beads that decorated the shoes,
    broke and the beads that decorated them,
    came tumbling down all over the floor.
    On the next day
    when I went back to the shop to exchange them,
    the guy who sold them to me,
    asked me where all the beads were,
    and was trying to see how
    he could repair it right there and then.
    He then said to me, ‘You break it!”

    Refusing that kind of cheap band aid repair,
    I just left him the broken shoe and
    took a new one to complete the set.

    Mind you, it was a thread that held the beads together.

    So don’t be surprised when making a claim because of poor quality,
    that they turn the table on you and blame you directly for their fault.

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    Don’t blame me!!!

    by balisunshine Written May 24, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I didn't do anything!

    Despite the poor quality of items,
    or the normal wear and tear of items,
    and even the out come of bad craftsmanship,
    when something breaks or falls apart,
    within a short time after you have had it made
    or you purchased it;
    if you decide to go back to
    the one who made it or sold it to you
    so to make a claim for the damage,
    the Indonesians have the tendency to ask you,
    ‘What did you do?’
    or say, ‘You break it”.

    Examples:

    I had a girlfriend that rented an old house here.
    Some kind of damage occurred with the electric system.
    When she asked the staff in charge to have it repaired,
    he asked her, “What did you do, to break it?”

    Mind you, that all that concerns electrical installation here,
    in most cases is poorly done.

    OR, after 4 months I had wooden, sliding doors installed,
    they shrunk to a degree that I couldn’t even lock them.
    When I made my claim,
    the builder who made them said,
    ‘I thought you were going to put bamboo blinds,
    to protect them from the sun.”

    Mind you, that if the wood had been properly dried,
    there would not have been any shrinkage.

    Another example,
    I bought some shoes at a moderate price,
    and when I tried them on at home that same day,
    the string of beads that decorated the shoes,
    broke and the beads that decorated them,
    came tumbling down all over the floor.
    On the next day
    when I went back to the shop to exchange them,
    the guy who sold them to me,
    asked me where all the beads were,
    and was trying to see how
    he could repair it right there and then.
    He then said to me, ‘You break it!”

    Refusing that kind of cheap band aid repair,
    I just left him the broken shoe and
    took a new one to complete the set.

    Mind you, it was a thread that held the beads together.

    So don’t be surprised when making a claim because of poor quality,
    that they turn the table on you and blame you directly for their fault.

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    Be nice!!!

    by balisunshine Written May 19, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Hey!!! I'm just a nice guy!

    Because of the cast system
    that exists in Indonesia,
    I have often witnessed that
    those who come from Jakarta,
    or those who have had access to
    certain material comforts,
    or just have their own personal issues
    and even certain ex-pats,
    talk down the less fortunate
    and to the ones that are serving them
    in rude and condescending ways.

    The Balinese, place honor in a very high place.
    And there have been times where I felt it unnecessary to
    behave in such a way.

    It’s a shame that there are those that
    have no consideration
    in the way they treat others.
    Especially when they are being served by them!

    If we could all be a little bit nicer to those around us,
    just maybe, this world could be a better place.

    Try smiling when requesting something from a Balinese,
    and say it in a nice way,
    and they will be so much helpful towards you.

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    Cock-a-doodle-doo

    by balisunshine Written May 11, 2006
    Cock-a-doodle-doo

    You may encounter the
    Balinese who caresses his
    cherished cock.

    These prized pets of theirs,
    are allowed to either roam around
    on the grounds of their home,
    or you will see them kept in
    what is called guwungan
    a woven bamboo dome.

    Cocks are bred to become
    the pride and joy for their owners
    so that they may become champions
    of the much anticipated cockfights in the village.

    These cock fights are powerful in the Balinese rituals.

    Certain rituals such as the butukala
    require a blood sacrifice to be spilled on the ground
    and this is where the cockfights come in.

    Even though gambling cockfight is against the law in Indonesia,
    this is the one time it is accepted.

    But in some cases,
    the rules get bent and
    the gambling begins by getting out of hand
    and into the arena with large amounts of money used for betting.

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture

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    Building on the Slopes

    by balisunshine Written May 9, 2006

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    Building on the Slopes

    For the Balinese,
    slopes on the ridges by the rivers
    are for garbage disposals,
    keeping pigs and growing coconuts.

    They are not for building houses.

    To them, this is a dangerous area,
    with fear of earthquakes
    and in a sacro-spiritual sense.

    They believe that by being vulnerable
    to open spaces that it will
    expose them to the entry of evil.

    The Balinese home faces inward,
    with courtyards that are open to the sky,
    but closed to the neighboring environment.

    To them, the river gorges have been haunted by ghosts.

    When foreigners saw these slopes by the river
    and began having an interest in building here,
    they said Wow!

    Related to:
    • Architecture

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  • balisunshine's Profile Photo

    Building on the Slopes

    by balisunshine Written May 9, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Building on the Slopes

    For the Balinese,
    slopes on the ridges by the rivers
    are for garbage disposals,
    keeping pigs and growing coconuts.

    They are not for building houses.

    To them, this is a dangerous area,
    with fear of earthquakes
    and in a sacro-spiritual sense.

    They believe that by being vulnerable
    to open spaces that it will
    expose them to the entry of evil.

    The Balinese home faces inward,
    with courtyards that are open to the sky,
    but closed to the neighboring environment.

    To them, the river gorges have been haunted by ghosts.

    When foreigners saw these slopes by the river
    and began having an interest in building here,
    they said Wow!

    Related to:
    • Architecture

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