Flower offerings can be seen on temples and on doorstep of almost all Bali stores, big or small shops. It is also widely sold in the Ubud market every morning. Offering to the Gods.
A burst of flower blossoms and petals, placed on a some sort of green palms.
At the Ubud market you will see lots of women with a coiled up towel on top of their heads. This is almost like a "must" thing to do - as most of them have heavy loads to carry. They rest their basket of goods on top of their head, with the support of the coiled up towel. They definately have strong necks to support! It is simply amazing to see how they can balance the heavy basket and yet some only use one hand to hold onto the basket. See pictures attached on the "balancing act"
When meeting adult Balinese, of either gender, a very respectful manner of greeting is to place your hands together on your upper chest and say, om swastiastu...pronounced swassteeaaastwo. Then you can extend your right hand for a hand shake. This will earn you great kudos as you've taken just a second to learn the very polite way of greeting Balinese. Considering that there are a large number of non Balinese Indonesians, most especially Muslims, and some Christians living here, you should reserve this greeting only for locals that you meet that you know in advance are Balinese. If you know that the person you are meeting is Muslim, a simple placing your right hand flat on your heart and saying salam will also be much appreciated. If unsure, then use the proper generic greeting for the time of day, viz, selamat pagi, siang, sore, or malam followed by apa kabar, or how are you?
If you are lucky to be invited to a Balinese compound to visit with a Balinese family, do what the Balinese do...bring some simple gestures of gratitude highly accepted within the Balinese culture. That would include a 5 kilo bag of beras (rice), a bag of coffee (kopi) and or sugar (gula). Your host will really enjoy this sign of gratitude, but don't expect an overflow of thanks as the Balinese are exceptionally restrained in showing any form of emotion.
As will all peoples of Asia and Southeast Asia, the Balinese are very respectful of politeness and good manners. Loud talking, displays of anger, impatience are all unacceptable behavior in the mind of the Balinese, and such displays will not get you what you want. Additionally, the Balinese hate giving bad news. Often, when forced to tell you some bad news that they believe will disappoint or upset you, they will do it with a smile or even a small laugh. This is seemingly odd to Westerners, but it is the Balinese way.
Kecak is very popular Balinean music and dance. Kind of the ceremony.
They don't use music instrument. Only their voice. The music and dance will attract the interest of many people.This attraction have story and dancer's costumes are wonderful.
This music's rhythm was exciting for me.
Last scene was incredible ending. Everyone will be surprised.
Date&time Every wed, sat , sun 19:00-
Place:Bale Br.Padang Tagal
Price:Rp 50,000 2006
These are the figures for May, 2006.
Listening to the gamelan can be quite pleasant.
Gamelan is a term for various types of orchestra played in Indonesia. It is the main element of the Indonesian traditional music. The Balinese believed that the gamelan is sacred and have supernatural power. It is believed that each instrument in the gamelan is guided by spirits. Thus, the musician have to take off their shoes when they play the gamelan. It is also forbidden to step over any instrument in a gamelan, because it might offend the spirit by doing so. Some gamelan are believed to have so much powers that playing them may exert power over nature. Others may be touched only by persons who are ritually qualified.
Topeng, meaning "pressed against the face" in the local language, is a mask dance where the performers imitate the character represented by the mask. One of the more popular topeng dances is Topeng Tua, a solo dance that features the actions and mannerisms of an old man, such as the one pictured here.
THE MAN BEHIND THE MASK: The man behind the Topeng Tua pictured here is Kade, who is a bemo driver by day. Kade, whose father is a dance master in Ubud, has been dancing for nearly 20 years, and has performed in Russia, USA, and Japan, among many other countries, together with his troupe.
Just like most Balinese, Kade is very warm and friendly (although I didn't speak Bahasa). I had the honor of being invited to his home to meet his family. Meet this master Topeng dancer and his family in one of my Ubud travelogues (The man behind the mask).
Topeng requires a different level of skill as the dancer could not make use of any facial expression to portray the mask character - it has to be through movements, actions, and mannerisms.
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.
Baris is the male counterpart of the Legong. The movements are more jerky, more forceful, and more energetic, with a distinct warlike spirit.
To the uninitiated like me, it seems more complex and more difficult to execute - the energetic hand and arm choreography must be matched by appropriate eye
movements to convey the warrior's changing mood and expression as he prepares for battle and meets the enemy.
As usual, the dance performance is accompanied by a gamelan ensemble.
Legong is the most graceful form of Balinese dances. Usually performed by teenage girls, the dance depicts stories from local folklore. The girls are dressed in colorful costumes, accessorized with intricate headdress. With the trademark numbered, jerky movements of Balinese dances, they dance to the music of live gamelan ensemble.
More often than not, dance performances in Ubud are a collective village undertaking. It's amazing to see almost the entire village become so much involved in staging these dances.
The topography of Ubud and the surrounding villages is blessed with scenic paddies, grassy hills, and gushing streams. You could marvel at all these if you take a walk (or a bicycle tour) around Ubud and these surrounding villages.
And keep an eye for surprises along the way - like naked (and/or semi-naked) men and women bathing in the streams and ponds. Yes, NAKED (and/or SEMI-NAKED) MEN AND WOMEN!
And why not? As tradition has it, the Balinese believe that they are invisible when bathing.
Just be sensitive to this local custom and please respect them - AVOID TAKING SNAPS OF THEM BATHING IN THE NUDE!
In Bali the temple is only used for particular ceremonies and festivals, sometimes only once in the 210 day cycle, when the temple's birthday (odalan) ceremony is held.
During these festivals people come from all of the surrounding villages to partisipate in the celebration.
Men come by the buss and truck loads. Any means of transportation that they can find.
Offerings are made fresh every morning and set out on steps, on the ground, and most everywhere. These offerings to the evil spirits are simply made - small squares of banana leaf holding a few grains of rice, a flower, salt and a pinch of chilli pepper Every 15 days, a day called kajeng kliwon according to the Balinese calendar, special offerings are made to the evil spirits as a kind of mini exorcism of any harmful presence.
This temple statue has an offering sitting on its head.
The streets of the villages are decorated with bamboo poles known as penjor, in preparation for a temple festival.
When we drove in from the airport I saw these poles decorated and wondered what they were for.