Bali is an Island of, “Temples”
I ventured out to see some of the venues that I’ve included on our tour tomorrow.
I was away for 6.5 hours and the driver opened my eyes. Life on Bali is truly fascinating.
Almost everyone follows the Hindu religion and that is why there are so many ceremonies. Many of these ceremonies are unique to Bali. You therefore will not see them practiced in other area of the World with large Hindu populations.
Bali is known as the island of Temples. There are literally thousands of them – most homeowners are going to have a temple on their property.
Offerings are a very important part of life here. This is typically left up to the ladies. Three times a day they pray and then leave offerings for both the good spirits (placed higher) and the bad (placed on the ground) – typically flowers, herbs or a food item such as cooked rice are given. These offerings do not need to be left at a temple – often you’ll see them strategically placed in a store. Organizing your offerings can take time so for convenience sake in today hectic World they can be found for purchase in local shops.
There are 3 main temples in every community. Each one is used for certain ceremonies and the location of the temples in the town is very important.
There is a caste system here and the persons given name often refers to the caste that they are born into. Over 90% of the population are consider peasants – lower caste.
Family is important here – getting a divorce is not easy.
Many communities are known for a single item – Batik Fabric, Silver, Woodworking etc – the craftspersons are taught buy their parents so the techniques are past down through the generations.
We stopped at the silver shop where I am taking my group. They have the largest showroom in Bali. Here the quality and the workmanship is much better than you’ll find at the local markets but not as detailed as some of the very high end silver operations that can be found in Bali. Pricing is fixed and I felt quite reasonable.
It was amazing watching the silver craftsmen work. It will easily take 4 or more days to produce a silver ring – most of the craft people I saw were female – I was in awe watching them work – this is not an easy job – such intricate designs. I was told that these artists often takes their work home and continue working on it in the evening, Trying to determine how much they are paid was not easy – if I understandcorrectly if you are at the top of your game and one of the best designers you will make around $1000 American a month – others will be paid in the $600.00 a month range. Silver craftsman are paid much more than someone who creates Batik or Wooden crafts. No matter what these talented people work for every little.
When you met a local they greet you by putting their hands together like in prayer and they slightly bow.
Good Karma and Bad Karma is on everyone’s minds here. Friendships are more important that money even though my driver said everyone needs money – as he said More Friends = More Wealth.
Stopped at the famous, “Eat, Pray, Love” community of Ubud. Walking through the market was interesting. There wasn’t much that I was interested in buying but once again I surrounded by the local atmosphere which is exhilarating. You need to barter in these markets – I found if they want $20 offer $5 and they’ll be happy with that.
As we drove along we noticed many food stalls that cater to the locals – my driver said that tourists will end up with the, “Bali Belly” if they eat this food. We are only dining at establishments that cater to the tourists. There are many World-Class restaurants in Bali. It certainly is convenient staying where we are – a great choice of excellent quality dining all included in our package. I’m really enjoying the seafood (see the picture of my lunch yesterday in the resort restaurant that overlooks the beach).
I walked to the Bali Collection Mall which is a quick 10 minutes stroll from the Melia. Here in Nusa Dua that walkways are excellent and the area very park-like – beautiful. I didn’t end up buying anything but the facility is quite impressive. For some reason the flow is a little confusing so I recommend if you go – enter and leave from the same entrance.
Well its time for breakfast – the day is young – I’m in Paradise – can’t get much better than this!