the old culture from balinese and all i know will show in this blog

Monday, 10 March 2008

bali culture bali

Bali Culture

Bali island has been both a tropical paradise island in the Indonesian archipelago, is so picturesque and immaculate. It has a rich culture, beautiful landscapes, rice paddies tripping down hillsides like giant steps, volcanoes soaring up through the clouds, dense tropical jungle, long sandy beaches, warm blue water, crashing surf and friendly people who don't just have a culture but actually live it. Bali, the perfect holiday destination for all ages offers something for everyone. This tropical paradise has a unique blend of modern tourist facilities combined with wonderful shopping and a rich past and heritage. Balinese dancing, music, visual arts and architecture are unique and accessible to visitors.

The Balinese people are proud of having preserved their unique Hindu culture against the advance of Islam, the dominant religion throughout Indonesia. This is still reflected in day-to-day life and can be seen in the numerous ceremonies, Balinese festivals and magnificent temples and palaces. Some of the best surfing beaches in the world can be found on the western side of the island whilst conversely the eastern side is a wonderful haven for families, with beautiful white sand beach and gentle seas.

Bali Religion

The Balinese religion have strong spiritual roots , their culture is still very much alive. The main religion is Hindu Dharma, which arrived in Bali with the spread of Hinduism through Sumatra and Java during the 11th century. Although originally from India, the Balinese religion is a unique blend of Hindu, Buddhist, Javanese and ancient indigenous beliefs, with customs that are very different from the traditional form of Hinduism practiced in India today. With the arrival of Islam in neighboring Java during the 15th century, a large member of courtiers, artists, musicians and craftsmen fled to Bali, creating an artistic renaissance.

Naturally creative, the Balinese have traditionally used their talents for religious purposes and most beautiful work to be seen here has been inspired by stories from Ramayana and other Hindu epics. The incredibly colorful cremation pyres and the everyday offerings to the Gods, placed inside every shop and business, are made with precision and an eye of beauty. In Bali spirits come out to play in the moonlight, every night is a festival and even a funeral is an opportunity to have a good time.

Bali People

ife in Bali is very communal with the organization of villages, farming and even the creative arts being decided by the community. The population of Bali is estimated 3,500,000 people who live mostly at southern part of the island. Every village (desa) has its temple of origin (puseh) , its temple of dead (pura dalem) its temple for irrigation system (subak).

The basis of this community structure is the Subak and the Banjar. Everyone who owns a rice paddy must join the Subak in their village. The Subak controls who will plant rice and when (plantings are staggered so that pestilence is minimized).

As well and more importantly the Subak ensures that all farmers receive their fair share of irrigation water since traditionally the head the Subak was the farmer whose field was at the bottom of the hill and water first had to pass through everybody else's field before it was allowed to irrigate his own.

The other community organization is the Banjar which, organizes all other aspects of Balinese life (i.e. marriages, cremations, community service, festivals and the like) as well as a form of community service known as Gotong Royong. When a man marries he is expected to join the village Banjar and must participate in community affairs.

Most villages have at least one banjar and a membership of between 50 to 100 families, and each banjar has its own meeting place called the Bale Banjar The Balinese do have a caste system but there are no untouchables. The caste system is most evident in the language which has three levels: a low level for commoners, a mid level to address strangers and a high level only used when addressing aristocracy

Balinese are always pious and they constantly remember where they come from. For that reason, this creates strata of groups in the society nowadays it is commonly called wangsa or soroh. The society order is based on this soroh so strong that it encompasses all kinds of balinese people's' activities. They persistently maintain and preserve their own genealogy. They cherish and keep their family line age inscriptions carefully and meticulously.