Impressions of Bali – Religious and Happy Folks
Balinese is one of the happiest and friendliest people for few countries I have visited. The way the local can co-exist the hospitality to boost tourism as well as remain truthful to their own culture and lifestyle is amazing. I have seen many good ‘havens’ spoiled by tourism, but Bali seems to able to slow down the ‘contamination’ influenced by tourism (still affected, but not as bad).
Everyday, there is always some form of celeberations or ceremony in local temples. And the interesting phenomenon is the entire village will travel to the far corner of the island to conduct such ceremony in few sacred temples. Goa Lawah is one of them. You can see many bats and even python on the entrance to the cave.
Every morning, every devoted Balinese will make offerings, big or small, to their gods. So ladies carrying offering on their heads heading to temples are common sights.
Even admist of heavy monsoon rain.
Making offering outside the temple …
or into the temple …
You can also see ritual embedded into the performance, like the Kecak Dance at the edge of the cliff @ Uluwatu.
The site has breathtaking sunset and sheer cliff.
I never met some many people and shops allowing tourist to take pictures. This elderly lady taught my wife how to make the Ketupat from palm leave. We were so grateful that we walked to Denpasar town, developed the photo and gave to her.
Denpasar Pasar is a wet market, with a lane dedicated for flower merchants. So the whole street is filled with flower stalls. This is not a normal tourist place, so only 2 of us in that area.
Market is one of my favourite place to see the locals, and check out what kind of foods do they eat. Ubud Market is more accessible as it along the tourist path. If you like to visit (the messy) wet market, make sure be there by 7am (the market will be transformed into tourist gift marketing by 10am).
since the merchant has to look after the stall, a secondary mobile market appears. The mobile merchants will in turn sell things like coffee, breakfast, or even cloth hangers to the merchant. This is common sights in most of the market in South East Asia.
If you dare to try, there are plenty of salted fishes, sausages, and unknown foods waiting for tourist with good stomach to give it a taste. I will give it a pass, and stay on ‘seeing’.
One of the unique item worth noticing is the selling of flowes and the ‘holder’ made of palm tree leaves. Balinese use these bio-degradable tray to put offerings like flower pedals, sweets, and food, with insence. You can see them in the car, outside the shop or anywhere in Bali. Out of respect, tourist should not step on them (I saw so many ignorant tourist thought they are trashed and stepped on them, that could be rude).