Monday, June 6, 2011

My Top 10 Favorite Things I Love About Balinese Hinduism

(in no particular order)

The Karma: The people live by means of Karma. They believe their actions in this life will lead to the life & privileges in their next life. This inevitably creates people who are highly conscious in their daily interactions, resulting in a very calm, peaceful, & safe environment. I have NEVER felt at risk or in danger here in Bali.

The Temples- Bali is filled with temples, they are all sacred places of prayer & gratification to the Gods. They are immaculate, every section of the temples are intentional & beautiful. There are large temples that belong to each section of the community, all people of that community gather at this temple for their ceremonies & celebrations. The majority of Balinese people live in a compound, which means their whole family lives inside of little houses that are attached to each other. Each compound has their own temple where they visit daily for prayer (these are also beautiful).

The Offerings- Everyday they prepare offerings to the spirits. These offerings are made from natural materials, the main material is banana leaves, they use these leaves to form a little box & inside the box they fill it with flowers, incents, and some type of food (usually candy or rice). All additions are placed carefully inside the box with their own significance. The food represents their gratitude for being given the opportunity to have food in their daily lives. These offerings are placed all over temples, in front of doors, on cross roads, on the front of cars/motorbikes, etc. You have to watch your step constantly, they’re EVERYWHERE. They are the symbols of the Hindu’s gratitude & appreciation of the offerings they wish to return to their gods.

The Ceremonies/Celebrations
- The ceremonies happen at least twice a week, they gather to rejoice all kinds of celebrations. The people here are extremely happy, helpful, & compassionate; I believe this has a lot to do with their persistent gathering & celebrating. This culture always has something to look forward to, something to prepare for, & something to work for. A majority of their money goes towards ceremony costs, but it is the way of their life & they are happy to spend the money on their beliefs & rituals of their religion.

The Gratefulness for EVERYTHING!- They have specific days to celebrate silence, metal, fire, rice, motors, water, etc. etc. They literally celebrate all the gifts they are given in their lifetime, because they acknowledge their potency & realize how much they affect their lives.

The Incense-Bali smells amazing because incense are lit all the time, I have never seen such large packages of incense at the store. They use them to purify the air; this is an item of one’s everyday life here.

The Music- an everyday affair, some nights I fall asleep to it & some mornings I wake to it. The best part is when I am cruising on the motorbike & pass by a Gamelan (a group of Balinese people jamming away at percussion instruments), they are always dressed up, even if they are just practicing. Sometimes there are parades marching down the streets, whenever I see this I feel like I am in the middle of some magical dreamland. These visions & auditory awakenings always make me feel smack dab in the middle of Bali.

The Outfits-The Balinese ALWAYS dress up when it is time for gatherings or ceremonies. They have very specific outfits depending on the celebration. But the typical outfit is stunning, for both men & women. The women wear sarongs, and a handmade blouse that hangs down to their thighs, with a scarf wrapped around their waist, and their hair pinned back in jewels. The men also wear sarongs, with button down shirts, and a wrap around their heads which forms a hat. Every time I see these outfits I smile because not only are they so beautiful, they are also so unique & so traditional to their own culture. The Balinese definitely have their own “style.”

The Prayer-paying respect to the Gods is a daily ritual. The song for prayer is belched out to the whole community when it is time to pray. They pray during designated times, but they also pray on their own time, especially when they give an offering or enter a temple. Their connection to the higher power is highly dedicated.

The Thick Sense of Community, Togetherness, & Wellbeing-
with all the gatherings & ceremonies the people are constantly together. Their sense of community is a way of life, an expectation of the others around them.

After I go to India I know this list will change, for instance yoga will be added, but I couldn’t add it now bc I haven’t experienced the Hindus here in Bali performing yoga (mostly just the western bohemians who pass through). Anyway, my writings & ideas are always up for transformation. What an incredible cultural journey it has been to live here.. All my love & gratitude to these amazing people I have been introduced to, I have so much to learn from them.

1 comment:

  1. Love, love, love it! Amazing - you are so lucky to be able to experience and appreciate all of this.
    Love ya!
    Sarah K.