We have loved Bali for its gorgeous panorama of spectacular nature but the thing we really fell in love with 10 years ago when we first visited was the incredibly spiritual and unique culture! Balinese Hindu is very different from Indian Hindu. It has its own unique traditions and beliefs that are so complicated and varied that we will never be able to learn it all. Each visit enlarges our understanding and we love what we learn, both for good and for fascinating.
Here is a little introduction to Balinese Dance and Puppetry from a book called Balinese Dance:
Probably the most famous Balinese Dance is the Berong Dance, the story of a a classic clash between a wild character representing good (The Berong) and a witch (Ranga). The costumes are simply beyond belief. These pictures don’t do the costumes and the splendor of the sets justice but you’ll get the idea:
The Witch Ranga:
Note the very unique gamelan orchestra to the right and the left. They create a sound like no other in the world!
On our first night at Alum Indah we walked to the restaurant at the top of the road where our cute Dad presented everyone with a ring. He bought some pretty crazy rings for all the guys when we were in Dubai and some beauties for the girls in Mexico. This is the result. We have a crazy fun Dad! We wore the rings while we ate and watched “The Children’s Dance.” Adorable kids who could really do amazing things with their bodies entertained us as we were amazed and delighted!
Low light so pretty blurry. I’m sure the big cameras got a lot better shots!
If you look really hard you can see Richard and I in there with all those cute kids.
Probably the most amazing thing about the Balinese culture is the spectacular rice fields on every side, often as far as you can see! Bali has 4 million people and they feed themselves! All their rice (their staple) is home-grown!
As well as endless elaborate temples that make Bali so unique.
Art is supreme, from the magnificent wood carving below to the beautiful flower arrangement in a pot of water outside one of the shops.
To temple ceremonies where men play instruments and women carry pyramids of fruit and offerings on their heads in the procession.
The most incredible culture on earth!