Fotofolio


    The Spiritual Heart of Bali

      1-3-2017
     

    The Spiritual Heart of Bali

    Kehen Dancers

    The Spiritual Heart of Bali

    Masceti Offerings

    The Spiritual Heart of Bali

    Going Home

    The Spiritual Heart of Bali

    The Balinese Boys

    The Spiritual Heart of Bali

    Foursome Friends

    The Spiritual Heart of Bali

    Holy Springs for All
    The Spiritual Heart of Bali
    Kehen Dancers

    The Spiritual Heart of Bali
    Masceti Offerings

    The Spiritual Heart of Bali
    Going Home

    The Spiritual Heart of Bali
    The Balinese Boys

    The Spiritual Heart of Bali
    Foursome Friends

    The Spiritual Heart of Bali
    Holy Springs for All

    More than three million Balinese people practice Hinduism. Their faith is at the very center of their lives, family and community. The Balinese pray to their Gods every day and are involved in various ceremonies and celebrations virtually every week.

    To the majority of Balinese, being devoted to their spiritual life, family, and community is their highest priority unlike most western cultures where material wealth often becomes a measure of life success. While many tourists and expats visit the more famous Hindu temples and witness traditional dances and ceremonies, very few appreciate the level of devotion and commitment of the Balinese to their spiritual lives.

    The Balinese spiritual ceremonies are often referred to as the “hidden or secret life of Bali” by western authors. However, the reality is in fact the exact opposite. The Balinese are remarkably open and inclusive with regard to their religion and various ceremonies. While many Balinese temples are architecturally interesting, they really come to life during ceremonies when they are abuzz with activities such as prayers, the giving and blessing of offerings, sacrifices, music and dances. The strong sense of spirituality, colors, sounds, and never-ending activity is a wonderful spectacle to experience.

    However, finding out what ceremonies are on, when and where across Bali is not so straightforward. The best resource for this is definitely not the internet but simply the annual Balinese calendar, which is readily available across the island. The calendar contains many details such as special Hindu religious days, Balinese days and week periods (which are not Gregorian!), full and new moon nights, and major Balinese holy days like Galungan, Kuningan and Nyepi. The most valuable is a separate listing of all odalan (temple ceremonies) by date and temple across the island – for the larger temples, these are a major spectacle. This is where to find out in advance what's on, when, and where.

    In conclusion, to experience the real Bali, try to see some “non-tourist” Balinese temple ceremonies. I have found without exception that the Balinese are very welcoming and open to visitors. The only strong advice is to dress appropriately, behave respectfully with a low profile. Sadly some tourists believe if they have a camera in their hand they can freely wander around during ceremonies as they please. Thankfully nowadays the pecalang (Balinese security) are generally in attendance to quickly sort out such indiscretions!

    By Phil Green
    Photos by Phil Green (www.baliphotoblog.smugmug.com)


       Author:  Team
      Magazine issue > Fotofolio
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