Know before you go: Balinese Culture

Come and discover Bali, known for its vibrant art scene, gorgeous landscapes and its unique and ancient culture.

We’ve put together a few interesting facts for you to know before you go, and have an unforgettable experience in the ‘Island of Gods’!


BALINESE DANCE

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Bali is known for its intricate and dramatic display of traditional dance. Dancers begin learning from as young as 7 years old, and master the art performing on special events, ceremonies and anniversaries. There are numerous different dances all expressing different stories, histories, styles and purposes!

  • Barong Dance – Barong is the king of the spirits in Balinese mythology, symbolising goodness. The dance depicts an eternal battle between good and evil, represented by Barong played by two men in a big lion-like costume and the demonic evil queen Rangda.
  • Legong Dance – Originally a dance for royal entertainment, is is performed by two girls who have undergone strict training to master sophisticated movements of the fingers and feet.
  • Kecak Dance – This dance is inspired by a trance exorcism ritual, featuring 150 shirtless male dancers with checkered cloth tie around their waists. It involves hand and arm movements, as well as their own music and even a capella!

ETIQUETTE AND CUSTOMS

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Whilst Bali is considered an Asian Las Vegas, there are still certain manners and social customs that you should keep in mind when visiting the stunning Bali paradise!

  • Giving and receiving – Did you know? It’s considered impolite to give and receive something with your left hand. When giving or receiving things like money, a business card or food, make sure you use both hands!
  • Respect your elders – When you are speaking with elders, you should call them by their social titles as a sign as respect, such as ‘Pak’ for ‘Mr’, ‘Mas’ for ‘Mrs’ and ‘Mbak’ for ‘Ms’.
  • Dining etiquette – The etiquette when dining in a local home is different to one in a restaurant. You may find yourself sitting on the floor, or eating with your right hand. When you’re finished eating, you should leave a little bit of food on your plate to signify you are done, as this symbolises an offering to the gods.
  • Expressing anger – The Balinese people lose respect for those who do not control themselves. It is expected that you try and resolve any issues in a calm and collective manner to prevent any conflict.
  • Do not use your index finger to point – It is considered very impolite to point or beckon with your index finger. Instead, use your thumb to point, or extend your hand with your palm facing down and make a downward wave to call for someone!

BALINESE NAMES

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You’ll find that Balinese people are named one of the four names – Wayan, Made, Nyoman or Ketut. Both men and women!

Children are named from the order of birth and these names literally translate to ‘first born, second born, third born, and fourth born‘.  When the fifth child is born, it cycles back to Wayan, or they may be called ‘Balik‘, which means “return, again, repeat“. At least you don’t have to worry about coming up with a creative name!


VISITING A TEMPLE

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Balinese temples are peaceful and sacred places that offer gorgeous architecture and beautiful landscapes. When planning a trip to a Bali temple, it is essential that you understand the temple rules and etiquette before entering.

  • Dress appropriately – Wear modest clothing that cover your upper body and shoulders, and wear a scarf or long sarong which can be rented at most temples.
  • Take off your shoes – Take off your shoes before entering a temple – you can leave them at the entrance with the rest of left behind shoes.
  • Never point your feet – Do not have the soles of your feet pointing at the altar, as it is considered rude and improper.
  • Do not stand higher than the priest – Is it considered disrespectful to have your head higher than the head of the priest.
  • Do not enter the temple if you are pregnant – If you are pregnant, or have given birth within 6 weeks, you should not enter the temple.
  • Do not enter if you have open wounds – You should also not enter the temple if you have any open wounds.

RITUALS AND BELIEFS

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Bali is a very spiritual and religious country with many interesting rituals and beliefs. By understanding their customs you can feel closer to the Balinese culture!

  • Balinese babies are carried everywhere as they are not allowed to touch the ground until they are 3 months old! Once they are old enough, they partake in a tooth-filing ceremony to rid of evil and making one more beautiful, spiritually and physically.
  • Practices to keep evil spirits away – There are daily offerings of incense and food wrapped in banana leaves to appease the bad spirits, as well as noisy processions and stone carvings on walls. Also, when driving past a cemetery, drivers honk their horns to frighten the spirits away – sounds spooky!
  • Holy Water is seen as a mysterious and miraculous force that can cleanse spiritual impurities and protect one from evil spirits. It must be handled with respect, and passed around with your right hand, held as high as possible!

So fly on over to Bali and experience a unique and amazing culture! Treat yourself to a luxurious vacation and book your accommodation with Aabode.com TODAY! >> https://aabode.com/holiday-rentals/indonesia/bali-region