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Balinese Art and Culture Never Fade Away




Bali, land of the God. Balinese way of life always tied into their religious beliefs. Whatever they do, is always for the God Almighty. Every day before starting their activities, they always pray to have a blessing by provide offering to the God on the small altar at their yard. Sometimes you can see also small offering or sesajen on the road, near the intersection, inside the store, or other places. Never step, kick, or even take flowers from this offering.And The Journey BeginDenpasar the capital city of Bali has many Pura or temples. Pura Jagatnatha is dedicated to the Supreme God Sang Hyang Widi Wasa. Between June and July, the city held the Werdhi Budaya a yearly art festival, including performances, exhibitions and art contests.

The biggest and the holiest temple is Pura Besakih on the slope of Mt. Agung. You have to take a steep staircase to reach the temple. Around the three main temples, dedicated to the Trinity (Brahma, Wisnu and Shiva) there are other 18 separate sanctuaries belonging to different regencies and caste groups.
Next is the Tanah Lot temple, one of the most important sea temples. This temple was built on the 16th century at the top of a huge rock, surrounded by the sea. The best time is on the late afternoon when the temple is in silhouette with the sunset.
Tirta Empul is a temple with two bathing places built around the sacred spring water at Tampak Siring. The local believe that the spring water have a curative power. Regular ceremonies are held for purification.

The second largest temple is Pura Kehen which has three terraces courtyard. The lowest and the second one have large Banyan trees and the highest courtyard has several shrines for the God and ancestors.Old Kingdom and Ancient VillagesAlthough Balinese live in a modern world, they never forget their roots and respect their old custom, traditional art and culture. There are villages that still hold their old customs such as in Trunyan and Tenganan.

Trunyan village is on an island at the lake Batur. They call themselves as the Bali Aga or the original Balinese. They have maintained their old ways.From Fine Arts to Performing ArtsEvery region in Bali, the local people have their own expertise in fine arts. Wood sculpture, sandstone sculpture, silverware, painting, mask making and more, are part of their daily life. At Batubulan (northeast of Denpasar), they make sandstone sculpture for houses or a temple ornament, while at Batuan is the center of wood panel carvings and paintings at Celuk village is the place to buy silver and gold jewelries.

Mas is the village of woodcarvers. Old Balinese masters still live here and their masterpieces are exhibit at the art galleries. If you are a painting collector, Ubud is the home of several famous artists.

Dance and drama have an important role for the Balinese people. They learn to dance since their childhood through their own Banjar. Kecak the most famous of the Balinese dances. A whole group of men sitting together from a circle and make a rhythm of Cak-cak-kecakcak-cak-cak from their mouth. They will wave their arms and sway to and fro in time with the chants. There are no music instruments at all. Accompanied with them, are dancers who will perform the epic of Ramayana.
The struggle and the battle between good and evil is the story of the Barong dance. Barong Keket a strange, fun loving creature in the shape of shaggy lion represents the good side, and the Rangda the witch, represents the evil one.

Sanghyang dance is also a trance dance and the most common are the Sanghyang Dedari and Sanghyang Jaran. The first one is performed by two girls dance with their eyes shut firmly. They dance perfectly with the background of a female choir and male Kecak chior. The Sanghyang Jaran is a boy dance around and through a fire riding a kind of coconut palm hobby-horse.Playing with The WavesKuta beach and Uluwatu shore is the best place for surfer freaks. The waves are superb and the best time to surf is in April to September.’Uluwatu’ has bigger waves; they called the Uluwatu breaks. White beaches and dramatic cliffs will hypnotized you.

Kuta will be packed with tourists who want to have sun bathing. Besides the crowdness, the Kuta area is also one of the best places for sight seeing, shopping and eating! Lots os cafes and restaurants set aside international cuisines or fusion styles. Even late at night, Kuta is still alive.

So do not rethink about it! Just pack your bags and fly to Bali! You never regret it..!

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