Sunday, July 03, 2005

Bali Hi!

The original photo was taken at a Buddhist temple in Bali last Novemeber. It was my first visit to Bali and was completely taken by the country and its' people. Two things appear to me to dominate Balinese culture:
1. Religion: the people of Bali are predominantly Hindu and religion plays a very important role in their lives.
It is said that the women of Bali devote no less than a quarter of their waking hours to the preparation, delivery and arrangement of "offerings" for their temples and shrines. You'll see these floral displays almost everywhere - even on the counters of the duty-free shops at the Airport.
2. Family and the extended family of the village. Balinese are very attached to their village and family. The authority of the village headman is virtually unquestionable.
3. Craftsmanship. Almost every village I encountered in Bali had an arts/crafts speciality. There are woodworking villages, stone carving villages and painting villages. In these villages everyone practices the village craft. Imagine living in a place where you and all of the neighboring families spent at least eight hours a day painting pictures-all in the same style!
The result of all of this is to create a sense of place - an identity that is solid as a rock.