NGABENBali is one of the thousands islands of Indonesia that is also one of the world’s most favorite destination, as voted by readers of several top travel magazines in their annual readers’ polls. All these achievements come from Bali’s unique cultures mixed with its Hindu religion, charming dances, arts & crafts, as well as, its lovely landscapes & beaches. Bali’s own irrigation system called Subak is also so admired because it’s authentic, one of a kind, irrigation system in the world.

For a Balinese, since a baby was born until grown-up there are a lot of ceremonies to take, even until death. There are always be ceremonies following through a Balinese’s life span. Ceremonies for each step of the growing baby as mentioned earlier, then more ceremonies for puberty, maturity from marriage to death.

For a baby, ceremonies starts at 3 months’ old, then 6 months’ old, and then every other 6 months (210 days) a Balinese will do the ceremony again and again till death that called otonan. One month in Balinese calendar consists of 35 days. So, every other 210 days balinese people will have this very special day otonan. Balinese will have their otonan more popular than their birthday, which is celebrated every other year (365 days).

Another unique tradition is the tooth filing ceremony. This ceremony will be done when the kids come to puberty. Especially the two fangs-right and left sided- will be slightly cut off. The ceremony is a symbol that when people grown-up, they should be more mature, calmer and wiser than before. By filing their teeth, a grown up Balinese are expected to get rid themselves from “lust”, “greed”, “anger”, “drunkenness”, “confusion” & “jealousy”, in short, avoid any “evil” characters.

When the Balinese died, they used to do cremation ceremony called ngaben. The corpse will be laid in a huge and prestigious container called wadah. The whole people in the village will guide this corpse along the way to the cemetery, where ngaben or the cremation ceremony to be held. Usually the higher society level or the wealthier of the dead make the more extravaganza the cremation ceremony to be. For sure when there are ngaben ceremonies held there are usually be many tourists come to “experience” the ceremony themselves.

I must admit, everytime visiting Bali, I always find something new. New handicrafts, new tourist resorts, new cullinaries, new performing arts, etc… So even though I’m a Balinese there always be new things for me to see, taste or enjoy in my beautiful island.

A piece of wood, in the hand of wood carving artists in Gianyar, will become a lovely art and elegant piece of work. The artists are autodidact, just by joining and watching their friends and relatives doing those things. They could paint a tremendous art of paintings with many styles : naturalistic, abstracts, ‘young artist’, cubism, surrealism, etc. Kids are painting together in their backyard’s home as their natural studio, while starring at their parents harvesting rice. Bali really is a paradise on earth..

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Posted Thursday, June 12th, 2008 at 11:12 am
Filed Under Category: Traveling
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    Dr. Sukma Merati, DSPADr. Sukma Merati is founder and owner of Riau Pathology Center in Pekanbaru, Riau. Dr. Merati has had various international experience and training, including as a fellow doctor at The Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, NY, USA (2000-2002). More >

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