Bali Culture

Most of the Balinese are Hindu religion, we belief in one God, or the supreme God, name’s Sanghyang Widhi Wasa. Although Balinese worship the Hindu trinity, Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva, these are seen as manifestation of the supreme God. In connecting with the trinity, in every single villages we have at least three main temples, such as ;Village temple or Pura Desa usually built in the center of the village, dedicated to Brahma, as the creator, and the symbol is red in color,Puseh temple or Pura Puseh, usually built more higher than other temples, that’s represented Holy Mountain, dedicated to Wishnu, as the Protector, and the symbol is black in color.Pura Dalem or Dalem temple, built near by the cemetery is the temple for the death, dedicated to Shiva as the destroyer and the symbol is white in color.

Beside the three main temples, in every single village, there are also family’s temples in each-house compound.

That is the reason, Bali also called the island of thousand temples, Balinese Hindu religion also belief with the Reincarnation, for that reason the cremation ceremony are performed as the process to purified the spirit from the body to be ready for the next lives. We believed strongly in magic, and the power of spirits, and much of our religion is based on this.

In our philosophy there are two forces of spirits are exist in the world, both of them have each own characteristic, such as good spirit and evil spirit, or positive and negative forces.

The good spirit and the God are dwelling in the upper places or Holy Mountain, and the evil spirit or demons are dwelling in the seas.

These two forces are always fighting each others, and never ending with won one of them. This represented these two forces with black and white color, to symbolize that the world are always black and white, or good and bad, aid dynamic.

While you are in Bali, you will found the black and white cloth; they put on the shrines, on the statues, on the fichus Benjamin, or as the scarf for the man while they are going to the temple.

These two forces has to be kept in balanced, to maintain the revolves on the world in harmony.In our religious philosophy, there are three ways of life to create the balance, peaceful life, and happiness in the world which we call it “Tri Hita Karana” Its mean;

1. Good and harmony relationship in between the human being and the God

2. Good and harmony relationship in between the human being and others

3. Good and harmony relationship in between the human being and the other creatures, the nature, and the environment.

For that reason we always offer the offerings during the days, in the morning, in the afternoon, in the evening, and in every single part of the social life activities, or during the temple festival. A small offering in the morning, are made of banana leaf, with some food on it, we put around the compound inside or outside of the house in the shop, and on the entrance gate, the meaning of this offerings id to thanks to the God for blessing, and to apologize because during cooking we are killing so much seedling, and animals for food. The afternoon offerings called Canang sari, are made of coconut leaf with full decoration, and colorful of flowers, the meaning of these offerings is to representing of our prosperity, and happiness, and thanks to the God for all the blessing.

The evening offerings are made of banana leaf, with some colored rice and some ingredient on it, the meaning of these offerings is to asking protection from the good spirit, so that the bad spirit won’t disturb us during the dark.

The traditional Balinese Orientation is quite different from the normal cardinal point in the world, especially for the north and south directional.

Tie Balinese respect that the mountain are holy, and dwelling place of the God, is the reference point of Balinese North, event it is not is the north, and the seas as the home of evil spirit, or lower places is always reference as the South (Balinese), event it is not in south.

In connecting with this orientation, all Balinese people from the small village until the big town are sleeping with their head position pointed to the Holy Mountain, or Balinese North.

Community organization

In every single villages Balinese society have a traditional community organization, called Banjar system, and each family as a member of a Banjar, and each of the community organization in every single village has a public building known as Bale Banjar, complete with Bale kul-kul, or kul-kul tower, and the Ulun Banjar, or the temple of Banjar membership. Banjar on average have a membership of between 100 up-to 300 families In the Bale Banjar they conduct the regular meetings, and social life activities as well as a form of the community services, such as ; temples festival, cremation ceremonies, and being used for gamelan orchestras, and dancing groups practices.

In every Banjar, they have a special day for meetings conducted in Balinese calendar which is coming once; in every 35 days. The Banjar system already known worldwide, and succeed in Bali. The traditional organization chart of the Banjar system are very simple, the top leader of the Banjar is called Kelihan Banjar, the secretary called, Penyarikan, and the treasurer called Panengen, and the section unite called Kesinoman.

The kul-kul is a very big wooden bell, hanging on a very high tower which is used for calling the Banjar member during the meetings period or other social life activities.

For the ordinary cases, the sound of the kul-kul will be very slow, and calm, and for the special or emergency cases the sound of the kul-kul will be very fast and long, or called kul-kul bulus.

Traditional Balinese house compound:

Traditionally Balinese have their ancient typical of house compound whose roots in Balinese cultural.

The house are surrounded by a low wall, inside there are many separated small building for each household function.

There are a place for cooking, and the Lumbung, is a place for rice storage barn is next to the kitchen, one place for guest pavilion, in front of the kitchen, one place for keeping the dead body while they are preparing an offering for the cremation ceremony, and waiting for the right day. One place for social life activities as well as tooth filing ceremony, wedding ceremony, cremation ceremony and others.

The special place with completely walled, in without windows is a place for a new married couple, where they keep them for one month aid seven days, and during this period they are not allowed to go out from the compound, because we respect that on this period they have a holy duty for continuing the important generation, during this period all of the rest of the family serve them.

On northeast side of the compound is a family temple with few shrines. Usually the compound is entered through a gateway, with a small place for offering on it, called apit lawang, and inside of the gateway there is, a small wall, called aling-aling, is to protect the evil spirit for entering the house compound, according to legend that the evil spirit only can go in straightaway.

Inside or outside of the compound, there are always a small garden where they plant many kind of flowers, and a useful plantations which they used it for offerings and daily needs.