Balinese people and their gods

29 Oct

The main religion on Bali is Hinduism. So there are the same gods and figures like in India. Krishna, Rama, Ganesh, etc. Religion has a very important role in day to day life on Bali. In effect day to day life is organised around religious activities like prayers, offerings, temple visits.

Each house has a house temple and the wealthier a family is the bigger should be the house temple.

If you do not share your wealth with the gods and worship them, they might all go away from you again. Worshiping them includes offerings around the house. Every day you will find small offerings at all kind of places in the house and in town. This can be at the entrance, at a small statue, but sometimes also on a sink.

In addition there are quite a number of temple visits/festivals, often including a procession. This includes full moon, new moon, general temple festivals, etc.

And again you have to bring offerings. But the good thing is that the fruit offerings that you bring to the temple will be blessed and after the ceremony you can take them home and eat them.

If there is a temple ceremony people just follow it independent of their work. A friend of us had to wait 10 days for his container to be liberated from customs in the harbour because the responsible person was out for a temple ceremony.

Last but not least, there are days to bless different items like animals, trees, metal tools and also machines including cars and motorbikes.

So there is a lot to do for a Balinese family including own religious activities plus joining in for activities of families and friends. Everyday you see people dressed up on a way to a religious event.

And it is not cheap. All in all a normal Balinese family is spending a min of 70€ every month only for offerings. Quite a bit if you consider local salaries.

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2 Responses to “Balinese people and their gods”

  1. Tobias October 29, 2010 at 6:49 am #

    Interesting post! Keep it up!!!

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