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Balinese design and architecture

1 Dec

Ah… It’s been some days now we have left the island and all its sweet enchantments…

From the time spent there, we keep a few spices carefully placed in the kitchen cupboard, shiny batik scarves to decorate the walls of a hypothetic home and many, many, many pictures.

Here is a set of pictures showing more of Bali’s architecture and design:

Séparé” at the dining place of a famous Balinese musician.

Floating living room.

A water palace.

Garden decoration at the Chedi.

Detail of a restaurant.

In the rice fields ( Sari Organic).

at Dirty Duck.

Casa Luna.

Casa Luna.

Casa Luna.

Lounge in Indus.

Lalla Lilies.

Sari Organic.

Stairs lit up for the dance.

Impressions of Bali

9 Nov

Red basil signature drink at the Chedi

River by the water temple

Indus atmosphere

Variations of green

Casa luna

Also…

Dancers

Fisherman’s sunset

PS: we have left Bali and are spending peaceful days on the island of Koh Chang, Thailand

The Death of a King

6 Nov

In August the king of Peliatan died. Peliatan is the neighbouring community to Ubud. As Bali is a hinduistic society, deads are burnt and not buried. However, you cannot just burn a person once he/she died. First of all you have to ask the priest when it is a good day to burn the corpse. And if you are unlucky you have to wait a month. On top of this burning people is expensive with all the ceremonies and offerings. So ordinary people often burry their dead family members and wait until they have the money to burn them or until they can join in a group burning. This can take years.

The king of Peliatan died in August and he was buried in November. This was not a question of not having money, but of preparing a royal funeral. So the king was buried for a few weeks. A cow was build that will contain the sarcophagus while being burned.

Then a dragon was built that will carry the nobleman during the ceremony (A gift from the king of Ubud). And then a tower of 28 meters height that will be used to transport the corpse of the king. It is said that the tower alone cost 250.000$.

On the day of the funeral all Peliatan and Ubud were on the street to see the parade. It was burning hot and we waited two hours in the shade at the side of the street. Already this was an event on its own. People from all nations were mixing and making a party out of the waiting.

After 12 o’clock the corpse was carried via a ramp into the tower. Then all three things were carried by men the 2,5km road to the burning ground. All together it was said that more then 6000 men participated in carrying as the teams needed to be changed every few hundred meters. The streets along the parade were full of people it was the event of the year.

A picture of the late king was carried at the front of the parade followed, by musicians, then the princesses followed on chairs being carried, noble man, etc. All in all the parade was almost 1km long.

At the end came the cow, the dragon and the tower. It was so difficult to carry the tower that it crashed two times into the crowd. Some people we know got badly hurt, but luckily nobody died like in previous processions.

At the end the procession reached the burry ground sound and save and the king was burned later in the day.

It was an amazing event. Like in a time machine. The princesses, the musicians, the nobleman and priest on the dragon.  We were lucky to be around.

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.

Early morning at the market

22 Oct

The first ray of sun made its way through the coconut trees, our bedroom window and finally through our white cotton mosquito net.

We yawned and strechted. It was Monday morning, 6:15, but we didn’t care much about which day it was and if it was too early or too late.

“What do you think? Maybe we could take advantage of our early wake-up to visit the local market?”. Yes. Indeed. We had wished to pay the market a visit for some days, but were reluctant to put an alarm clock at 5 or 6 in the morning. You see, here in Bali, if you get there after 7 o’clock everything is basically over.

So, off we were to the Ubud central market. Our official excuse was that this is the only place to find young coconuts. A healer had recommended to drink the water of the fresh coconut every morning.

But in reality, oh, in reality, we just wanted to smell and taste and observe everything this market contained. To discover all the spices, to know the name of each vegetable, to taste each sort of rice sweets and maybe to bargain a thing or two.

So we didn’t find the coconuts (at 6:30 they were already sold out ), but we found everything else…

Balinese shallots and garlic, so mild and so aromatic…

Chillis, to fire your mouth and your stomach…

Fully prepared gods offerings, for the busy ones…

Flowers, for if you want to prepare your gods offerings yourself…

Think before you buy live chicken, because then you get to carry them through the whole market, and it’s not very handy…

Silver, silver are the fishes!

Traditionally-made Balinese salt is a delicacy. It is mild and refines the meals with subtlety.

A proud Balinese woman thrones upon her fruits…

There is hardly a more beautiful reason to get up at 6 o’clock, isn’t there?

PS: the Moving Cookbook is getting updated with Balinese health recipes 😉

Trip to Bali’s East Coast – Part 2

19 Oct

In Amed, we arrived at the bungalows Birgit had recommended us. We were lucky to get the little house next to the pool and next to the beach.

Our bungalow had cute little windows

And a Balinese wooden door

The vegetation in the garden was luxuriant…

And the beach one step away…

Our bungalow, lost in the flowers

The place was enchanting, and the coral reef just a few meters from our room. And so we set off for a few days of salty water, hot sun and  tropical birds.

To be continued…

Trip to Bali’s East Coast – Part 1

16 Oct

We decided to leave Ubud for a few days and spend some time in the sun, at the beach, on the East Coast of Bali. There is a coast line called Amed. It is nothing more than a few fisherman villages…. A few fisherman villages and a coral reef…

We took the decision the moment we saw the eyes of our friend Birgit. She had just come back from a few days spent there. Her eyes said it all: “Amed? Oh yes… It was…. Nice…” (followed by dreamy eyes). And so we packed our bags and went.

Travelling through the island to reach the coast was a treat for the eyes…

To be continued…