Mystery, Myth & Magic

Sebel: A Taste of Blood in Bali

Culture | Mar 23, 2017

Balinese society, like all societies, show numerous features of gender inequality in rights, status or simply behaviour. One of the most persistent imbalances pertains to the perception of female sexuality as being basically “impure” (sebel). Blood is associated in Balinese religion with negative forces, the butakalas. It is the main ingredient of the offerings addressed […]

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Penampahan: The Slaughter Of The Pigs

Bali's Biggest Celebrations | Mar 03, 2017

It starts suddenly in the middle of the night, while people are sound asleep. It sounds like the wailing of a milk-lusting baby. But the wailing soon dies out into a whine of despair and a last shriek of death. And, as the first light of dawn is rising on the horizon, other similar squalling […]

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What About Love in Bali

Culture | Feb 01, 2017

Have you ever thought about what love making entails when you cross a border and change cultural background. You may say the basic working of the thing is similar, and, as a frequent traveler, I will tend to agree of course…But, as you know, in some countries, people eat bread, in others, rice. So while […]

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Indonesian Identity in the 21st Century: Of Chinese Descent

Culture | Jan 19, 2017

Identity, especially in a country as large and diverse as Indonesia, can be a confusing and somewhat muddled topic. For centuries, the Indonesian archipelago has been subject to the mixing of cultures, religions races, ethnicities and so on, resulting in the ‘Indonesian people’ of today. However, it is perhaps Chinese Indonesian identity that stands out the […]

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Siwa Ratri, The Ritual Wake For The Longest Night of the Year

Culture | Jan 09, 2017

The longest night of the year is a important ritual moment in the life of the Balinese. In the local lunar-solar Saka calendar, it falls on the 14th panglong lunar day of the seventh (Kapitu) month. In the Gregorian calendar, this day is usually in February, but of this changes, in 2017 it was 26 […]

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Lunacy in Bali

Culture | Dec 23, 2016

Children always follow him wherever he goes, shouting and throwing stones at him. He is about 40, dressed in rags, carrying a worn-out leather bag. On his head is a cardboard box containing various kinds of rags and a worn-out mat. He wears a shoe on one foot and a slipper on the other. His […]

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The Muda Mudi Youth Association

Culture | Nov 23, 2016

Outside the building, two young girls are giggling. Above the entrance hangs a big board with the word “Bar” written in awkward letters. Shadows dance as red lights flash on and off to the beat of hard-rock music. Boys are sitting, drinking, surrounded by pretty girls. Is it a go-go bar? Have the Bangkok lights […]

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The Fulfillment of a Vow

Mystery, Myth & Magic | Oct 04, 2016

The atmosphere was not a happy one in Pan Koncrong’s house. His daughter was lying in bed, feverish. An old medicine man (balian) had come and muttered a few magical words. But now he was gone, and neither his prayers to the gods of neither the mountain nor his potions were working. The child was […]

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Balinese Men and Western Females

Mystery, Myth & Magic | Sep 27, 2016

Love and sex have always been one of the most interesting fields of encounter between cultures, if not always between people. In this matter there is little which is not already known about the Balinese women and Western men relationship, the Balinese women being subjected to the luscious desire of the latter – originally as […]

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The Origin of Uluwatu and Why Fishermen Cannot Become Rich

Culture | Aug 28, 2016

Historian and art critic Jean Couteau brings us stories depicting the life on Bali, sometimes real, sometimes myth, always meaningful.

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