Sanghyang Jaran

The Dances of Bali | Jun 28, 2013

Famous for its preserved cultural life, which has strong attachments to religious beliefs, Bali’s sacred dances are only performed at temples during a ceremony. The sacred dances not only showcase the beauty of Balinese cultural performances, but also exhibit a firm belief of the presence of spirits and the supernatural world. Long before the modern […]

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Telek Dance

The Dances of Bali | May 31, 2013

Friday evening: While most of the Ubud’s visitors are indulging in its thriving culinary scene, enjoying light-hearted chat in one of the many cafes, or strolling the pretty streets of Ubud, partaking in a little window shopping, some visitors thirsting for culture might fill the seats arranged inside the Ubud Palace compound.  There are no […]

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Barong Procession in Baturiti

Secret Bali | May 31, 2013

A chance meeting with a Balinese friend in the know led to an extraordinary excursion to the cool, high, terraced hills of Baturiti. Here, in one of Bali’s most dramatically beautiful rice growing areas, is the Pura Luhur Pucak Padang Dawa Temple and the site of a spectacular annual ceremony where hundreds of people adorned […]

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The Night in Bali of Yore

Culture | May 31, 2013

Night-time in today’s modern Bali means partying in and around Kuta. It is a new notion. The “night” in today’s Bali is totally different from what it has been for thousands of years. The change was initiated in the 1970s and 1980s, so not so long ago. Electricity was introduced to replace the small oil […]

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Sanghyang Dedari

The Dances of Bali | Apr 29, 2013

As night falls and a dark sky envelopes sparkling Ubud, another life is just about to begin. At one corner of Jalan Hanuman in Ubud sits Pura Penataran Kloncing temple amidst a number shops and restaurants. The front yard of the temple is utilized as a stage for cultural performing arts but this activity doesn’t […]

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Bali is Full of Secrets

Secret Bali | Apr 29, 2013

Bali is full of secrets – secret symbols, secret places, secret ceremonies and secret esoteric knowledge that few foreigners will ever be party to. Some secrets are fun, some healthy, and some downright beautiful. While you are in Bali, take time out to discover some of the secrets that may lie just beneath the surface… […]

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Naur Sot and The Fulfillment of a Vow

Culture | Apr 29, 2013

  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, nor his potions were working. The child was lying helpless on […]

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Kecak, Bali’s Fire Dance

The Dances of Bali | Mar 26, 2013

Afternoons are always a good time to visit Uluwatu, the southern tip of the island. Not only to admire the lovely sunset from the top of the cliff but also to watch the famous Kecak Dance Performance, also known as the Bali Fire dance, which overlooks Uluwatu Temple. But what is the Kecak, and what’s […]

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Magical Melasti

Secret Bali | Mar 26, 2013

All across the island, processions wend their way down to the beaches and the sea. Some come packed into trucks, their cymbals clashing, gongs resonating proudly.  Others walk, sometimes several miles, in bright colourful processions, dotted with yellow umbrellas.  Trails of people, men carrying gongs, others shouldering heavy bamboo lifts that hold the precious iconic […]

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Visit to the Brahmins

Culture | Mar 26, 2013

Somprong and his friend, Dabdab, were chatting together on the single plank of Mrs. Somprong’s tea stall.  There, they used to talk everyday of the yellowing of the rice or of their daily duties to the gods. They chatted casually amidst the heaps of fruits and cookies and with the smoke of incense in the […]

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