Secret Bali

Those Wild Men of Karangasem

Culture | Nov 06, 2018

There I was, far from home, surrounded by hundreds of wild eyed men, each brandishing a wicked looking Kris – the killer dagger used in many countries of the Asian world. While the scene sounds slightly surreal, strangely enough, it was far from dangerous! These beautiful folk were all in deep trance, as part of […]

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Metatah : A Balinese Teeth Filing (Done with Style)

Bali's Biggest Celebrations | Oct 09, 2018

Its not every day that some well placed person in Ubud society organises a huge metatah or tooth filing ceremony for her greater family, it was an affair to remember. Without mentioning any names, the event took place at the popular Honeymoon Guest House where twenty two children or young adults had their front teeth filed […]

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The Children of Bali

Bali For Kids | Sep 01, 2018

The children of Bali are like a special breed. Smart, cheeky and often devout, they enliven every day with their cheeky attitudes. When Robert Koke, author of “Our house in Bali” in the ‘40’s, revisited Bali after an absence of almost 40 years, he was asked if he found Bali had much changed. His reply was […]

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Bali’s Bizarre and Beautiful: Costumes of Culture

Secret Bali | Aug 14, 2018

While the Balinese seem to go about their daily lives in a fairly normal way, in reality it is just a cover. What they really like to do is attend ceremonies and functions where they can dress up! Bali is a culture where the adherents just love to get put on costumes. From an early […]

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A Pantheon of The Extraordinary: The Colours of Bali’s Ceremony

Culture | Jun 28, 2018

Bali is a source of endless ceremonies and celebrations, performed across the island. Starting at the end of May until June 9th is Galungan, Bali’s happiest festival when every village dresses up to the nines and gets ready to welcome the gods returning ancestral spirits. It is a celebration of the victory of Dharma over […]

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The Melasti of the Full Moon

Culture | May 08, 2018

It looked almost like an Indian Kumbh Mela with the whole of Bali’s southeast coast covered with people dressed in white. Right to the misty distance, penjors and processions could be seen proceeding along the wave drenched coastline.  Dressed in their ceremonial best, the Balinese came from villages near and far to pray and be […]

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Coming Clean: The Melukat Cleanse

Culture | Apr 24, 2018

It’s six thirty am and we are meeting at the carpark of Tirtha Empul, Bali’s most well known holy spring. This Hindu Balinese water temple in the cool highlands founded in 942 AD sees hundreds of visitors a day, coming to do a melukat or ritual cleanse. Surrounded by bathing pools and old growth trees […]

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In Need of Refuge: The Other Side of the Volcano

Culture | Mar 22, 2018

  While visitors in the south brave Bali’s holiest mountain, the volcanic, Gunung Agung continues to engage, fascinate and terrify visitors and Balinese alike. But in fact for visitors, their lives are little affected by the volcano’s activity as there is not much effect except a possible rare delayed flight and even that is not […]

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Mapeed : A Balinese Ritual Procession

Secret Bali | Feb 14, 2018

One of Bali’s most iconic ceremonies is the Mapeed – or sometimes mepeed – where lines of Balinese women walk together as ritual. Our contributor Ayu Sekar shares more: Out of the squalor and chaos of the market, a stream of waving long bamboo flagpoles or penjors start to appear. Accompanied by the sound of […]

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The Old, The Bold and The Beautiful

Culture | Jan 03, 2018

Even while the Holy mountain rumbles, life in Bali goes on. The Balinese tend to take life as it comes, living in the moment, rather than fretting about what may or may not happen sometime in the future.  Here, people from all different walks of life – farmers, tourist people and old folk working in […]

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