Posts Tagged ‘Balinese religion’

A special highlight at our first week volunteering here at Jiwa Damai was an invitation from the staff  to attend two temple ceremonies.

We left here late afternoon with 2 cars, but in order to attend we had to dress in traditional Balinese clothes.  Our guide for the evening and the President of Lagu Damai Foundation, Wira, brought sarongs, udengs (headpiece for men), ribbons and a blouse for us to dress in.  Finally, Astri picked some beautiful flowers that we wore behind our ears; now looking a bit more like the locals, we were ready.

Intaba and Daniel with Balinese hosts, dressed and ready to go

After a good hour drive we arrived at the first temple, Pura Ulun Danu Batur, the main sukas and water temple in Bali.  Out of our car windows we could see myriads of people with offerings on their way to the temple.

Locals making their way to bring offerings to the temple

We walked through a stunning carved gate to find ourselves in a big courtyard where a band was playing music.  A group of mostly older men performed a warrior dance with symbolic spears.

Traditional Balinese dancer inside the temple

It appeared we were the only foreigners that were welcomed to the inner- temple, which we can attribute to our Balinese friends.

Once inside we watched as offerings were presented to the Gods.  We kept a small box made out of banana leaves containing flowers and incense in front of us.

Various offerings presented throughout the ceremony

Sitting on the floor we meditated for brief periods throughout the ceremony.  At the end of the ceremony we took some rice out of a silver bowl, put it on our forehead and then ate a bit.  Afterwards, we were blessed with sacred water.  The sun had already set while leaving the temple and the full moon came up behind Mount Agung; the scenery was just breath-taking.

We set off to the second temple ceremony at the Mother Temple of Besakih.  The Besakih Temple is the largest and most important temple in Bali and is at the base of Mount Agung.  We had the honor of experiencing a second ceremony there as well before heading back.

Beautiful Mt. Agung with moon rising up as we were leaving

We were very tired after the adventure and slept in our car seats the whole way back to Jiwa Damai.

Read Full Post »

Balinese people are very religious and they regularly hold ceremonies and parades in their communities. They bring offerings to the Gods in order to ask for their good will and to appease them.

Wira, the general manager at Jiwa Damai,  invited us to join his familiy in one of the bigger ceremonies held in his village.

We, the foreigners, got dressed up in traditional Balinses clothes. Everyone is wearing a sarong. This is really the essential piece of clothing you need during your stay on Bali!

The festivities started with a ceremony in the local temple.

Ceremony in a Balinese temple

Afterwards all the people of the village set out to march to the next village, to the next temple to hold the religious ceremony there.

Ceremony walk

The whole march took about 6 hours in the hot Balinese midday sun! The group stopped at 4 different temples to hold ceremonies. It was quite a challenge to walk in the boiling heat for that many hours and for so many kilometers. But it was a very special and rewarding experience at the same time.  We, the foreigners, or the “bule” (how the Balinese people call foreigners) were the attraction of the group. Everyone eyed us carefully & curiously… but they welcomed us in the group with warm feelings.

The Balinese women were all dressed in their most beautiful clothes, carrying basket with offerings on their heads.

Balinese women taking a rest during the walk

And the little kids were absolutely adorable !

Balinese kids

All in all this day was a great experience!

At Jiwa Damai we offer our guests the opportunity to get in close contact with the Balinese people and to take part in ceremonies and local festivities.

To inquire about upcoming festivities and the possibility to join, write us an email> info@jiwadamai.net.

Read Full Post »