Tuesday, 31 March 2009
Monday, 30 March 2009
Sunday, 29 March 2009
On the morning of Kuningan, Balinese pray to their ancestors. They believe they should do so before midday, which is said to be the time when their ancestors go on their way. Offerings are made to the Gods as well as their ancestors. The yellow rice placed in a bowl made of coconut leaves called endongan. This is accompanied by small offerings of peanuts, spiced grated coconut and tiny salted fish. The food is for their ancestors to take with them on their journey. The Balinese hope that with this offering their ancestors will continue to protect and guide them in their daily lives.
Temples and house fronts are decorated with coconut leaves and flowers. The leaves are carved into delicate shapes and draped over objects, particularly shrines in the family temple. Some modern Balinese even dress up their cars.
Manis Kuningan is the day for visiting family and friends. You will see many families travelling around the island together. The beaches and recreations spots are always full on this day.
Saturday, 28 March 2009
Friday, 27 March 2009
Thursday, 26 March 2009
Observed from 6 a.m. until 6 a.m. the next morning, Nyepi is a day reserved for self-reflection and as such, anything that might interfere with that purpose is restricted. The main restrictions are: no lighting fires (and lights must be kept low); no working; no entertainment or pleasure; no traveling; and for some, no talking or eating at all. The effect of these prohibitions is that Bali’s usually bustling streets and roads are empty, there is little or no noise from TVs and radios, and few signs of activity are seen even inside homes. The only people to be seen outdoors are the Pecalang, traditional security men who patrol the streets to ensure the prohibitions are being followed.
Although Nyepi is primarily a Hindu holiday, non-Hindu residents of Bali observe the day of silence as well, out of respect for their fellow citizens. Even tourists are not exempt; although free to do as they wish inside their hotels, no one is allowed onto the beaches or streets, and the only airport in Bali remains closed for the entire day. The only exceptions granted are for emergency vehicles carrying those with life-threatening conditions and women about to give birth.
so what a contrast...to the way the rest of many of our cultures celebrate a new year...drunk, disorderly, partying...and how beautiful instead to take the opportunity to reflect on your year, in silence, and have hope for a prosperous year ahead. there are many lessons to be learned from the way the Balinese celebrate the coming of their new year. i for one will be enjoying the silence at home...
Wednesday, 25 March 2009
my favourite snack had to be singkong goreng (fried cassava) that were like french fries but so much more flavourful and were served with homemade tomato sauce and chilli. they were thin, crispy and so delicious. other dishes i tried were the tempe burger, gado-gado, milas salad (with good homemade cheese) bakso with tempe balls and nothing failed to satisfy. the only reason we didn't eat here on the last night was because it was closed...sob sob...
Jl. Prawirotaman 3,
Tuesday, 24 March 2009
Monday, 23 March 2009
The monument is both a shrine to the Lord Buddha and a place for Buddhist pilgrimage. The journey for pilgrims begins at the base of the monument and follows a path circumambulating the monument while ascending to the top through the three levels of Buddhist cosmology, namely Kāmadhātu (the world of desire), Rupadhatu (the world of forms) and Arupadhatu (the world of formlessness). During the journey the monument guides the pilgrims through a system of stairways and corridors with 1,460 narrative relief panels on the wall and the balustrades.
Evidence suggests Borobudur was abandoned following the fourteenth century decline of Buddhist and Hindu kingdoms in Java, and the Javanese conversion to Islam. Worldwide knowledge of its existence was sparked in 1814 by Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, the then British ruler of Java, who was advised of its location by native Indonesians. Borobudur has since been preserved through several restorations. The largest restoration project was undertaken between 1975 and 1982 by the Indonesian government and UNESCO, following which the monument was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Borobudur is still used for pilgrimage; once a year Buddhists in Indonesia celebrate Vesak at the monument, and Borobudur is Indonesia's single most visited tourist attraction.
Prambanan is the largest Hindu temple compound in Central Java in Indonesia, located approximately 18 km east of Yogyakarta.
The temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the largest Hindu temples in south-east Asia. It is characterised by its tall and pointed architecture, typical of Hindu temple architecture, and by the 47m high central building inside a large complex of individual temples.
The temple was damaged during the earthquake in Java in 2006. Early photos suggest that although the complex appears to be structurally intact, damage is significant. Large pieces of debris, including carvings, were scattered over the ground. The temple has been closed to the public until damage can be fully assessed. The head of Yogyakarta Archaeological Conservation Agency stated that: "it will take months to identify the precise damage". However, some weeks later in 2006 the site re-opened for visitors. The immediate surroundings of the Hindu temples remain off-limits for safety reasons.
Sunday, 22 March 2009
so while in jogja, the local speciality had to be tasted. it's called nasi gudeg. the main ingredient is unripe jackfruit. this food is a mixture of sweet and delicious flavors because it is cooked with milk squeezed from coconut and sugar. gudeg is served together with krecek fried chili sauce (sambal goreng krecek), and side dish such as chicken meat, eggs, tempe (fermented soybean cake) and tahu (soybean curd) cooked together with the gudeg.
Saturday, 21 March 2009
Friday, 20 March 2009
Thursday, 19 March 2009
Galungan is a Balinese holiday that occurs every 210 days and lasts for 10 days. Kuningan is the last day of the holiday. Galungan means "When the Dharma is winning." During this holiday the Balinese gods visit the Earth and leave on Kuningan.
Occurring once in every 210 days in the pawukon (Balinese cycle of days), Galungan marks the beginning of the most important recurring religious ceremony that is celebrated by all Balinese. During the Galungan period the deified ancestors of the family descend to their former homes. They must be suitably entertained and welcomed, and prayers and offerings must be made for them. Those families who have ancestors that have not yet been cremated, but are still buried in the village cemetery, must make offerings at the graves.
Although Galungan falls on a Wednesday, most Balinese will begin their Galungan 'holiday' the day before, where the family is seen to be busily preparing offerings and cooking for the next day. While the women of the household have been busy for days before creating beautifully woven 'banten' (offerings made from young coconut fronds), the men of our village usually wake up well before dawn to join with their neighbours to slaughter a pig unlucky enough to be chosen to help celebrate this occasion. Then the finely diced pork is mashed to a pulp with a grinding stone, and moulded onto sate sticks that have been already prepared by whittling small sticks of bamboo. Chickens may also be chosen from the collection of free-range chickens that roam around the house compound. Delicate combinations of various vegetables, herbs and spices are also prepared by the men to make up a selection of 'lawar' dishes. While much of this cooking is for use in the offerings to be made at the family temple, by mid-morning, once all the cooking is done, it is time for the first of a series of satisfying feasts from what has been prepared. While the women continue to be kept busy with the preparations of the many offerings to be made at the family temple on the day of Galungan, the men also have another job to do this day, once the cooking is finished. A long bamboo pole, or 'penjor', is made to decorate the entrance to the family compound. By late Tuesday afternoon all over Bali the visitor can see these decorative poles creating a very festive atmosphere in the street.
On Wednesday, the day of Galungan, one will find that most Balinese will try to return to their own ancestral home at some stage during the day, even if they work in another part of the island. This is a very special day for families, where offerings are made to God and to the family ancestors who have come back to rest at this time in their family temple. As well as the family temple, visits are made to the village temple with offerings as well, and to the homes of other families who may have helped the family in some way over the past six months.
The day after Galungan is a time for a holiday, visiting friends, maybe taking the opportunity to head for the mountains for a picnic. Everyone is still seen to be in their 'Sunday best' as they take to the streets to enjoy the festive spirit that Galungan brings to Bali.
it is a beautiful day with streets full of brightly coloured traditional dress, gently swaying penjors and the scent of incense filling the air as offerings are lit and respect paid to ancestors...