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again 'bout Julia Roberts

>> Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Julia Roberts Begins Filming in Bali
Village Demonstrators Seeking Compensation from Filmmakers Mar Start of Bali Filming of 'Eat Pray Love.'

Bali News: Julia Roberts Begins Filming in Bali
(10/23/2009) Oscar-winning Hollywood star Julia Roberts has arrived in Bali for what is expected to be a month-long filming of the Bali portion of Elizabeth Gilbert's novel "Eat Pray Love."

Gilbert's best-selling autobiographical recounting of her post-divorce travels in Italy, India and Bali is to become a Columbia Pictures (Sony) film starring Roberts, Javier Bardem and Richard Jenkins.

Bali filming is centered on areas in and around Ubud and Bali's southernmost beach with cast and crew staying in various five star hotels on the island.

Filming got off to less than a smooth start on Thursday, October 15, 2009, when the villagers of the village of Benyutung demanded Rp. 200 million (US$20,000) in compensation for the use of their village in the film. This demand, according to local press reports in Bali, was precipitated by rumors of large sums being paid to other Bali locations being used in the film.

The Regent of Gianyar, Tjokorda Oka Artha Ardana Sukawati (Cok Ace), is reportedly mediating local villagers' demands with the film's production team.

Filming is also scheduled to take place in Ubud's famous monkey forest in Padangtegal, Nyuh Kuning, Pengosekan and the traditional art market in Ubud.

Cok Ace, who is also the leader of Ubud's royal household, has issued a special invitation to Julia Roberts to his Palace for dinner. It remains to be seen, however, if the notoriously reclusive star will set aside time on her schedule for visits with Cok Ace or Bali's governor.

Those hoping to steal a look at Julia Roberts or a Hollywood film in production may be disappointed. Elaborate security perimeters are being set up at filming locales that keep the general public at a minimum distance of 500 meters.

We (Bali) are always welcome for the tourists

>> Friday, 23 October 2009

Visit Indonesia Year(s)
Government to Retain VIY for Third Year in Effort to Woo 7 Million Visitors in 2010.

Bali News: Visit Indonesia Year(s)
(10/23/2009) Indonesia's Department of Culture and Tourism has announced its intention to continue the current Visit Indonesian Year (VIY) campaign for a third year as part of plans to attract 7 million foreign visitors in 2010.

Sunrise, Sunset, One Season Following Another

Visit Indonesia Year which was initially launched after 2008 was already well underway, was retained for an additional year in 2009. The latest announcement from the government is that the program will be retained for a third year - 2010. Credited with bringing 6.4 million visitors to Indonesia in 2008, tourism officials remain confident that VIY 2010 will pave the way for modest growth in tourism arrivals while arrivals to competing destinations in the region continue to shrink.

Tourism officials also point to Indonesia's improving security situation as contributing to tourism growth now that violence-prone fundamentalist elements are being arrested, run to ground or physically eliminated.

Sapta Nirwandar, the Director General of Marketing at the Department of Culture and Tourism, told the Bali Post that suggestions are under consideration to drop the "year tag line" and just retain "Visit Indonesia."

Critics of the retention of VIY for a third year believe the program's message may be losing its potency and its continued retention underline a fundamental lack of creativity in how the country's tourism is promoted.

In 2008, Indonesia welcomed 6.4 million foreign tourist who spent an estimated US$7.5 billion in foreign exchange. Indonesia expects more than 6.5 million foreign tourists in 2009. 

Waiting for her at monkey forest Ubud

Eat, Pray, Love, and Pay
Bali Governor Pastika Angered by Villagers Coercing Additional "Fees" from the Producers of "Eat, Pray, Love."

Bali News: Eat, Pray, Love, and Pay
(10/23/2009) As reported by the commencement of filming of the major Hollywood film "Eat, Pray, Love" starring Julia Roberts and Javier Bardem got off to a less than smooth start as Balinese villagers demanded extra compensation to allow the film to proceed. [See: Julia Roberts Begins Filming in Bali]

Radar Bali reports that Bali's governor, Made Mangku Pastika was not pleased with what appears to be coercive efforts to extract additional fees from Sony Picture/Columbia Pictures.

The governor told the press that the villagers' opportunistic behavior was embarrassing for the people of Bali and not in keeping with the many honors and accolades earned by the island known as a "paradise on earth."

According to governor Pastika, a central theme of the film depicts Bali as "an island of love." As indicated by the title, its main character portrayed by Julia Roberts explores the pleasure of eating in Italy; the serenity of prayer in India, and the joys of love in Bali. Speaking from him home on October 18, 2009, Pastika said: "Love in Bali is a new branding joining earlier citations, such as the island of paradise, the island of the gods, and the island of peace and democracy. How beautiful is Bali and love sowed in Bali. This is proven by the increasing number of people who have their weddings performed in Bali."

In this context, Pastika hopes that all parties in Bali, including its elders and leaders, take the necessary steps to preserve this reputation. Admitting that waves of change, both good and bad, were sweeping over the island, he added, "(the changes) must be anticipated so that Bali's good reputation is preserved."

Strong Words of Criticism

Viewing both the positive and negative forces a play on the island, Pastika has also seen the impact being made on the character of the Balinese people and the resulting trends of commercialism and consumerism. One proof cited by the Governor, was the case of the villagers asking for hundreds of millions of rupiah from the makers of the "Eat, Pray, Love, film. Making his point in the strongest possible terms, Pastika said: "To the extent that they asked for hundreds of millions of rupiah - using tradition, culture and religion as the foundation for their demands. I deeply regret that this condition has invaded into the character of the people of Bali. This is one more rapid change (in our society) with a negative effect on our people."

Moreover, Pastika said such behavior he found embarrassing as the news of the villagers behavior will be publicized the world over. Pastika continued: "When I heard this I was ashamed. How can a traditional village ask for hundreds of millions (of rupiah)? This film will be seen by the world, indirectly also showing Bali to the world."

Shortly after the villagers of Bentuyung village demanded Rp. 200 million (US$ 20,000) from the filmmakers, the villagers of Pengosekan – another location in the film, have followed suit and are now requesting compensation. 

I miss Bali's old fashion

Four Nights of Classic Balinese Cinema in Ubud
A Four-Night Celebration of Balinese Dance on Film by the Amandari Resort, Sayan, Ubud, October 14-17, 2009.

Bali News: Four Nights of Classic Balinese Cinema in Ubud (10/16/2009) As part of its celebration of 20 years of operation, Bali's Amandari in Sayan, Ubud, is hosting 4 nights of classic Balinese cinema presented at the Wantilan - Pura Desa Kedewatan October 14-17, 2009.

Presented in cooperation with Cinematheque De La Dance in Paris and The French Embassy in Jakarta, the showings are without charge with a cash bar available. Each film performance begins at 7:00 p.m. sharp.

Classic Balinese Cinema at The Amandari

Wednesday, October 14, 2009 - Schonheit und Reichtung – The Life of Walter Spies (1986) by H. Hulscher and Bali (1933) by Rolf de Mare. Stunningly beautiful and rare footage of Balinese dance with some sequences actually shot by the legendary Walter Spies.

Thursday, October 15, 2009 - Island of Demons (1933) by Victor Von Plessen and Walter Spies. This story is loosely inspired by the legend of the Calonarang. Dances staged by Walter Spies.

Friday, October 16, 2009 - Trance and Dance in Bali (1938) by Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson. This is an early filming of what is known today as the ‘Keris Dance.” Legong – Island of the Virgins (1935) by Henry de la Falaise. An unrequited and tragic love story between two Balinese youth.

Saturday, October 17, 2009 - Strangers in Paradise (2008) – A travel diary by a lover of Balinese Dance, from the seventies up to the present day. Colin McPhee: The Lure of Asian Music (1985) by Michael Blackwood. The life and work of Colin McPhee, author of Music of Bali and A House in Bali.

eat, pray, love novel's author

>> Monday, 19 October 2009

Eat, Pray, Love  
published by Viking, February 2006

By the time she turned thirty, Elizabeth Gilbert had everything a modern, educated, ambitious American woman was supposed to want— a husband, a house in the country, a successful career. But in-stead of feeling happy and fulfilled, she was consumed with panic, grief and confusion. She went through a divorce, a crushing depression, another failed love and the complete eradication of every-thing she ever thought she was supposed to be.

To recover from all of this, Gilbert took a radical step. In order to give herself the time and space to find out who she really was and what she really wanted, she got rid of her belongings, quit her job, left her loved ones behind and undertook a year-long journey around the world, all alone. Eat, Pray, Love is the absorbing chronicle of that year. Gilbert's aim was to visit three places where she could examine one aspect of her own nature, set against the backdrop of a culture that has traditionally done that one thing very well. In Italy, she studied the art of pleasure, learning to speak Italian and gaining the twenty-three happiest pounds of her life. India was for the art of devotion, where, with the help of a native guru and a surprisingly wise Texan, she embarked on four months of austere spiritual exploration. Finally, in Indonesia, she sought her ultimate goal: balance-namely, how to somehow build a life of equilibrium between worldly enjoyment and divine transcendence. Looking for these answers on the island of Bali, she became the pupil of an elderly, ninth-

generation medicine man and also fell in love in the very best way—unexpectedly
An intensely articulate, sensible, moving and funny memoir of self-discovery, Eat, Pray, Love is about what can happen when you claim responsibility for your own contentment It is also about the adventures that can transpire when a woman stops trying to live in imitation of society's ideals This is a story certain to touch anyone who has ever woken up to the unrelenting need for change

Elizabeth Gilbert is the author of a story collection, Pilgrims (a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award), a novel, Stern Men, and, most recently, The Last American Man (a finalist for the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award). For the last five years she has worked as a journalist at GQ, where her feature writing earned her three National Magazine Award nominations. She lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.


brata 1 homestay: Balinese International Film Festival '09

>> Thursday, 15 October 2009


Balinese International Film Festival '09

Schedule of Film Screenings at the Bali Film Festival.

(10/10/2009) First established in 2007, the Balinale International Film Festival returns to Bali October 20-25, 2009, steadfast in its commitment to provide an opportunity for international filmmakers to show and screen their films to the Indonesian market while, simultaneously, exposing Indonesia's culture and unrivalled beauty to the international filmmaking community.

If it's about film, expect to find it at the Balinale International Film Festival: Six days of workshops, social gatherings and film screenings appealing to both those working in the film industry or to popcorn-fueled movie maniacs.

A Genuine Bargain

Perhaps the best thing about the Balinale is its prices. Friends of the Festival Passes with priority admission to all films cost only Rp. 150,000 per person (US$15), while tickets to individual screenings sell for only Rp. 25,000 (US$2.50). Tickets are limited and many showing are expected to be sell-outs! Early ticket purchase is strongly recommended.

The Schedule

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

18:30 Red Carpet Arrival

19:30 Coffee and Allah NZ (14 min) and Mary and Max (80 Min) Australia

20:30 After-film party at Planet Hollywood

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

13:00 Seminar: How to Develop a Screenplay

14:30 Darah and Dupa (17 min) and Princess of Africa (76 min) Spain

17:00 Snaked: A Moroccan Adventure (6 min) USA and Morning of the Earth (87 min) Australia

19:00 Tokyo Sonata (120 min) Japan

21:00 Hush Baby (4 min) Singapore and Oh My God (93 min) USA

Thursday, October 22, 2009

13:00 Seminar: Trials and Tribulations of Producing

14:30 El Sistema (120 min) Venezuela

17:00 Still Bill (82 min) USA

19:00 White (3 min) Singapore; Twogether (2 min) Singapore; Valentino: The Last Emperor (97 min) USA

21:00 Kanchivaram (117 min) India

Friday, October 23, 2009

13:00 Seminar: Introduction to Filmmaking

14:30 Fais Comme Chez Toi (20 min) France and Banilieu 13 – Ultimatum (101 min) France

17:00 Il Divo (117 min) Italy

19:00 Pasangan Baru (15 min); Blood & Milk; Drupadi (40 min) – Indonesia

21:00 Dirty Bitch (14 min) Singapore and Inglorious Basterds (152 min) USA

Saturday, October 24, 2009

10:00 Flower in the Pocket (97 min) Malaysia

Sunday, October 25, 2009

10:00 Meraih Mimpi (80 min) Indonesia

Culture of Bali

>> Thursday, 8 October 2009

Bali is renowned for its diverse and sophisticated art forms, such as painting, sculpture, woodcarving, handcrafts, and performing arts. Balinese percussion orchestra music, known as gamelan, is highly developed and varied. Balinese performing arts often portray stories from Hindu epics such as the Ramayana but with heavy Balinese influence. Famous Balinese dances include pendet, legong, baris, topeng, barong, gong keybar, and kecak (the monkey dance). Bali boasts one of the most diverse and innovative performing arts cultures in the world, with paid performances at thousands of temple festivals, private ceremonies, or public shows.[23]
The Hindu New Year, Nyepi, is celebrated in the spring by a day of silence. On this day everyone stays at home and tourists are encouraged to remain in their hotels. But the day before that large, colourful sculptures of ogoh-ogoh monsters are paraded and finally burned in the evening to drive away evil spirits. Other festivals throughout the year are specified by the Balinese pawukon calendrical system.
Celebrations are held for many occasions such as a tooth-filing (coming-of-age ritual), cremation or odalan (temple festival). One of the most important concepts that Balinese ceremonies have in common is that of désa kala patra, which refers to how ritual performances must be appropriate in both the specific and general social context.[24] Many of the ceremonial art forms such as wayang kulit and topeng are highly improvisatory, providing flexibility for the performer to adapt the performance to the current situation.[25] Many celebrations call for a loud, boisterous atmosphere with lots of activity and the resulting aesthetic, ramé, is distinctively Balinese. Oftentimes two or more gamelan ensembles will be performing well within earshot, and sometimes compete with each other in order to be heard. Likewise, the audience members talk amongst themselves, get up and walk around, or even cheer on the performance, which adds to the many layers of activity and the liveliness typical of ramé.[26]
Kaja and kelod are the Balinese equivalents of North and South, which refer to ones orientation between the island’s largest mountain Gunung Agung (kaja), and the sea (kelod). In addition to spatial orientation, kaja and kelod have the connotation of good and evil; gods and ancestors are believed to live on the mountain whereas demons live in the sea. Buildings such as temples and residential homes are spatially oriented by having the most sacred spaces closest to the mountain and the unclean places nearest to the sea.[27]
Most temples have an inner courtyard and an outer courtyard which are arranged with the inner courtyard furthest kaja. These spaces serve as performance venues since most Balinese rituals are accompanied by any combination of music, dance and drama. The performances that take place in the inner courtyard are classified as wali, the most sacred rituals which are offerings exclusively for the gods, while the outer courtyard is where bebali ceremonies are held, which are intended for gods and people. Lastly, performances meant solely for the entertainment of humans take place outside the walls of the temple and are called bali-balihan. This three-tiered system of classification was standardized in 1971 by a committee of Balinese officials and artists in order to better protect the sanctity of the oldest and most sacred Balinese rituals from being performed for a paying audience.[28]
Tourism, Bali’s chief industry, has provided the island with a foreign audience that is eager to pay for entertainment, thus creating new performance opportunities and more demand for performers. The impact of tourism is controversial since before it became integrated into the economy, the Balinese performing arts did not exist as a capitalist venture, and were not performed for entertainment outside of their respective ritual context. Since the 1930’s sacred rituals such as the barong dance have been performed both in their original contexts, as well as exclusively for paying tourists. This has led to new versions of many of these performances which have developed according to the preferences of foreign audiences; some villages have a barong mask specifically for non-ritual performances as well as an older mask which is only used for sacred performances.[29]

The Balinese eat with their right hand, as the left is impure, a common belief throughout Indonesia. The Balinese do not hand or receive things with their left hand and would not wave at anyone with their left hand.

The History of Bali

Bali was inhabited by Austronesian peoples by about 2000 BC who migrated originally from Taiwan through Maritime Southeast Asia.[2] Culturally and linguistically, the Balinese are thus closely related to the peoples of the Indonesian archipelago, the Philippines, and Oceania.[3] Stone tools dating from this time have been found near the village of Cekik in the island's west.[4]
Balinese culture was strongly influenced by Indian and Chinese, and particularly Hindu culture, in a process beginning around the 1st century AD. The name Bali dwipa ("Bali island") has been discovered from various inscriptions, including the Blanjong pillar inscription written by Sri Kesari Warmadewa in 914 AD and mentioning "Walidwipa". It was during this time that the complex irrigation system subak was developed to grow rice. Some religious and cultural traditions still in existence today can be traced back to this period. The Hindu Majapahit Empire (1293–1520 AD) on eastern Java founded a Balinese colony in 1343. When the empire declined, there was an exodus of intellectuals, artists, priests and musicians from Java to Bali in the 15th century.
Balinese bodies at Denpasar during the Dutch intervention in Bali (1906).
The first European contact with Bali is thought to have been made by Dutch explorer Cornelis de Houtman who arrived in 1597, though a Portuguese ship had foundered off the Bukit Peninsula as early as 1585 and left a few Portuguese in the service of Dewa Agung.[5] Dutch colonial control expanded across the Indonesian archipelago in the nineteenth century (see Dutch East Indies). Their political and economic control over Bali began in the 1840s on the island's north coast by pitting various distrustful Balinese realms against each other.[6] In the late 1890s, struggles between Balinese kingdoms in the island's south were exploited by the Dutch to increase their control.
The Dutch mounted large naval and ground assaults at the Sanur region in 1906 and were met by the thousands of members of the royal family and their followers who fought against the superior Dutch force in a suicidal puputan defensive assault rather than face the humiliation of surrender.[6] Despite Dutch demands for surrender, an estimated 1,000 Balinese marched to their death against the invaders.[7] In the Dutch intervention in Bali (1908), a similar massacre occurred in the face of a Dutch assault in Klungkung. Afterwards the Dutch governors were able to exercise administrative control over the island, but local control over religion and culture generally remained intact. Dutch rule over Bali had come later and was never as well established as in other parts of Indonesia such as Java and Maluku.
In the 1930s, anthropologists Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson, and artists Miguel Covarrubias and Walter Spies, and musicologist Colin McPhee created a western image of Bali as "an enchanted land of aesthetes at peace with themselves and nature", and western tourism first developed on the island.[8]
Imperial Japan occupied Bali during World War II during which time a Balinese military officer, Gusti Ngurah Rai, formed a Balinese 'freedom army'. The lack of institutional changes from the time of Dutch rule however, and the harshness of war requisitions made Japanese rule little better than the Dutch one.[9] Following Japan's Pacific surrender in August 1945, the Dutch promptly returned to Indonesia, including Bali, immediately to reinstate their pre-war colonial administration. This was resisted by the Balinese rebels now using Japanese weapons. On 20 November 1946, the Battle of Marga was fought in Tabanan in central Bali. Colonel I Gusti Ngurah Rai, by then 29 years old, finally rallied his forces in east Bali at Marga Rana, where they made a suicide attack on the heavily armed Dutch. The Balinese battalion was entirely wiped out, breaking the last thread of Balinese military resistance. In 1946 the Dutch constituted Bali as one of the 13 administrative districts of the newly-proclaimed State of East Indonesia, a rival state to the Republic of Indonesia which was proclaimed and headed by Sukarno and Hatta. Bali was included in the "Republic of the United States of Indonesia" when the Netherlands recognised Indonesian independence on 29 December 1949.
The 1963 eruption of Mount Agung killed thousands, created economic havoc and forced many displaced Balinese to be transmigrated to other parts of Indonesia. Mirroring the widening of social divisions across Indonesia in the 1950s and early 1960s, Bali saw conflict between supporters of the traditional caste system, and those rejecting these traditional values. Politically, this was represented by opposing supporters of the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) and the Indonesian Nationalist Party (PNI), with tensions and ill-feeling further increased by the PKI's land reform programs.[6] An attempted coup in Jakarta was put down by forces led by General Suharto. The army became the dominant power as it instigated a violent anti-communist purge, in which the army blamed the PKI for the coup. Most estimates suggest that at least 500,000 people were killed across Indonesia, with an estimated 80,000 killed in Bali, equivalent to 5% of the island's population.[10] With no Islamic forces involved as in Java and Sumatra, upper-caste PNI landlords led the extermination of PKI members.[11]

Balinese dancers show for tourists, Ubud.
As a result of the 1965/66 upheavals, Suharto was able to maneuver Sukarno out of the presidency, and his "New Order" government reestablished relations with western countries. The pre-War Bali as "paradise" was revived in a modern form, and the resulting large growth in tourism has led to a dramatic increase in Balinese standards of living and significant foreign exchange earned for the country.[6] A bombing in 2002 by militant Islamists in the tourist area of Kuta killed 202 people, mostly foreigners. This attack, and another in 2005, severely affected tourism, bringing much economic hardship to the island.


Topography of the island
The island of Bali lies 3.2 km (2 mi) east of Java, and is approximately 8 degrees south of the equator. Bali and Java is separated by Bali Strait. East to west, the island is approximately 153 km (95 mi) wide and spans approximately 112 km (69 mi) north to south; its land area is 5,632 km².
The highest point is Mount Agung at 3,142 m (9,426 feet) high, an active volcano that last erupted in March 1963. Mountains range from centre to the eastern side, with Mount Agung the easternmost peak. Mount Batur (1,717 m) is also still active; an eruption 30,000 years ago was one of the largest known volcanic events on Earth.[citation needed] In the south the land descends to form an alluvial plain, watered by shallow, north-south flowing rivers, drier in the dry season and overflowing during periods of heavy rain. The longest of these rivers, Ayung River, flows approximately 75 km.
The island is surrounded by coral reefs. Beaches in the south tend to have white sand while those in the north and west have black sand. The beach town of Padangbai in the south east has both[citation needed]. Bali has no major waterways, although the Ho River is navigable by small sampan boats. Black sand beaches between Pasut and Klatingdukuh are being developed for tourism, but apart from the seaside temple of Tanah Lot, they are not yet used for significant tourism.
The largest city is the provincial capital, Denpasar, near the southern coast. Its population is around 300,000. Bali's second-largest city is the old colonial capital, Singaraja, which is located on the north coast and is home to around 100,000 people. Other important cities include the beach resort, Kuta, which is practically part of Denpasar's urban area; and Ubud, which is north of Denpasar, and is known as the island's cultural centre.

Southern Bali in the foreground and Mount Agung behind
Three small islands lie to the immediate south east and all are administratively part of the Klungkung regency of Bali: Nusa Penida, Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan. These islands are separated from Bali by the Badung Strait.
To the east, the Lombok Strait separates Bali from Lombok and marks the biogeographical division between the fauna of the Indomalayan ecozone and the distinctly different fauna of Australasia. The transition is known as the Wallace Line, named after Alfred Russel Wallace, who first proposed a transition zone between these two major biomes. When sea levels dropped during the Pleistocene ice age, Bali was connected to Java and Sumatra and to the mainland of Asia and shared the Asian fauna, but the deep water of the Lombok Strait continued to keep Lombok and the Lesser Sunda archipelago isolated.
The Bali Starling lives only on Bali. As few as six may exist in the wild as of 2001
Bali Island is situated on the border of the Wallace Line, where transition from the Asian wildlife and flora is made into the Pacific Islands biotope. Bali is virtually the southernmost island with specific Asian fauna and flora and with very few influences from the Pacific Islands like the Yellow-crested Cockatoo and other bird species occur. Bali has around 280 species of birds, including the critically endangered Bali Starling, one of the rarest birds in the world. Others are: Barn Swallow, Black-naped Oriole, Black Racket-tailed Treepie, Crested Serpent-eagle, Crested Treeswift, Dollarbird, Java Sparrow, Lesser Adjutant, Long-tailed Shrike, Milky Stork, Pacific Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Sacred Kingfisher, Sea Eagle, Woodswallow, Savanna Nightjar, Stork-billed Kingfisher, Yellow-vented Bulbul, White Heron, Great Egret.
Until the beginning of the 20th century, Bali was home to some large animals such as the wild Banteng, Leopard and even the Bali tiger. The first still occurs in its domestic form, while leopards only in neighboring Java, but the Bali Tiger has completely disappeared, with last recorded one in 1937, when last known specimen was shot. Due to the relative small size of the island and clashes with humans, along with poaching and habitat reduction has driven this unique feline to extinction. It was the smallest and rarest of all tiger species and never caught on film or displayed in zoos, few skins and bones remain in museums around the world as a testimony of its undisputed existence. Today, the largest animals remain the Javan Rusa deer and the Wild Boar. The water monitor can grow to an impressive size and move surprisingly quickly. Two species of deer occur in the island the smaller Muntjak and the larger Javan Rusa deer.
The Bali Tiger was declared extinct in 1937 due to hunting and habitat loss.
Snakes are represented by green snakes and occasional king and pythons occurring around areas where mice and rats are present. Squirrels are quite commonly encountered, more rare the Asian Palm Civet grown also in coffee farms to produce the expensive and controversial Kopi Luwak. Chiropteras are well represented, perhaps the most famous place to encounter them remains the Goa Lawah (Temple of the Bats) where they are worshipped by the locals and also constitute a tourist attraction, and other cave temples like Gangga Beach ones. Two species of primates occur in the island: the Crab-eating Macaque, known locally as “kera” quite common around human settlements or temples, where they became accustomed to people feeding them, particularly in any of the three so called “monkey forest” temples, with the most popular one in Ubud area. They are also quite often being kept as pets by locals. The second primate, far more rare and elusive is the Silver Leaf Monkey known locally as “lutung”. They occur virtually only in Bali Barat National Park, though in decent numbers. Other, rarer mammals include the Leopard Cat, Sunda Pangolin and Black Giant Squirrel.
The rich coral reef around the coast Bali particularly around popular diving spots like Tulamben, Amed, Menjangan or neighboring Nusa Penida host a large amount of marine life, like Hawksbill Turtle, Giant Sunfish, Giant Manta Ray, Giant Moray Eel, Bumphead Parrotfish, Hammerhead Sharks, Reef Sharks, Barracudas, Sea Snakes and so on. Dolphins are commonly encountered on the north coast near Singaraja and Lovina.
Plant life is also fairly diverse and rich giving its excellent climate fairly hot and humid. Due to human influence many plants have been introduced by humans within the last centuries, particularly since 20th century, making it sometimes hard to distinguish what plants are really native. From the larger trees most common are: Banyan trees, Jackfruit, coconuts, bamboo species, acacia trees and also endless rows of coconuts and banana species. Numerous flowers can be seen: Hibiscus, frangipani, bougainvillea, poinsettia, oleander, jasmine, water lily, roses, begonias, orchids and hydrangeas exist. On higher grounds that receive more moisture, like around Kintamani, certain species of fern trees, mushrooms and even pine trees thrive well. Rice comes in many varieties. Other plants with agricultural value include: salak, mangosteen, corn, Kintamani orange, coffee and water spinach.

other foreign artists

>> Wednesday, 7 October 2009

No list of expatriate painters in Bali would be complete without the name of Antonio Blanco, who settled here after independence. Married to a beautiful Balinese woman and father to several talented children, Blonco has successfully created a legend in his own time based on admirable talents, eccentric flair and a long term, successful PR campaign.A Philippine of Catalan descent, blanco was born in Manila in 1927. Later he became an American citizen and attended the Fine Arts Academy in New York City. Blanco traveled the world, dressing outlandishly from Hawaii to Florida, before ending in Bali (see the photos in his book). Picking up where Walter Spies and Le Mayeur left off, he decided that he would be the ultimate painter of Bali. Assuming the role of one of greatest artists of his era, he dazzled tourists with such dramatic statements as, "Life is Art and my Life is Art". If this was not enough, a beautiful bare breasted Balinese girls carrying an offering of flowers would often nonchalantly appear in the background to emphasize the drama of the moment.

While identifying himself with Salvador Dali, another Catalan, Blanco’s painting is much moreindebted to such realists as Willem Hofker. Blanco continued where Hofker stopped, liberating the pigment with bolder strokes and sweeps of color. He also took Hofker’s sensuality to a new often shocking level. His woman are provocative and even daunting. While inviting on the first impression, they display a certain ambiguity which reflects on the orientation of the artist. For many the best part of Blanco’s art is his acting ability, closely followed by his extraordinary frames, often more avant garde then the paintings they enclose.A favorite among the rich of Jakarta, Blanco rarely paints at his point-perhaps too busy receiving awards. A true cultural icon in Ubud -everyone should be sure to visit the immitable and unmatched master, Antonio Blanco.

1956-Ariel Smit was a soldier in the Dutch Colonial Army before the war who knew a good thing when he saw it. Settling in Ubud, Bali in 1965 he is often acclaimed the father of the "young Artists School", a rather dubious movement which had a promising beginning but ended up as one of the worst in Bali. Much to his credit and despite praise for his role, he detached himself from the Young Artists before they aged. By applying for Indonesia citizenship in 1951, Arie managed to avoid being expelled with his friends, Sonnega and Bonnet, in 1957. He regularly wrote to Bonnet, to keep him informed of developments, and to a certain extent assumed his role in Ubud after his departure. Today Smit works under the patronage of Pande Suteja Neka and has achieved great success with regular exhibitions in Jakarta and two books dedicated to his art. With a bright palate his landscapes often echo Cezanne. His portraits could be better compared to Gauguin or Theo Meier, whom he knew well. The best collection of his work is to be seen in the Museum Neka.

1935-Le Meyeur.An eccentric member of the Belgium royal family born in Brussels in 1880, Le Mayeur rejected his heritage and sought to follow in the footsteps of the first white primitive, Gauguin, by sailing off to Tahiti and French Polynesia to become a painter. These places were already in decline in Gauguin’s time and sorely disappointed Le Mayeur. He ended up in Bali in the 1930’s which he found much more inspiring. His muse was his beautiful wife, the famous Legong dancer, Ni Pollok, whom he married when he was well into his fifties. Together they settled in a wonderful home on Sanur beach which is now a colourful but dilapidated museum much in need of conservation (funds have been granted by Belgium for this purpose but they seem not yet to have reached Bali). During the 1930’s numerous tourists, just off the round the world cruise boats which docked in Bali to every week, would visit to be served drinks and snacks by his gracious topless wife and her pretty servants. This so galled the head of the Colonial government towards the end of the decade that he sent a warning to him that this immoral behavior must stop. Le Mayeur wrote to his cousin the king of Belgium, who in turned wrote to Queen Wilhelmina of Holland, who in turn wrote to the Governor -General of the Dutch East Indies, who in turn told the puritanical governor of Bali to shut up. Le Mayeur’s style is impressionistic, using short strong brush strokes of rather thick paint and palate of rich colors (liberated by his contact with Theo Meire?). This combination results with an agitated sense of movement in a sharp but harmonious combination with an inevitably idyllic scene. These usually include one or several topless portraits of Ni Pollak in dance or reflective poses against a sunny garden background with twisted frangipani tress and fallen flowers true visions of paradise. His canvases presently fetch around $.150.000 a piece. Despite theft and conservation problems several of best canvases are still at his house now museum in Sanur which is well worth a visit.

1928-Rudolf Bonnet

he son of an Amsterdam baker, Rudolf had to fight hard to escape his petty bourgeois background and become an artist. His lust to live the artist’s life brought him to Italy early where he was strongly influenced by Renaissance drawing and met with Nieuwenkamp who had a villa near Florence. Nieuwenkamp convinced Bonnet to travel Bali. Bonnet’s drawings and painting are always figurative and often elongated showing strong classical influence and his desire to express "beauty" in his art. With Spies he founded the Balinese artists union Pitamaha…

Often maligned as a still, colorless man, Bonnet’s dedication to the Balinese and their art has no peerthe existence of the Puri Lukisan, the only museum in Ubud which is not a tribute to some wealthy art dealer’s ego, owes its existence primarily to his tireless energy (he also donated the best pieces in the collection). Where Spies was flamboyant, Bonnet was a nuts and bolts man who made sure the plans worked. They represented the two polarities of the Bali expat gay life style of the era. Bonnet was forced off the island in 1957 after refusing to sell a certain painting to then President Soekarno. He returned some 15 years later as an old man, often intolerant of the new generation of expatriates who thought they knew better. His ashes were cast in to the sea with those of his close friend, Cokorda Agung Sukawati of Ubud 1978. Bonnet drawings are to be found at both the Neka and Agung Rai museums.

1927- Walter Spies

In almost everybody’s opinion, Walter Spies was the greatest and certainly the most flamboyant painter to live in Bali, Where his name has become a legend. Born is Russia to the parents of German diplomats, Spies was both a brilliant artist and musician. At the early age he was thrown into the creative maelstrom of the pre-second world war German avant gerde movement. Lover of the great German director, Fritz Murnau, Spies was in close contact with Otto Dix and Oskar Kokoschka, both who influenced his painting. In a letter to his father in 1919 he writes that he wishes to free himself of indoctrination and prejudices about taste and beauty and paint freely like a child with the skill of Chagall and Klee. Bali was to give him the freedom to realize his wish.spies1.jpg (9543 bytes)Walter Spies was born on 14 Sep 1898, so he was about 25 years old when he came to Indonesia in 1923, and about 29 years old when he moved to Bali in 1927.In almost everybody's opinion, Walter Spies was the greatest and certainly the most flamboyant painter to live in Bali, where his name has become a legend. Born in Russia in 1898, where his father Leon was a German diplomat, Spies was both a brilliant artist and musician. After World War I, he was thrown into the creative maelstrom of the Weimar Republic, embracing the German artistic avant-garde. Lover of the great German film director, Frederich Murnau, Spies was in close contact with Otto Dix and Oskar Kokoschka, who both influenced his painting. In a letter to his father in 1919, Walter writes that he wishes to free himself of indoctrination and prejudices about taste and beauty and paint freely like a child, with the skill of Chagall and Klee. Bali was to give him the freedom to realize his wish.

The young, handsome Spies first traveled to Indonesia in 1923 at 25 years of age, in part to flee the grasp of the older and very possessive Murnau. He finally settled in Bali in 1927, where he created his best canvases during the 14 years he spent on the island. Often called a surrealist for the dream-like quality of his paintings, Spies' works combine a rich and fluid imagination mingled with Balinese scenes and myths. While a great painter, his production was limited as he was always busy with countless other projects, such as supporting local arts and artists and co-authoring books on dance and drama. As Bali's most famous European resident in the 1930s, he entertained such luminaries as Charlie Chaplin and conductor Leopold Stokowski, some of whom bought his works.

Persecuted as a homosexual, he was helped by Margaret Mead and her husband Gregory Bateson, who testified that his 'transgressions' were not inconsistent with Balinese culture. He was deported with others as a prisoner in 1942 for holding a German passport. The ship was bombed, and, as the ship slowly sank, the prisoners perished in their locked cells, because the captain declined to free them. Walter's tragic death has only added to his romantic myth.

There is one painting attributed to Spies on the island at the Agung Rai Gallery. One of his best, from the collection of Dutch heiress, Marianne van Wessum, just sold at auction in The Hague for over

some of the foreign artists in Bali 1904 - 1967

1904-W.O.J. Nieuwenkamp.The first artist to visit Bali. Born in Amsterdam in 1876, Nieuwenkamp’s nickname was the "Wanderer". He came not only to make his own art but to learn Balinese traditional painting. A multi-faceted autodidact,The first artist to visit Bali. Born in Amsterdam in 1876, Nieuwenkamp’s nickname was the "Wanderer". He came not only to make his own art but to learn Balinese traditional painting. A multi-faceted autodidact, W.O.J. was more a graphic artist than a painter. The first artist to visit Bali. Born in Amsterdam in 1876, Nieuwenkamp’s nickname was the "Wanderer". He came not only to make his own art but to learn Balinese traditional painting. A multi-faceted autodidact, W.O.J. was more a graphic artist than a painter.He returned to Bali many times over the years and authored the most important early book on the island Bali en Lombok (1906-1910), which includes pioneering ethnographic and archaeological studies. Working primarily in ink, his drawings are executed in rich sepia tones. The influence of Art Nouveau on his work is clear though he did not strictly belong to that movement. His large body ofwoj1.jpg (18463 bytes) workon Bali and Indonesia, which includes nearly one thousand delightful drawings and paintings,is virtually unknown. He played a critical role in creating the myth of Bali, most importantly through his support of the German doctor and amateur photographer, Gregor Krauser. Together they held the first exhibition of Balinese Art in Amsterdam in 1918 with Krauser’s photos and Nieuwenkamp ’s drawings. It is Krauser’s later book which brought many of the artists mentioned in this article to Bali.

Bali's Geography

In one of beautiful beach in Bali


The island of Bali is part of the Republic of Indonesia and is located 8 to 9 degrees south of the equator between Java in the West and Lombok and the rest of the Lesser Sunda Islands (Sumbawa, Flores, Sumba and Timor) in the East. Flying time to Jakarta is about 1.5 hours, to Singapore and Perth (Australia) 2.5 and 3 hours, to Hong Kong about 4.5 hours, and to Sydney/Melbourne about 5.5 to 6 hours.


The island of Bali has an area of only 5,632 square kilometers (2,175 square miles) and measures just 55 miles (90 kilometers) along the north-south axis and less than about 90 miles (140 kilometers) from East to West. Because of this it's no problem to explore the island on day tours. You can go wherever you want on the island and return to your hotel or villa in the evening.
Located only two kilometers east of Jawa, Bali's climate, flora and fauna are quite similar to its much larger neighbour. The island is famous for its beautiful landscape. A chain of six volcanoes, between 1,350 meters and 3,014 meters high, stretches from west to east. There are lush tropical forests, pristine crater lakes, fast flowing rivers and deep ravines, picturesque rice terraces, and fertile vegetable and fruit gardens. The beaches in the South consist of white sand, beaches in other parts of the island are covered with gray or black volcanic sand.


The wide variety of tropical plants is surprising. You'll see huge banyan trees in villages and temple grounds, tamarind trees in the North, clove trees in the highlands, acacia trees, flame trees, and mangroves in the South. In Bali grow a dozen species of coconut palms and even more varieties of bamboo.
And there are flowers, flowers everywhere. You'll see (and smell the fragrance of) hibiscus, bougainvillea, jasmine, and water lilies. Magnolia, frangipani, and a variety of orchids are found in many front yards and gardens, along roads, and in temple grounds. Flowers are also used as decorations in temples, on statues, as offerings for the gods, and during prayers. Dancers wear blossoms in their crowns, and even the flower behind the ear of your waitress seems natural in Bali.


Elephants and tigers don't exist any more in Bali since early this century. Wildlife, however, includes various species of monkeys, civets, barking deer and mouse deer, and 300 species of birds including wild fowl, dollar birds, blue kingfishers, sea eagles, sandpipers, white herons and egrets, cuckoos, wood swallows, sparrows, and starlings. You can watch schools of dolphins near Lovina, Candi Dasa, and Padangbai. Divers will see many colorful coral fish and small reef fish, moray eels, and plankton eating whale sharks as well as crustaceans, sponges, and colorful coral along the east coast and around Menjangan Island near Gilimanuk.


You can expect pleasant day temperatures between 20 to 33 degrees Celsius or 68 to 93 degrees Fahrenheit year-round. From December to March, the West monsoon can bring heavy showers and high humidity, but usually days are sunny and the rains start during the night and pass quickly. From June to September the humidity is low, and it can be quite cool in the evenings. During this time of the year, you'll have hardly any rain in the coastal areas.
Even when it rains in most parts of Bali you can often enjoy sunny days on the "Bukit", the hill south of Jimbaran Beach. On the other hand, in Ubud and the mountains you must expect cloudy skies and showers throughout the year (this is why the international weather reports for "Denpasar" or "Bali" mention showers and rain storms during all times of the year). In higher regions such as in Bedugul or Kintamani you'll also need either a sweater or jacket after the sun sets.


Bali's population has grown to over 3 million people the overwhelming majority of which are Hindus. However, the number of Muslims is steadily increasing through immigration of people from Java, Lombok and other areas of Indonesia who seek work in Bali.
Most people live in the coastal areas in the South, and the island's largest town and administrative center is fast growing Denpasar with a population of now over 370,000. The villages between the town of Ubud and Denpasar, Kuta (including Jimbaran, Tuban, and Legian, Seminyak, Basangkasa, etc), Sanur, and Nusa Dua are spreading rapidly in all directions, and before long the whole area from Ubud in the North to Sanur in the East, Berawa/Canggu in the West, and Nusa Dua in the South will be urbanized.


This southern part of Bali is where most jobs are to be found, either in the hotel and tourist industry, the textile and garment industry, and in many small scale and home industries producing handicrafts and souvenirs. Textiles, garments, and handicrafts have become the backbone of Bali's economy providing 300,000 jobs, and exports have been increasing by around 15% per year to over US$400 million. Textiles and garments contribute about 45%, and wood products including statues, furniture and other handicrafts 22% to the province's total income from exports. Silver work is ranked third (4.65%) with 5,000 workers employed. Main buyers are the US and Europe with 38% each, and Japan with 9%.
Important agricultural products besides rice are tea, coffee, tobacco, cacao, copra, vanilla, soy beans, chilies, fruit, and vegetable (there are now even vineyards near the northwest coast). Bali's fishing industry and seaweed farming provide other products which are important exports.
The new free-trade regulations will create some problems for Bali's exporters as they do not allow to employ children. Most children here work for their parents, and this is part of the process of acquiring professional skills and kind of an informal education which has been very important in the Balinese society for centuries.


There is the combination of the friendly people, the natural attractions, the great variety of things to see and do, the year-round pleasant climate, and the absence of security problems. And then there is Bali's special "magic", which is difficult to explain.
As soon as you step off the plane you might sense the difference. In the villages you'll notice the quietness and wisdom in old people's faces, and the interest and respect in the young's. Old men sit at the road side caressing their fighting cocks. Beautifully dressed women walk proudly through rice fields and forests carrying offerings on their heads to the next temple. There is the smell of flowers, and in the distance you hear the sound of gamelan music.
Gods and spirits have been an important part of Bali's daily life for hundreds of years. Gunung Agung – Bali's holy mountain – is internationally regarded as one of the eight "Chakra" points of the world. This may be more than an coincident. Watch out, the moment you feel the magic of this island, you're addicted for the rest of your life.

NB: in many sources

Bali map


Balinese Gamelan

A gamelan  is an ensemble normally composed primarily of percussion. In Bali, orchestras of tuned gongs, bronze kettles, bronze metallophones, bamboo xylophones, drums, cymbals and flutes fill the night air with animated music. Melodic parts interlock, divided in such a way that musicians play alternate notes to form the melody line. These interlocking parts, known as kotèkan,  require cooperation and a keen sense of rhythm to perform. The two parts of a kotèkan, which are thought of as male and female, are known as nyangsih  and polos.  The main accents of the nyangsih part are usually on the offbeat, while the main accents of the polos part are usually on the beat.
Knowledge of kotèkan can be extremely valuable. These interlocking rhythms have a unique way of bringing people together in cooperation towards a common goal, and there are many creative possibilities for applying them to contemporary music.
The book Ancient Traditions--Future Possibilities, by Matthew Montfort, contains exercises that teach these rhythms. Some of these exercises are adapted here for the World Wide Web.

Using MIDI

GM Standard MIDI files of Balinese rhythm exercises from the book are presented here, arranged for General MIDI vibraphones. Use this to practice Balinese interlocking parts, or for compositional ideas.
Computers with multimedia capabilities now come configured for MIDI playback via web browsers. However, with the built-in MIDI support in Netscape and Explorer, some files may not reproduce properly. For proper playback, this site recommends the Beatnik Plugin which supports both GM voices and user programmable sounds.
To set up playback on a MIDI sound module that is not GM compatible, see the MIDI map of the instruments of the Balinese gamelan.

Balinese Rhythm Exercises

Gong IconKotèkan Basics is a beginning exploration of the art of interlocking parts. Includes complete instructions, notation, and a MIDI file. A beginning level example from Ancient Traditions--Future Possibilities, Chapter 2, Exercise II, page 49.
Gong IconAnklung MIDI file is an intermediate level Gamelan Anklung kotèkan from Ancient Traditions--Future Possibilities, Chapter 2, Exercise III D, page 51. This kotèkan was used as the basis for the composition Gamarock from the Ancient Future release Dreamchaser. More examples of the contemporary use of the kotèkan concept can be found in the Ancient Future introductory pages theme music (from World Without Walls).
Link to Balinese Gamelan Notation(3K GIF of Anklung  in Music Notation)
Gong IconPèrmas MIDI File is an advanced level example of the composition Pèrmas  from the repertoire of the Gamelan Semar Pegulingan,  the "gamelan of the love God," as shown in Ancient Traditions--Future Possibilities, Chapter 2, Exercise V-B, page 54.

Link to Balinese Gamelan Notation(107K GIF of Pèrmas  in Music Notation)
Gong IconAncient Rhythms--Future Grooves: MIDI Percussion Groove Tracks from the Traditions of Africa, Bali, and India. Want more MIDI files? Get this complete collection of MIDI files based on the book Ancient Traditions--Future Possibilities.

Brata I Homestay

>> Monday, 5 October 2009



>> Sunday, 4 October 2009

Suka Duka : Compassion and Solidarity
7 October – 11 October 2009

The established will meet the new.
The East will cross paths with the West.
It will be a literary celebration like no other.

This year’s Ubud Writers & Readers Festival promises to be as exciting as ever. Our 2009 theme Suka-Duka: Compassion & Solidarity.
Suka Duka is an ancient communal wisdom that for centuries has been one of the main pillars of Bali’s traditional institutions and communities. The principle has guided the members of the traditional institutions, such as banjar (neighbourhood organisations) and desa pakraman (customary villages), to act as one single entity in dealing with life’s hardships and blessings. The suffering of one member will be shouldered by all, while the joy of one will be shared by the other.
The theme reflects the Festival’s commitment to turn this literary gathering into an inspiring moment, through which writers and readers from every corner of the world can establish a mutual understanding as well as a common platform to remind the world of the need to think and act as one single, compassionate entity, particularly during this epoch of violent conflicts and social turmoil.
Linger over a literary lunch or candle-lit dinner in some of Ubud’s elegant hotels and gracious homes featuring our acclaimed writers and visiting chefs. Enjoy poetry under the shade of a Buddhist stupa and late night martinis and readings in one of Ubud’s legendary bars. Be dazzled by some of the finest performance poets in the region in grass-roofed venues surrounded by ricefields. Watch plays and theatre in Ubud’s temples set in frangipani and lotus gardens.
Join workshops that teach the craft of writing, in between book launches, performances, exhibitions, cocktail parties and celebrations into the early hours of the morning.
And if that is not enough, the 2009 Festival will take to the streets once again with a dazzling carnival of poetry and performance in one of Ubud’s charming laneways.
Is it any wonder we are named ‘one of the six best literary festivals in the world!’

>> Friday, 2 October 2009

Galungan Day
The victory Dharma(virtue) from Adharma (evil)

Host: BALI

Type: Other - Festival

Network: Global
Date: Wednesday, 14 October 2009
Time: 00:00 - 12:00
Location: Bali Island
The day commemorated as the victory day of "Dharma" (virtue) upon "Adharma" (evil) according to the old history of Bali (Purana). This day the Hindus thanks the God and feel grateful for His blessing and for the creation of the earth and its contents. This day is the day of rituals, festivities and celebrations with "Penjor" the artistically decorated bamboo-pole stuck at every house entrance, adorning the both sides of the village-roads symbolizing of prosperity.
There are several processions need to be done to celebrate Galungan Day:
PENYEKEBAN ( 3 days before Galungan - 11 oct 2009 )
On this day, people begin to prepare the necessities for the Galungan ceremony. They collect fruits and store them in a special place until they get ripe.
 PENYAJAHAN (2 days before Galungan - 12 oct 2009 )
On Penyajahan day, people keep on maintaining awareness, patience and the purity of the soul in order to control the demons. Another meaning of Penyajahan is making or cooking Balinese cakes (jaja). Therefore, on this day, people have to cook various kinds of Balinese cakes for the ceremony to come.
PENAMPAHAN (13 oct 2009 )
This is a sacrificial day. This is the day to slaughter sacrificial animals like chickens, ducks or pigs. People cook them into various kinds of Balinese food, such as satay, soup, lawar (a special Balinese food made of meat or vegetables, mixed with coconut sauce).While the women continue to be kept busy with the preparations of the many offerings to be made at the temple on the day of Galungan,The man also make A long bamboo pole, or 'penjor', is made to decorate the entrance to the family compound. By late all over Bali the visitor can see these decorative poles creating a very festive atmosphere in the street.
GALUNGAN DAY, ( 14 oct 2009 )
On the Galungan day itself, Balinese Hindus go to temples and other holy places to pray. People are dressed in colorful Balinese costumes. They carry the offerings for their God.
MANIS GALUNGAN (15 oct 2009 )
On this day, Balinese Hindu communities usually visit their relatives, friends and neighbors. They forgive each other and remain together. It is also a day to relax and visit places of interest, after the long days of preparations for the celebration..

Another Galungan explaination from Wikipedia.
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.
A "penjor"
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.
The date for Galungan and other special Balinese days is shown on the Balinese Calendar.

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