Beautiful Bali: Day 2

This is the pool at my home stay.

   

When I was originally looking into a trip to Bali, I found this blog post by Ashley Abroad – it has some really great tips for doing a yoga retreat in Bali, where to stay, where to eat and the best way to go about actually sorting things out. I loved this blog post, I’ve read it so many times and leave it open on my browser as a reference.

Anyway, typically you’ll find home stays all over Bali and they are the most cost effective option and are truly stunning (in this case).

As I mentioned yesterday, I’m trying to be more active here, so guess what? Today I got up at 7am and went for a swim in the pool! I wished at one point, that I had a go pro and that it would work under water, because it started to lightly rain, and the rain drops falling on the pool looked magical! It gradually got heavier, but I suppose this is rainy season – or the end of it.

In Bali, the first born is called Wayan, the second is called Made (mad-ee), the third Nyoman, the fourth Ketut. It’s a religious name and then there follows a unique second name. If there is a 5,6,7,8 then the names are repeated over again!

Rice paddies:

Harvested 3 times a year, after replanting it is ready in one and a half months. They harvest it by cutting the bottom and pulling (I think) but they leave the cuttings – the stems – until they’re dry and then they become compost when the rain comes. It gets ploughed and then seedlings are replanted. This is typically a woman’s role, although it is mixed. 

The Shrine in the centre is for the God of the Rice. However, we’re told the yellow leaves of the rice plants are a sign that the crop will not be good, because there is a small bug that has ruined it. Smaller than a mosquito, like an ant.

   
 
There is a 25 meter irrigation system in the rice paddies because sometimes it is really dry here. If the season is dry, farmers will plant many vegetable crops to counter this.

There was a rice crisis in 1996, so rice had to be imported from Thailand, China, Vietnam and Japan. In one village there is a main temple and then several smaller ones too. 

It’s almost the Balinese new year, so the streets are decorated with these dragon bamboo decorations, as an offering. If you see any with an umbrella next to them, that is significant in Hindu and is for God. Black and white = yin and yang. Colours are symbolic here. They can represent the geographical location like east and west or for a high or low city and security. If a statue is dressed, it means it has spirit powers.

Balinese houses: the temple is always facing the north east because that is facing the highest building. Rooms to the East are for the people’s ceremony, west sleeping rooms, south is for eating. You can tell how many people are living in the compound by the number of kitchens (eg, 3 kitchens is 3 families).

   
   
 Edit
In the Hindu calendar, there are 35 days a month – every month. Therefore, there are 420 days a year! Apparently there is a tooth filing ceremony (at age 17) – to make everyone’s teeth straight and flat because there are said to be 6 bodily sins. The point of the ceremony is that the individual will see God after they pass. 

After we visited the traditional house, we walked along the rice paddies and rural area before passing a long roaring river, and popping out along the main street in Ubud.

In the afternoon, we had free time which meant a trip to the pool, reading and generally relaxing before heading out to watch a cultural dance performance in the evening.

Lunch:

   

  

The performance was stunning! Why might you ask, what’s so special about it? Well… The Kecak and Fire dance Trena Jenggala is a classical dance style and the music is unique because there are no instruments, only the voices of the performers, rising into an incredible crescendo.
 

  
   
 
They tell the story of Ramayana, written by the Indian Hindu author, Bagawan Walmiki. It tells the legend of the eternal conflict between good (Dharma) and evil (Adharma). 

I don’t want to give too much away, because, to be honest, no matter how I describe it, I will not do this performance justice, it’s amazing!

  

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