BALI IN STORIES
Bali Island itself according to the ancient inscription of Blanjong written 835 Saka or 913 century which is released by Sri Kesari Warmadewa Kingdom that Bali Island is called “Bali Dwipa” where the meaning is Bali means come back, offering, sure and other words related to this meaning, meanwhile Dwipa mean island. The Bali Dwipa might be given by traditional merchants from India where the first time they arrive in Bali they met the local people full with the religious activities by using the offering (banten). Base on the event they called Bali is Bali Dwipa.
BALI FROM OTHER VIEWS
According to the geographic, Bali Island is located in the tropical area and as other islands in Indonesia that Bali Island is consisted of the mountain area, coastal and sea. Its land is very fertile and own tropical climate so that this area is very precise as agrarian area.
Balinese people have been well known as the agrarian and friendly people. They are holding the strong social life that are still be defended up to now and become the fortress from unfavorable external influence pressure.
CULTURE AND RELIGION
Most of the Balinese are Hindu while other are Moslem, Christian/catholic and Buddhist where they live in peace and love each other. We can see the religious activity ritual by Hinduism in Bali every day so that this island is more known as an island of heaven. Bali is featured by unique cultures which most adapted from the Hindu influence that are still exist in this new modern era.
As the eaten country and part of Indonesia , living in Bali is very simple and most of them are friendly people. However Balinese itself own special etiquette that you need to know before visiting the island.
Balinese people have a strong community system and well organization. Well organization community organizes every single part of region in Bali from the small one that is called Banjar, village, district, and regency until province.
COSMOGONY AND TRI HITA KARANA
Balinese Hindu has a strong concept in their life that is based on the balance of nature life. This concept now has been adopted by many countries in the world to keep secure the environment from the bad influence. This Balinese Concept is fundamental from the Hindu Religion concept, which is more popular called TRI HITA KARANA where nowadays this concept is becomes the point of the hotel, restaurant and other building assessment in the world. The Balinese Traditional Architecture is not only monumentally, but also has the aspect philosophies and religious. The cosmogony is oneness of three worlds (Tri Buana) which is called Bhurloka, Bhwahloka, and Swahloka. Each of this world (Loka) has habitants it self.
TRI HITA KARANA CONCEPT FOR LIFE
In addition of this three concepts cosmogony, it is also own contextual with Hindu Religion Concept, which is called Tri Hita Karana (three of the harmony, balance to create the peaceful and happiness). Tri Hita Karana word is come from Sanskrit Language that has meaning to keep the harmony and balance between human to God, human-to-human and human to environment. These three concepts is most popular in Bali spread out as follows:
PARAHYANGAN,Parahyangan is one of the three concept related to the god. On this stage, the human is demanded to keep the harmony and balance with god. This concept has huge meaning where the Balinese discipline and full confidence to do this. It is not only including to pray at the temple, however it is cover all the activities which has a good thing in the life like build the temple, cleaning the temple, keep the religion symbols well a lot of thing we can do on this concept.
PAWONGAN,Pawongan in this concept is required to keep the harmony and balance between human to human and this concept has emphasized how to keep good relation with others. The simple ways to execute the implementation of this concept are to conduct three good things like to think the good thing, to speak the good thing and to conduct the good thing. By conducting three good things that is called Tri Kaya Parisudha, it is ensure we can conduct this concept.
PELEMAHAN,Palemahan, this word is come from lemah that is meaning the land or environment. Generally the Pelemahan in Tri Hita Karana is all aspect related to the environment. Base on this concept the Balinese has treated the environment well and they believe that the good environment will give their life better. Once example the Balinese treat the environment that on the Tumpek Uduh based on the Balinese calendar, the Balinese give the offering to the tree with the purpose that the tree has given them prosperity and a lot of thing they can do to keep the harmony and balance with the environment.
BALINESE CULTURE AND HINDU RELGION
The main religion practiced in Bali is a form of Hinduism called Agama Hindu Dharma, where the Hindu itself is consisted of some religious sect, but in Bali all of Balinese are Hindu Ciwa. The two religions (Hindu and Buddhist) arrive from Java and some extend from India during the 8th to 16th centuries. The main symbol of Balinese Hinduism is the Swastika or wheel of the sun. An important belief is that elements of nature are influenced by spirit, which has been appeased. As such offerings (Sesajen) made from agriculture product are offered to this spirit. It is believed that Mount Agung is the abode of the gods and the ancestors. As such, it is revered as the `mother` mountain and is highly sacred to the Balinese.
BALI HINDU HISTORY
The religion in Bali is according to three principles those are Desa (place), Kala (time) and Patra (circumstance). Five pillars of faith acknowledge Hinduism. They are believe in the one Supreme God (Sang Hyang Widhi Wasa), belief in the soul as the universal principle of life and consciousness (atma), belief in the fruition of one’s deeds ( karma pala ), belief in the process of birth and death (samsara), and belief in ultimate release (moksa). The religious rites of the Balinese consist of the human rites (Manusa Yadnya), the rites of the dead (Pitra Yadnya), rites of the gods or temple rites (Dewa Yadnya), rites of the demonic forces (Buta Yadnya ) and ordainment rites (Rsi Yadnya). Holy water, fire, ash, geese, duck, eggs and dabdab tree leave are purifying elements used in the ritual. The Balinese are extremely devout and no day goes by without making offerings to the gods. These daily offerings – called Banten are a major part of Balinese life. You will see these offerings nearly everywhere in Bali . Made of flowers, cigarettes, cookies, rice and even sometimes money (the actual items used are not as important as the process of making and offering it to the spirits) these offerings are given to the good spirits in hopes of continued prosperity as well as to the evil spirits as an appeasement.
BALINESE COMMUNITY SYSTEM
One of the images of the Balinese unique is collectively strong oneness among Balinese and there are seven things wrapped the Balinese to be a strong community, which has the identity and tenacity of culture: (1) most of them bound by Hindu Religion as a pioneer of religion in Indonesia. (2) They are bound with some of praying place (Pura), (3) Balinese people bound by family system, (4) They are bound by the community surrounding them like Banjar or Desa Pakraman. (5) They are also bound by race system which get in heritance from the ancestor hereditarily, (6) Some of Balinese farmers are bound with Traditional Irrigation System which is called Subak, (7) Balinese also bound by Indonesia Government System.
BALINESE LIFE AND STRUCTURE
Generally, the Balinese Community System is oriented by two structures (Social Traditional Structure and Social Formal Structure). The Social Traditional Structure has based on the long story from before Hindu era until now and Social Formal Structure is bound of the Balinese integrity into Republic Indonesia since 17 August 1945 . The most familiar Balinese life concept which is called ‘Tri Hita Karana‘ and it is believe will bring them into prosperous where this concept has three angle point in the Balinese in order to keep the good balance between human and environment, human and human the last one human and god.
Banjar is a group of social community that has band of area, activities and social life. The purpose of Banjar is to held each other in line with the social activities like wedding ceremony, people death, take a part of refurbishment of temple, road, cleanliness of the area, security protection and do all the activities together in economic, social and ritual field. The Banjar is lead by Klian Banjar, which is consisted of 50 – 200 family leaders.
Subak is a social-economic organization to organize the irrigation system in Bali where the member itself is from the owner of the rice field. The focus activities of Subak is around the irrigation of the rice field and beside of that it is also has the economic activities and done some religious activities in Pura Subak. In Bali there are about 1300 Subak, where the structurally consist of Subak Tempekan and Subak Gede. Subak it self is lead by ‘Pekaseh’ and he/she organize and arrange the water irrigation system, irrigation maintenance, to schedule the rice plantation including the cleaning of insect program.
Sekaa is a group of social community, which has proposed to conduct the special event and inclined based on voluntary. The Sekaa is built based on the same propose, norm and activities. In Bali, there are a lot of Sekaa that effect to all aspect Balinese life from the security, social, environment, religion, economic, art etc. The most of Sekaa in Bali is more glow is Art Sekaa and based on survey is about 1500 organization.
Gotong Royong is a fundamental of Balinese solidarity which is used on the day life of Balinese based on reciprocity where the activities given will get the obligation to return as sociality. A base of Gotong Royong is forming to help each other and free social activities.
BALI ISLAND GEOGRAPHICALLY
Bali Island is one of the provinces in Indonesia and this province is located between Java Island and Lombok Island. The frame area of this island is from the north that is surrounded by Bali Sea (Laut Bali), in the east limited by Lombok Strait, in the south limited by Indian Ocean and in the west is limited by Bali Strait. Bali Province is consisted of Bali Island, Nusa Penida Island, Nusa Lembongan Island, Nusa Ceningan Island and Menjangan Island and it is thorough out about 5.632,86 kilometers square. Base on the administration, Bali is consisted of 8 districts, 53 sub districts, and 674 villages.
OTHER VIEWS OF BALI ISLAND
Bali Island is a strategic area because this area it is connecting the transportation between Java and other islands in east of Bali Island (Nusa Tenggara). Bali is also located between Asia and Australia . Geographically in the center of Bali , some mount spread out on this island like Agung Mount (3.142 meters) Gunung Batur (1.717 meters), Abang Mount (2.152 meters) and Batukaru Mount (2.276 meters). Beside of mountain, Bali also has some lakes like Batur Lake (1.605 Ha), Beratan Lake (375,6 Ha), Buyan Lake (336 Ha) and Tamblingan Lake (110 Ha). Bali Island is a tropical area that is influenced by two seasons a year that is Dry Season and Wet Season. The temperature is about 24,0° C – 30,8° C and the humidity is about 79%.
BALINESE SIMPLE ETIQUETTES
The Balinese are inclusive by nature, take great pride in their heritage, and therefore do not mind visitors observing ceremonies and traditional dances, just as long as you follow a few simple, basic points of etiquette. (After all, how would you like a group of foreign speaking tourists invading your wedding or funeral of a close relative to snap a few photos?). First, dress appropriately – smart casual is appropriate – swimwear is not appropriate. Two, be quiet and respectful. Cameras and camcorders are ok – but do be unobtrusive. Also, do not step in front of anyone to snap a photo and do not sit higher than the local priest presiding over the ceremony. As well, Do Not touches or pats anyone (including children) on the head.
UNIQUE AND NEED TO KNOW
When visiting temples be aware that you should wear long pants or a sarong with a selendang tied around the waist (men and women). Whilst you can take your own every major temple has selendangs to borrow for a small donation. It is extremely bad form (in fact, it is taboo) for women who are menstruating to enter a temple. If you do find yourself stuck in traffic for no apparent reason, you may have to come up on a Balinese procession on the way to temple. Be patient. No amount of honking the car’s horn is going to speed things up and it is rude to try to pass.