bits about bali

October 21, 2008

The last post from Indonesia, and No. 4 in myyearonline’s continuing country series.

1. Balinese are given gender-independent names based on their birth order: the first born child is called Wayan, the second Made, the third Nyoman and the fourth Ketut. Subsequent children are not a problem, simply start at the beginning again!

2. More men than women wear fresh flowers behind their ears as accessories.

3. Offerings are made daily to the gods, little woven leaf pockets of rice, flowers, incense sticks and even the odd Ritz biscuit. These are placed in entryways to homes and shops, at shrines and temples. Mr. Snow spent our entire trip almost stepping on them.

4. Balinese New Year, Nyepi, is a day for self-reflection and quiet. So no lights, tvs, or radios, no driving, no flights or beach going, even for tourists.

5. Despite the authorities’ best efforts, cockfighting is well and alive in Bali. If you ever pass a temple or dirt track with dozens of motorbikes parked, but not a soul in sight, take a look around. The action is not far off!


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