Bali Island, Indonesia

Bali Island Indonesia

Bali Island, Indonesia

Bali is an island and province of Indonesia with one of the biggest Hindu population in Indonesia. The province includes the island of Bali and some small islands. Some of them are Nusa Ceningan, Nusa Lembongan, Nusa Penida.

Bali island is located at the westernmost end of the Lesser Sunda Islands, Lombok to the east and Java to the west. Densapar is the capital of Bali Island. It is located at the southern part of the island.

Bali island is a popular tourist destination, which has seen a significant rise in tourists since the 1980s. On this island, Tourism-related business makes up 80% of its economy. It is renowned for its highly developed arts, including traditional and modern dance, painting, sculpture, leather, metalworking, and music. With a population of 719,000 in the 2017 census, the island is home to most of Indonesia’s Hindu minority.

Bali island is part of the Coral Triangle, the area with the highest biodiversity of marine species. In this area alone, over 500 reef-building coral species can be found. For comparison, this is about 7 times as many as in the entire Caribbean. Most recently, Bali was the host of the 2011 ASEAN Summit, 2013 APEC and Miss World 2013.

It is also home to a unified confederation of kingdoms composed of 10 traditional royal Balinese houses, where each house rules a specific geographic area. The confederation is the successor of the Bali Kingdom. The royal houses are not recognized by the government of Indonesia. However, they have been operational since their establishment prior to Dutch colonization.

In June 2012, Subak – the irrigation system for paddy fields in Jatiluwih, central Bali was enlisted as a Natural UNESCO world heritage site.

Culturekecak-dance-Uluwatu-Temple-Bali

Bali is renowned for its diverse and sophisticated art forms, such as painting, sculpture, woodcarving, handicrafts and performing arts. Balinese cuisine is also distinctive. 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 pendetlegongbaristopengbaronggong 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.

Festivals

A scene in Bali on Nyepi, the Hindu festival of silence. Everything is deserted, human footprint minimised.

Throughout the year, there are a number of festivals celebrated locally or island-wide according to the traditional calendars.

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 (or required) to remain in their hotels. On the day before New Year, large and 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).

Cremation in Ubud

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. 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. Many celebrations call for a loud, boisterous atmosphere with lots of activity and the resulting aesthetic, ramé, is distinctively Balinese. Often two or more gamelan ensembles will be performing well within earshot, and sometimes compete with each other 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.

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.

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 to better protect the sanctity of the oldest and most sacred Balinese rituals from being performed for a paying audience.

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 1930s 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.

Balinese society continues to revolve around each family’s ancestral village, to which the cycle of life and religion is closely tied. Coercive aspects of traditional society, such as customary law sanctions imposed by traditional authorities such as village councils (including “kasepekang”, or shunning) have risen in importance as a consequence of the democratisation and decentralization of Indonesia since 1998.

Other than Balinese sacred rituals and festivals, the government presents the Bali Arts Festival to showcase Bali’s performing arts and various artworks produced by the local talents that they have. It is held once a year, from the second week of June until the end of July. The Indonesian International Film Festival is held every year in Bali.

Tourism

In 1963 the Bali Beach Hotel in Sanur was built by Sukarno and boosted tourism in Bali.

Bali-Waterfalls-IAmInLoveWithNaturePrior to it, only three hotels existed on the island. Construction of hotels and restaurants began to spread throughout Bali. Tourism further increased on Bali after the Ngurah Rai International Airport opened in 1970. The Buleleng regency government encouraged the tourism sector as one of the mainstays for economic progress and social welfare.

The tourism industry is primarily focused in the south, while significant in the other parts of the island as well. The main tourist locations are the town of Kuta (with its beach), and its outer suburbs of Legian and Seminyak (which were once independent townships), the east coast town of Sanur (once the only tourist hub), Ubud – towards the center of the island, to the south of the Ngurah Rai International Airport, Jimbaran, and the newer developments of Nusa Dua and Pecatu.

An offshoot of tourism is the growing real estate industry.

Bali-Villas-Iaminlovewithnature

Bali’s real estate has been rapidly developing in the main tourist areas of Kuta, Legian, Seminyak, and Oberoi. Most recently, high-end 5-star projects are under development on the Bukit peninsula, on the south side of the island. Million dollar villas are being developed along the cliff sides of south Bali, with commanding panoramic ocean views.

In the last half of 2008, Indonesia’s currency had dropped approximately 30% against the US dollar, providing many overseas visitors value for their currencies. Visitor arrivals for 2009 were forecast to drop 8% (which would be higher than 2007 levels), mainly due to the worldwide economic crisis which has also affected the global tourist industry.

Ulun Danu Temple, located in Bratan Lake

Bali’s tourism economy survived the Islamists terrorist bombings of 2002 and 2005, and the tourism industry has in fact slowly recovered and surpassed its pre-terrorist bombing levels; the longterm trend has been a steady increase of visitor arrivals. In 2010, Bali received 2.57 million foreign tourists, which surpassed the target of 2.0–2.3 million tourists. The average occupancy of starred hotels achieved 65%, so the island still should be able to accommodate tourists for some years without any addition of new rooms/hotels, although at the peak season some of them are fully booked.

Bali received the Best Island award from Travel and Leisure in 2010. Bali won because of its attractive surroundings (both mountain and coastal areas), diverse tourist attractions, excellent international and local restaurants, and the friendliness of the local people. The Balinese culture and its religion are also considered as the main factor of the award. One of the most prestigious events that symbolize a strong relationship between a god and its followers is Kecak Dance.

Ancient

Bali was inhabited around 2000 BC by Austronesian people. These Austronesian people were migrated from Oceania through Maritime Southeast Asia. Culturally and linguistically, the Balinese are closely related to the people of the Indonesian archipelago, Philippines, Malaysia, and Oceania. Stone tools dating from this time have been found near the village of Cekik in the island’s west.

In ancient Bali, nine Hindu sects existed, namely Bhairawa, Bodha, Pasupata, Siwa Shidanta, Waisnawa, Brahma, Resi, Sora, and Ganapatya. Each sect revered a specific deity as its personal Godhead.

Balinese culture was strongly influenced by Indian, Chinese, and particularly Hindu culture, beginning around the 1st century AD.

Balinese-rice-fields

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 people developed their complex irrigation system Subak to grow rice in wet-field cultivation. Some religious and cultural traditions still practiced today can be traced to this period!!

The Hindu Majapahit Empire (1293–1520 AD) on eastern Java founded a Balinese colony in 1343.

Skanda-Pat-Sari-statue-Bali-IaminlovewithnatureThe uncle of Hayam Wuruk is mentioned in the charters of 1384–86. A mass Javanese immigration to Bali occurred in the next century when the Majapahit Empire fell in 1520. Bali’s government then became an independent collection of Hindu kingdoms which led to a Balinese national identity and major enhancements in culture, arts, and economy. The nation with various kingdoms became independent for up to 386 years until 1906, when the Dutch subjugated and repulsed the natives for economic control and took it over.

Puputan monument

In 1597, the Dutch explorer Cornelis de Houtman arrived at Bali, and the Dutch East India Company was established in 1602.

Dutch political and economic control over Bali began in the 1840s on the island’s north coast, when the Dutch pitted various competing Balinese realms against each other. In the late 1890s, struggles between Balinese kingdoms in the island’s south were exploited by the Dutch to increase their control.

In June 1860, the famous Welsh naturalist, Alfred Russel Wallace, traveled to Bali from Singapore, landing at Buleleng on the north coast of the island. Wallace’s trip to Bali was instrumental in helping him devise his Wallace Line theory. The Wallace Line is a faunal boundary that runs through the strait between Bali and Lombok. It has been found to be a boundary between species. In his travel memoir The Malay Archipelago, Wallace wrote of his experience in Bali, of which has strong mention of the unique Balinese irrigation methods:

I was both astonished and delighted; for as my visit to Java was some years later, I had never beheld so beautiful and well-cultivated a district out of Europe. A slightly undulating plain extends from the seacoast about ten or twelve miles (16 or 19 kilometres) inland, where it is bounded by a fine range of wooded and cultivated hills. Houses and villages, marked out by dense clumps of coconut palms, tamarind and other fruit trees, are dotted about in every direction; while between them extend luxurious rice-grounds, watered by an elaborate system of irrigation that would be the pride of the best cultivated parts of Europe.

Independence from the Dutch

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 recognized Indonesian independence on 29 December 1949. The first governor of Bali, Anak Agung Bagus Suteja, was appointed by President Sukarno in 1958 when Bali became a province.

ContemporaryMt-Agung-eruption-IAmInlovewithnature

The 1963 eruption of Mount Agung killed thousands, created economic havoc and forced many displaced Balinese to be transmigrated to other parts of Indonesia.

Bali as “paradise” was revived in a modern form, resulting large growth in tourism has led to a dramatic increase in Balinese standards of living and significant foreign exchange earned for the country. 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 reduced tourism, producing much economic hardship to the island.

GeographyMount Agung, the highest peak on Bali

The island of Bali lies 3.2 km (2.0 mi) east of Java and is approximately 8 degrees south of the equator. Bali and Java are separated by the Bali Strait. East to the west, the island is approximately 153 km (95 mi) wide and spans approximately 112 km (70 mi) north to south. Administratively it covers 5,780 km2 (2,230 sq mi), or 5,577 km2(2,153 sq mi) without Nusa Penida District. Its population density is roughly 750 people/km2 (1,900 people/sq mi).

Bali’s central mountains include several peaks over 2,000 meters (6,600 feet) in elevation and active volcanoes such as Mount BaturAn islet just south of Bali made of pillow basalt. Much of Bali is made of volcanic rock. The highest is Mount Agung (3,031 m, 9,944 ft), known as the “mother mountain”, which is an active volcano rated as one of the world’s most likely sites for a massive eruption within the next 100 years. As of late in June 2018 Mount Agung has started erupting, the airport in Bali has been closed.

Mountains range from center to the eastern side, with Mount Agung the easternmost peak. Bali’s volcanic nature has contributed to its exceptional fertility and its tall mountain ranges provide the high rainfall that supports the highly productive agriculture sector. South of the mountains is a broad, steadily descending area where most of Bali’s large rice crop is grown. The northern side of the mountains slopes more steeply to the sea and is the main coffee producing area of the island, along with rice, vegetables, and cattle. The longest river, Ayung River, flows approximately 75 km (47 mi).

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. 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.

Climate

Being just 8 degrees south of the equator, Bali island has a fairly even climate year round. Average year-round temperature stands at around 30 °C (86 °F) with a humidity level of about 85%.

Day time temperatures at low elevations vary between 20 to 33 °C (68 to 91 °F), but the temperatures decrease significantly with increasing elevation.

The west monsoon is in place from approximately October to April, and this can bring significant rain, particularly from December to March. During rainy season there are comparatively fewer tourists seen on Bali Island. During the Easter and Christmas holidays, the weather is very unpredictable. Outside of the monsoon period, humidity is relatively low and any rain is unlikely in lowland areas.

EcologyBali myna is found only on Bali and is critically endangered

The Bali myna is found only on Bali and is critically endangered.

Bali lies just to the west of the Wallace Line, and thus has a fauna that is Asian in character, with very little Australasian influence and has more in common with Java than with Lombok. An exception is a yellow-crested cockatoo, a member of a primarily Australasian family. There are around 280 species of birds, including the critically endangered Bali myna, which is endemic. Others include 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, and great egret.

Until the early 20th century, Bali was home to several large mammals: the wild banteng, leopard and the endemic Bali tiger. The banteng still occurs in its domestic form, whereas leopards are found only in neighboring Java, and the Bali tiger is extinct. The last definite record of a tiger on Bali dates from 1937 when one was shot, though the subspecies may have survived until the 1940s or 1950s.

Monkeys in BaliSquirrels are quite commonly encountered, less often is the Asian palm civet, which is also kept in coffee farms to produce Kopi Luwak. Bats are well represented, perhaps the most famous place to encounter them remaining is the Goa Lawah (Temple of the Bats) where they are worshipped by the locals and also constitute a tourist attraction. They also occur in other cave temples, for instance at Gangga Beach.

Two species of monkey occur. The crab-eating macaque, known locally as “kera”, is quite common around human settlements and temples, where it becomes accustomed to being fed by humans, particularly in any of the three “monkey forest” temples, such as the popular one in the Ubud area. They are also quite often kept as pets by locals. The second monkey, endemic to Java and some surrounding islands such as Bali, is far rarer and more elusive and is the Javan langur, locally known as “lutung”. They occur in a few places apart from the Bali Barat National Park.

Snakes include the king cobra and reticulategiant manta ray in bali - IAmInLoveWithNatured python. The water monitor can grow to at least 1.5 m (4.9 ft) in length and 50 kg (110 lb) and can move quickly.

The rich coral reefs around the coast, particularly around popular diving spots such as Tulamben, Amed, Menjangan or neighbouring Nusa Penida, host a wide range of marine life, for instance hawksbill turtle, giant sunfish, giant manta ray, giant moray eel, bumphead parrotfish, hammerhead shark, reef shark, barracuda, and sea snakes. Dolphins are commonly encountered on the north coast near Singaraja and Lovina.

A team of scientists conducted a survey from 29 April 2011 to 11 May 2011 at 33 sea sites around Bali. They discovered 952 species of reef fish of which 8 were new discoveries at Pemuteran, Gilimanuk, Nusa Dua, Tulamben and Candidasa, and 393 coral species, including two new ones at Padangbai and between Padangbai and Amed. The average coverage level of healthy coral was 36% (better than in Raja Ampat and Halmahera by 29% or in Fakfak and Kaimana by 25%) with the highest coverage found in Gili Selang and Gili Mimpang in Candidasa, Karangasem regency.

Among the larger trees, the 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, lotus, roses, begonias, orchids, and hydrangeas exist. On higher grounds that receive more moisture, for instance 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.

Environment

Some of the worst erosion has occurred in Lebih Beach, where up to seven meters (23 feet) of land is lost every year. Decades ago, this beach was used for holy pilgrimages with more than 10,000 people, but they have now moved to Masceti Beach.

From ranked third in the previous review, in 2010 Bali got score 99.65 of Indonesia’s environmental quality index and the highest of all the 33 provinces. The score measured three water quality parameters: the level of total suspended solids (TSS), dissolved oxygen (DO) and chemical oxygen demand (COD).

Because of over-exploitation by the tourist industry which covers a massive land area, 200 out of 400 rivers on the island have dried up and based on research, the southern part of Bali would face a water shortage up to 2,500 liters of clean water per second by 2015. To ease the shortage, the central government plans to build a water catchment and processing facility at Petanu River in Gianyar. The 300 liters capacity of water per second will be channeled to Denpasar, Badung, and Gianyar in 2013.

Plastic pollution

Last year Bali received nearly 5.7 million tourists, according to the regional government. In late 2017 officials declared a “garbage emergency” in response to the covering of 3.6 mile stretch of coastline in plastic waste brought in by the tide, amid concerns that the pollution could dissuade visitors from returning.

Indonesia is one of the world’s worst plastic polluters, with some estimates suggesting that the 260 million-population, 3,000-mile-wide, 17,000-island archipelago is the source of around 10 percent of the world’s plastic waste. Indonesia’s capital city Jakarta features several huge rubbish dumps and it is common to see swathes of plastics bobbing on the city’s few waterways.

Administrative divisions

The province is divided into eight regencies (kabupaten) and one city (kota). These are:

NameCapitalArea in
km2
Population
2000 Census
Population
2010 Census
Population
2014 estimate
HDI
2014 estimate
Denpasar CityDenpasar127.78532,440788,589856,4120.816 (Very High)
Badung RegencyMangupura418.52345,863543,332590,0620.779 (High)
Bangli RegencyBangli490.71193,776215,353233,8750.657 (Medium)
Buleleng RegencySingaraja1,364.73558,181624,125677,8030.691 (Medium)
Gianyar RegencyGianyar368.00393,155469,777510,1800.742 (High)
Jembrana RegencyNegara841.80231,806261,638284,1400.686 (Medium)
Karangasem RegencyAmlapura839.54360,486396,487430,5870.640 (Medium)
Klungkung RegencySemarapura315.00155,262170,543185,2110.683 (Medium)
Tabanan RegencyTabanan839.30376,030420,913457,1140.726 (High)
Totals 5,780.063,146,9993,890,7574,225,3840.724 (High)

Economy

In the 1970s, the Balinese economy was largely agriculture-based in terms of both output and employment. Tourism is now the largest single industry in terms of income, and as a result, Bali is one of Indonesia’s wealthiest regions. In 2003, around 80% of Bali’s economy was tourism related. By end of June 2011, non-performing loan of all banks in Bali was 2.23%, lower than the average of the Indonesian banking industry non-performing loan (about 5%). The economy, however, suffered significantly as a result of the Islamists terrorist bombings 2002 and 2005. The tourism industry has since recovered from these events.

Agriculture

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Although tourism produces the GDP’s largest output, agriculture is still the island’s biggest employer. Fishing also provides a significant number of jobs. Bali is also famous for its artisans who produce a vast array of handicrafts, including batik and ikat cloth and clothing, wooden carvings, stone carvings, painted art, and silverware. Notably, individual villages typically adopt a single product, such as wind chimes or wooden furniture.

The Arabica coffee production region is the highland region of Kintamani near Mount Batur. Generally, Balinese coffee is processed using the wet method. This results in a sweet, soft coffee with good consistency. Typical flavors include lemon and other citrus notes. Many coffee farmers in Kintamani are members of a traditional farming system called Subak Abian, which is based on the Hindu philosophy of “Tri Hita Karana”. According to this philosophy, the three causes of happiness are good relations with God, other people, and the environment. The Subak Abian system is ideally suited to the production of fair trade and organic coffee production. Arabica coffee from Kintamani is the first product in Indonesia to request a geographical indication.

Transportation

The Ngurah Rai International Airport is located near Jimbaran, on the isthmus at the southernmost part of the island. Lt.Col. Wisnu Airfield is found in north-west Bali.

I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport

A coastal road circles the island, and three major two-lane arteries cross the central mountains at passes reaching to 1,750m in height (at Penelokan). The Ngurah Rai Bypass is a four-lane expressway that partly encircles Denpasar. Bali has no railway lines.

In December 2010 the Government of Indonesia invited investors to build a new Tanah Ampo Cruise Terminal at Karangasem, Bali with a projected worth of $30 million. On 17 July 2011, the first cruise ship (Sun Princess) anchored about 400 meters (1,300 feet) away from the wharf of Tanah Ampo harbor. The current pier is only 154 meters (505 feet) but will eventually be extended to 300 to 350 meters (980–1,150 feet) to accommodate international cruise ships. The harbor here is safer than the existing facility at Benoa and has a scenic backdrop of east Bali mountains and green rice fields.

One of the major forms of transport in Bali is the scooter

The tender for improvement was subject to delays, and as of July 2013 the situation remained unclear with cruise line operators complaining and even refusing to use the existing facility at Tanah Ampo.

A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed by two ministers, Bali’s Governor and Indonesian Train Company to build 565 kilometers (351 miles) of railway along the coast around the island. As of July 2015, no details of this proposed railways have been released.

On 16 March 2011 (Tanjung) Benoa port received the “Best Port Welcome 2010” award from London’s “Dream World Cruise Destination” magazine. Government plans to expand the role of Benoa port as export-import port to boost Bali’s trade and industry sector. The Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry has confirmed that 306 cruise liners are heading for Indonesia in 2013 – an increase of 43 percent compared to the previous year.

Trans Sarbagita bus, Denpasar and its outskirt areas main transportation

In May 2011, an integrated Aerial Traffic Control System (ATCS) was implemented to reduce traffic jams at four crossing points: Ngurah Rai statue, Dewa Ruci Kuta crossing, Jimbaran crossing, and Sanur crossing. ATCS is an integrated system connecting all traffic lights, CCTVs and other traffic signals with a monitoring office at the police headquarters. It has successfully been implemented in other ASEAN countries and will be implemented at other crossings in Bali.

Demographics

The general beliefs and practices of Agama Hindu Dharma are a mixture of ancient traditions and contemporary pressures placed by Indonesian laws that permit only monotheist belief under the national ideology of panca sila. Traditionally, Hinduism in Indonesia had a pantheon of deities and that tradition of belief continues in practice; further, Hinduism in Indonesia granted freedom and flexibility to Hindus as to when, how and where to pray. However, officially, Indonesian government considers and advertises Indonesian Hinduism as a monotheistic religion with certain officially recognized beliefs that comply with its national ideology.

The Mother Temple of Besakih, one of Bali's most significant Hindu temples

Indonesian school text books describe Hinduism as having one supreme being, Hindus offering three daily mandatory prayers, and Hinduism as having certain common beliefs that in part parallel those of Islam. Scholars contest whether these Indonesian government recognized and assigned beliefs to reflect the traditional beliefs and practices of Hindus in Indonesia before Indonesia gained independence from Dutch colonial rule.

Balinese Hinduism has roots in Indian Hinduism and Buddhism, that arrived through Java. Hindu influences reached the Indonesian Archipelago as early as the first century. Historical evidence is unclear about the diffusion process of cultural and spiritual ideas from India. Java legends refer to Saka-era, traced to 78 AD. Stories from the Mahabharata Epic have been traced in Indonesian islands to the 1st century. However, the versions mirror those found in southeast Indian peninsular region (now Tamil Nadu and southern Karnataka Andhra Pradesh).

The Bali tradition adopted the pre-existing animistic traditions of the indigenous people. This influence strengthened the belief that the gods and goddesses are present in all things. Every element of nature, therefore, possesses its own power, which reflects the power of the gods. A rock, tree, dagger, or woven cloth is a potential home for spirits whose energy can be directed for good or evil. Balinese Hinduism is deeply interwoven with art and ritual. Ritualizing states of self-control are a notable feature of religious expression among the people, who for this reason have become famous for their graceful and decorous behavior.

Apart from the majority of Balinese Hindus, there also exist Chinese immigrants whose traditions have melded with that of the locals. As a result, these Sino-Balinese not only embrace their original religion, which is a mixture of Buddhism, Christianity, Taoism, and Confucianism but also find a way to harmonize it with the local traditions. Hence, it is not uncommon to find local Sino-Balinese during the local temple’s odalan. Moreover, Balinese Hindu priests are invited to perform rites alongside a Chinese priest in the event of the death of a Sino-Balinese. Nevertheless, the Sino-Balinese claim to embrace Buddhism for administrative purposes, such as their Identity Cards.

Language

Balinese and Indonesian are the most widely spoken languages in Bali, and the vast majority of Balinese people are bilingual or trilingual. The most common spoken language around the tourist areas is Indonesian, as many people in the tourist sector are not solely Balinese, but migrants from Java, Lombok, Sumatra, and other parts of Indonesia. There are several indigenous Balinese languages, but most Balinese can also use the most widely spoken option: modern common Balinese. The usage of different Balinese languages was traditionally determined by the Balinese caste system and by clan membership, but this tradition is diminishing. Kawi and Sanskrit are also commonly used by some Hindu priests in Bali, as Hindu literature was mostly written in Sanskrit.

English and Chinese are the next most common languages (and the primary foreign languages) of many Balinese, owing to the requirements of the tourism industry, as well as the English-speaking community and huge Chinese-Indonesian population. Other foreign languages, such as Japanese, Korean, French, Russian or German are often used in multilingual signs for foreign tourists.

Sports

Surfing-in-Bali-IAmInLoveWithNature

Bali is a major world surfing destination with popular breaks dotted across the southern coastline and around the offshore island of Nusa Lembongan.

As part of the Coral Triangle, Bali, including Nusa Penida, offers a wide range of dive sites with varying types of reefs, and tropical aquatic life.

Bali was the host of 2008 Asian Beach Games. It was the second time Indonesia hosted an Asia-level multi-sport event after Jakarta held the 1962 Asian Games.

In football, Bali is home to the football club Bali United, which plays in the Liga The team was relocated from Samarinda, East Kalimantan to Gianyar, Bali. Harbiansyah Hanafiah, the main commissioner of Bali United explained that he did the name change and moved the home base to Bali because there was no representative from Bali in the highest football tier in Indonesia. Another reason was due to local fans in Samarinda prefer to support Pusamania Borneo F.C. more than Persisam.

This is information about Bali Island, Indonesia. Do you want to travel to Bali? making a Plan???

READ OUR ULTIMATE BALI TRAVEL GUIDE!! CLICK HERE!!!

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