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Indonesia in Focus

Archive for the Culture of Bali Category

Saraswati: Bali

November 9th, 2007 | Username By Barrie | Comments No Comments »

Today is Saraswati in Bali. This is the special day of thanks for the gift of knowledge. The festive day is a time for making offerings to books and especially the sacred lontar palm leaf books. All books are subjects on this day. One is not supposed to read books, however schools have special ceremonies. Notedly, Pura Jagatnatha in Denpasar is jam packed with students praying for success in their studies in the early morning ceremony.


Indonesians in Focus: Ni Made Darmi

November 5th, 2007 | Username By Barrie | Comments 1 Comment »

mini-ni-made-darma.jpgThat afternoon the Wijaya Kusuma Dance Studio was alive with the sound of gending, a composition played by a gamelan orchestra. Dozens of elementary school-aged girls were practicing the Cenderawasih (bird of paradise) dance. They moved rhythmically, following the gending from a tape recorder in a corner of the studio. Their scarves were tied at the hip with one corner held by the hand to form a wing. The children kept moving, swaying together as they danced the Cenderawasih, giving an appearance of flying. The studio was only a simple eight-by-eight meter building with concrete walls on the east and south sides. The west and north sides had no walls, only a waist-high loosely woven bamboo fence. The floor was concrete and the ceiling had been made from sheet iron.


Guardians of the Sacred Legong Dance: Bali

November 2nd, 2007 | Username By Barrie | Comments No Comments »

mini-dan_bali.jpgA dozen beautiful girls danced together in the courtyard of Payogan Agung Temple in Ketewel village, Sukawati, near Ubud in Gianyar in early October. The dancers were dressed in gold with crown-like headdresses adorned with fresh flowers. Other girls wearing similar costumes sat patiently in a corner of the temple waiting for their turn to perform. Ni Kadek Dewi Puspayanti and the other girls are members of a legong troupe that was not formed to entertain tourists or dance enthusiasts but to serve in life cycle rites, ceremonies and celebrations. The troupe was rehearsing for the opening and closing ceremonies of the Payogan Agung Temple celebration.


Bali Needs to Register Cultural Assets

October 23rd, 2007 | Username By Barrie | Comments No Comments »

Culture and Tourism Minister Jero Wacik has asked the Balinese to protect their cultural assets by registering them as intellectual property. Indonesia recently became embroiled in a spat with Malaysia over that country’s use of the folk song Rasa Sayange, which Indonesia claims as its own. Malaysia was also reported to have registered batik products as its own cultural assets according to the Jakarta Post.


Kertalangu Cultural Village: Bali

October 21st, 2007 | Username By Barrie | Comments No Comments »

mini-kertalangu.jpgA new recreational site - Kertalangu Cultural Village - is being developed in Kesiman Kertalangu, Padang Galak, East Denpasar, by hundreds of local farmers under the coordination of the village head. Strategically located on Jl. Raya Bypass Ngurah Rai, about five kilometers from downtown Denpasar, the Balinese, especially those in Denpasar and Gianyar, can easily reach the location by car, motorcycle or bicycle. On the side of the thoroughfare will be a shop selling ornamental plants and earthenware and not far from the shop an open-air restaurant with a stage and a sound system.


Sundanese and the ‘Angklung’ Patent Battle: West Java

October 1st, 2007 | Username By Barrie | Comments No Comments »

The angklung is a bamboo instrument consisting of a number of vertical tubes attached to a handheld horizontal rod that is rattled by the performer. It has become not just an instrument for making music but also for devising political and social protests.


Pencak Silat

September 25th, 2007 | Username By Barrie | Comments No Comments »

Pencak Silat is a martial art that was first practiced in Sumatra after arriving in Indonesia with Indian and Chinese travelers more than 1000 years ago. Today there are hundreds of different forms of Pencak Silat practiced across Indonesia with the various forms jealously protected by the intimates.


Deconstructing Balinese Identity

August 16th, 2007 | Username By Barrie | Comments No Comments »

Images of the great and colorful celebrations surrounding the Kuningan-Galungan holidays in late June are still fresh in the mind.


Le Mayeur Museum: Sanur, Bali

August 13th, 2007 | Username By Barrie | Comments No Comments »

The Museum Le Mayeur in Sanur is definitely a must-see place in Bali for the simple reason that some of Belgian artist Andrien Jean Le Mayeur’s finest paintings of his lovely wife Ni Pollok, who often modeled for him, are housed here.


Healing Arts Link: Bali

July 25th, 2007 | Username By Barrie | Comments 2 Comments »

The ancient art of voodoo was born in Dotu village, West Africa, spreading throughout the world with the slave trade of the 16th and 17th centuries. Perhaps it was this culture of enslavement that first gave voodoo its black magic reputation, as desperate slaves turned to the black arts as their only hope of rescue.


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