|An offering at the ocean|
We had read that it is not unexpected that a procession of people going to a temple celebration could happen at any given time or place, and sure enough within a couple of hours of arriving in Bali and being driven to Ubud (where we stayed the first four nights) we encountered one as we drove into the village. Traffic stops and a line of men, women, and children dressed in traditional garb carrying offerings and gifts make their way through the streets. Very glad to have seen one!
Whether it was someone driving us around the island, someone guiding us on a trek in the mountains, or someone showing us around a temple - we got to hear some wonderful insights and knowledge about what we were seeing and about Bali itself and its people and religion. Just fascinating...and it really added to our experience.
I'm so glad we took the time to learn a few words and phrases in Indonesian. The old saying is very true - they really do appreciate the effort even if you get it wrong. We got several comments on it and they really did notice, even if they also spoke English. Highly recommended.
Just seeing and experiencing the bits of everyday life in Bali and seeing just how amazingly different it is to ours (or Western life in general) was eye-opening and mind-opening. Maybe it was watching workers in the rice fields, people in temples (more about the temples in the next post), vendors, the crazy driving (crazy to anyone not from there, anyway), or just walking through villages...it was such a great experience to see a way of life so completely different from our own. And that was a key part of the choice to visit Bali - to experience these differences and to intentionally be a bit uncomfortable so far out of our element.
Click here for some more photos of the Balinese.