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CULTURE, CUSTOM AND RELIGION

CULTURE, CUSTOM AND RELIGION

superit is widely known that Bali is more famous than Indonesia. This is because Bali is positioned at the intersection of a trading route which must have been passed by travelers in the Indian Ocean, the South Chinese Sea and the Pacific Ocean. As a result, Indonesia has been enriched by Indian, Chinese, Islamic and European cultures. The arrival of foreign cultures did not cause Balinese culture to disappear or be radically changed by the more dominant culture. Each foreign culture enriched Balinese culture, making it more diverse and unique. This was made possible because each foreign culture was accepted harmoniously by the Balinese. Acculturation did not remove the original culture – this makes Bali unique.

Bali had also succeeded in maintaining its Hindu heritage. During the colonial period, Bali received lighter treatment from the colonizers compared to other places in Indonesia. As a result, to some extent, the Balinese were protected from colonial unrest and violence. The awareness to preserve and to. develop Bali culturally is embedded in every Balinese. They are always open to those who come to the island. They welcome visitors without any suspicion and do not assume that the visitors will damage their land or the social order and the culture.

When welcoming visitors, Balinese bear in mind the philosophical values of Tri Hita Karana – their concept for harmonious living. Hindu-Balinese society and daily life and activities are all based on these deeply engrained values. Balinese people believe that disease and disaster come about due to imbalance and conflict between man and the nature. Imbalance occurs because people disturb the environment without thinking about how to preserve it. When Balinese cut down a tree to build a house, for example, they plant two trees in its place to make up for it. Every six Balinese calendar months, they hold a special ritual out of respect for plants and trees, called Tumpek Uduh. There is also special day for animals called Tumpek Kandang, and a special day for tools and technology called Tumpek Landep. Balinese make offerings (bebanten) to respect and maintain these relationships, and also to remind Balinese not to disturb the balance.

If people from outside Bali try to destroy Bali (for example, the Bali Bombing tragedy in 2002), generally Balinese will not take revenge but rather hold ritual ceremonies such as Pemarisudha Karipubhaya, Bhuta Yadya, Tawur Agung, Tawur Gentuh, and Pakelem. These rituals were carried out several days after the bombings, and were aimed to return the harmonious balance, according to the Balinese tri mandala concept. This philosophical value is meant to make Balinese love peace (ahimsa) and not harm themselves or others. This is why Balinese will not usually be involved in terrorism or any activity that has the potential to harm others or nature.

One of the offerings used in religious activities to maintain the harmony relationship between humans and the nature.

Last Updated (Tuesday, 24 May 2011 04:43)

 

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