Monday, July 14, 2008

Bali ... The paradise island

I bet you must be agree with my title. Yes... I want to write about Bali this time. Bali is very famous and I think nobody in the world does not know Bali. May be Bali is more well-known than Indonesia. I love this island. I have been to the island for many times and still want to go again.

Bali is half hour by plane or 12 hours drive from my hometown, Surabaya. Going to Bali is very easy. Lots of domestic and international flights arrive in or depart from Denpasar. Denpasar is the capital city of Bali. The airport is Ngurah Rai International airport. I Gusti Ngurah Rai is the famous hero from Bali. Everytime I arrive in Bali, I always feel different. The island's atmosphere is very very special... it is difficult to describe how I feel in words, you better go there and feel it yourself, ok?!

The population in Bali is about 3 million and the majority is Hindu. They have many religious ceremonial events in one year, namely Kuningan, Galungan, Saraswati, etc and the biggest one is Nyepi. Nyepi is Balinese New Year according to Caka Calender. On that day, there will only be silence and no activities in the island for the all day. The Balinese should stay at home and they do reflection on whatever they have done in the past year.

There are many things you can do in Bali. Bali has beaches, mountains, lakes, waterfalls ... all naturally created. You can also visit Hindu temples, museums, art villages. One of the famous beach is Kuta beach. I bet you have heard Kuta beach in Bali. This beach is very beautiful. Surfers like this white-sandy beach because the waves is perfect for surfing. Bali also has fascinating cultures ... the art works and dances. I have wrote about Kecak dance in this blog, and you can find it in Garuda Wisnu Kencana post.

The other unique thing about Bali is the caste system. There are four castes in Bali, namely Brahmana (the priest), Satria (warriors), Wesia (officials and merchants) and Sudra (farmers and craftsmen). Brahmana is highest caste in the society. Sudra is the lowest and represent 90% of Balinese. The caste system, then, affects how parents name their children. For example, if someone is from Brahmana caste, then their names are Bagus (for man) and Ida Ayu for woman, or Ksatria caste - name: Anak Agung Dewa (for man) and Anak Agung Dewi (for woman). As far as I know there are 4 popular names for the majority of the population, Putu/Wayan (1st child), Made (2nd child), Nyoman (3rd) and Ketut (4th). Then, if the Balinese has his/her 5th child, then he/she will be name Putu/Wayan, like the 1st child.

Anyway, Bali is very highly recommended by me. Do not forget to apply sunscreen if you want to sunbath. Then, do bargain at least by 50% if you want to but souvenirs.

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