April 19, 2024

Bali underfoot.

I wanted to write a post about the parts of Bali that I saw. Often I see details and things that others overlook. However as I started to collect the photos I wanted to show I realized that these items were not hidden but underfoot. And underfoot everywhere!

Bali is the only island in Indonesia that is Hindu. The rest of the country is Muslim. So I was expecting to see the brightly painted Hindu shrines like I see in Singapore and saw in Cambodia. I was surprised that the difference in Bali is quite striking.

Leaving the airport I noticed that their statues and shrines included draped fabric often a bold plaid print and sometimes a solid color. The statues and shrines were unpainted stone for the most part. Some were carved stone and others were more building-block in nature, all intricately placed and arranged into symmetrical beauty.

Once we started walking around it was hard not to notice the small daily offerings each family presents to their local shrine. I was told that each family sets an offering out each morning – and they are everywhere.

Some are elaborate and many are very simple. We saw women gathered around piles of palm leaves weaving the little shallow baskets. We also saw the piles of yesterday and last weeks offerings piled along the street. At least the material is biodegradable.

Although similar there were striking differences in design and detail. Some were very, very simple indeed.

Rice was probably the main ingredient and then flowers and then all kinds of things.

When we left Bali and flew over to Lombok it was very noticeable that we left a Hindu land and entered a Muslim land. All the statues and offering were no longer around. The contrast was visually startling. I was no longer snapping photos at my feet.

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