“Izin share”, “Pesbuk” dan “Wazap”

So often I come across this comment by Indonesian “pesbukers”. Meaning “May I share?” (this post/photo/video), it not only shows to me (and millions of people who are watching them across the planet on social media) several things about Indonesians and the culture they live in. Indonesians are both polite and like to pretend they’re […]

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Bali – the Culture of Consumption

‘Consumption’ here refers to the literal translation of the Indonesian word, konsumsi: food or drink provided for participants or guests at any given occasion. Every and any occasion in Bali is an excuse for konsumsi, in fact no one would even dare suggest having the smallest meeting, gathering or even music practice without addressing konsumsi. […]

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Gender Wayang – Bali’s Most Intimate Gamelan Ensemble

If you’ve ever been to a tooth filing ceremony in Bali, you would have heard the music of gamelan gender wayang. Instruments played by either by two or four musicians in pairs, a gender wayang ensemble is Bali’s most intimate gamelan ensemble. This is not just because the group is relatively small compared to the commonly seen large […]

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“Where you go – wash your eyes ya?”

  Some of the most “charming” Indonesian expressions are ones that use the word cuci which means ‘to wash’. Perhaps this is because Indonesians always ask each other (even people they’ve just met) if one has washed yet or not (“Sudah mandi?”). Perhaps not. Nonetheless, the word is part of some pretty funky expressions. For example, cuci mata that literally means ‘wash eyes’ means […]

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Is listening part of Balinese culture? By Vaughan Hatch

Go to a meeting or take a Balinese to a music concert and you’ll quickly learn that Balinese prefer talking to listening. Over the past 20 years living in Bali, I have been to numerous local meetings and they’re pretty noisy spectacles indeed. Very few people  sit in silence listening to the speaker but prefer to chat with […]

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What does Ngiring mean?

For those of you who have gone beyond Indonesian and are attempting to learn Balinese, you would have certainly heard this word a lot. Ngiring is one of the most interesting Balinese words because it is not only versatile but it explains so much about Balinese culture in the way it is used. For those of […]

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