Gongs in Bali

To the Balinese, a gong is something that is often revered: for its sound, its prestige, its mysticism. To the lay person, we think of a gong as a hanging instrument that makes a sort of booming sound, but it is much more than that. As a gamelan researcher and educator at Mekar Bhuana Centre, […]

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Bali – Traditions not Standing Still – Part IV

An agrarian lifestyle is the root of pretty much all tradition in Bali, and therefore the basis for ritual and ceremony – the loss of which due to mass tourism is a topic for much debate and a serious threat to Balinese culture and tradition on many levels. Not only this, but an agrarian – […]

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Bali – Traditions not Standing Still Part III

When you look at Balinese society today compared to even twenty or thirty years ago, there have been many developments in terms of how people practice religion, both in terms of spirituality and customs. A turning point I believe was the first Bali bomb in 2002 – rather than retaliate against the extremist elements in […]

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Bali – Traditions not Standing Still Part II

When we see a living cultural tradition it’s easy to assume that things stand still but in fact in Bali this is not the case at all. The list of change at the spiritual, religious and ceremonial level is pretty much endless in fact. The most glaring example is a general disregard for the philosophy […]

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Bali – Traditions Not Standing Still

  Like other cultures and traditions across the world, Balinese culture is by no means immune to change. In the West, we only have to look at a tradition / belief as massive as Christmas, which is not only quite possibly on the wrong date for someone who may not have even historically existed, but […]

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Maaf saya gaptek!

An acronym, ‘gagap teknologi’ means technologically inept. While there are record numbers of Indonesians on social media, in particular Facebook, shockingly few people here actually have a command of basic computer skills or programs. Essentially, the only reason most young people here have an email address these days is because they have to have one […]

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“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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