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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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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