Today we had a nice start of the day which was the typical Balinese dance. Our host Nyoman took us there. It was a very interesting experience, hard to explain. It's a bit of dance, mainly an act like you would be in an outside theatre. After the 30-40mins experience, we visited some jewellery makers, a temple and also a wood carving place. I have to say,since I arrived to Ubud, I'm absolutely mesmerised by the lots of stone and wood carvings they have here. The amount of details they put in one statue or a miniature wooden creature, it's something unbelievable. So when Nyoman said if we want to see a place where they make them of course I was extremely happy. And I wasn't disappointed. It's fantastic how they make them and the amount of time they spend with one piece. After I spent over half an hour being amazed by the carvings we visited a coffee planetarium which was definitely Rich's highlight of the WHOLE trip. And the reason is; it's not just that we went around to see how they roast the beans or make the powder coffee,we could also meet the Luwa (civet), ,which is an animal in Indonesia which eats the coffee beans when they fall off the tree. Digestive mechanisms may improve the flavor profile of the coffee beans that have been eaten. The civet eats the cherries for the fleshy pulp, then in the digestive tract, fermentation occurs. The civet's protease enzymes seep into the beans, making shorter peptides and more free amino acids. Passing through a civet's intestines the cherries are then defecated with other fecal matter and collected. This coffee is extremely expensive as we know after searched in lots of shops. A 100g cost over 150,000IDR. 100g maybe good for 2 coffees... the other amazing thing is that this tour is free and you also get a tea/coffee tasting when they basically give you a menu which states 12 different teas and coffees and also explains a bit. They they bring out 12 different cups and put it in front of you as they are on the menu. So you can taste it all. My absolute favourite was the Mangosteen Peel tea (it's from a fruit's peel) and the Rosella tea (which is a type of the hibiscus). But also the coconut coffee was good. again, it was a unique experience and it was all for free. We ordered the Luwek coffee as well (that cost 50,000IDR/cup) just so we know how it is. They didn't put sugar or anything in and it has a really strong taste. We have the woman 100,000IDR for the tour and also bought myself a nice Bali soap and a Mangosteen Peel tea. All together we left there over 300,000IDR in the end. After having so much tea no coffee we came to the hostel and had a really nice chat with Nyoman.
These are the information we got from his culture:
- Bali's religion 80% hindu, the rest is mainly Muslim and then also some Christian but Indonesia's religion 70-80% Muslim
- Reincarnation- they believe that with good karma you reincarnate to the same family but with bad karma you reincarnate as an animal
- When you are an animal, you have to be eaten by a human to be able to reincarnate as a human again
- They stay animal until they have been eaten by a human - worst is to be a worm because worm gets eaten by a chicken or a bird and then bird gets eaten by an other animal,etc.
- That's why they have animal sacrifices on Hindu ceremonies, so they can get them back to be human again (rarely they eat young dogs as well)
- Family lives in the same house except when a daughter gets married, she moves to her husband's family
- Western and Balinese marriage isn't unusual any more here but they have to have kids. If a western woman doesn't want to have kids, the marriage won't work cos Hindu believes in kids
- Bali started to be touristic in about 1974ish when Queen Elizabeth the II. visited. Before it was only jungle and rice paddies but for her visit local people started to build roads and houses,etc.
- Bali got hit by a terrorist attack in 2003 by Kuta so tourism stopped for about a year when people didn't have jobs and they were seriously struggling
- Locals are moving out from Kuta because of the giant tourism there but as they are leaving their houses, there is no one to look after their temples - every house has its own temple-
- Balinese hindu does an offering 3x a day, in the morning, after lunch and before going to bed. They use flowers, incents and food. Offering happens everywhere not only in the house so you can see on the streets the little boxes full of with flower,incents and some rice everywhere
- Because of the daily offering, someone always have to be in the house. Wives normally don't work so they can do all the offerings, plus cooking,cleaning,etc but if a wife works, the family has to hire someone or ask granny to do it all instead of them.
- They have a carving you see everywhere, an elephant looking dude. He is Ganesh the God of good luck, wisdom and knowledge
- They believe in good and bad so they have a temple for the good spirit and on the opposite site for the black magic and they pray for both,in both temples to keep the balance
- Balinese are NEVER use their left hand as they believe,right hand is the good spirit, left hand is the black magic=bad spirit. If they would give something out with left hand, the other person wouldn't be happy about it..
- Balinese people can't travel or move away because they would lose everything. The government gives them land for free where they can build a house but as the land isn't theirs, they can't sell the house. If they move out, they lose it. So they don't actually have to stay in Bali but they have everything here.
- Kids sometimes go to university in a different country but after they graduate, they normally return back to Bali and build there life here
And lot more but it's hard to remember everything as he told us so much. I was so happy and just sat there listening. The one thing I could think of,how nice is that they believe that there dead loved ones are being reincarnated in their son,daughter,niece,etc. It's probably a bit easier to let them go when they go. In Europe we all keep wishing if we could see our loved ones just one more time and they actually see these people in their 'new' bodies. Of course they don't know who they were before but I just think this belief just helps grief so much more. As he talked about his religion and culture I almost wished to be a Balinese Hindu ☺️.
He had to leave to see his son who is a musician (just like him) so we also went out to find something to eat. We also visited the monkey forest where we saw hundreds of monkeys but it's also a very nice little walk just to go along the path they have created. It was very nice and monkeys weren't too bothered by us unless you had food when they literally jumped on you but didn't bite. Entry fee is 50,000/person.
We had nice dinner, I finally tasted the very famous Balinese duck,they brought it out on this beautiful plate... I got half a duck with mashed potato and vegetables, also some weird soup I didn't like. I also ordered a mojhito from a local rice spirit which was very tasty as well. Our day ended just how it started, satisfying. ☺️
We booked a whole day Bali trip for tomorrow with a private driver. It cost 700,000IDR for the whole day. We will visit temples, the biggest rice paddy here and also a nice lake. Let's see how it goes.