Sunday, July 1, 2012

Adventures in Bali

Two weeks ago my mother and aunt came to Southeast Asia to visit me.

The first adventure was trying to get my mom on the same path as my aunt. My mom had many delays and new routes, but finally made it to Bali.

The resort we stayed at was in Candidasa which on the southeast coast of the island. The town was quiet and the place was a nice place to relax and play catch with my family.

I became friends with our taxi driver who drove us from our resort in Candidasa to Kuta (about a 2 hour drive). We compared my Malay words verses the local Indonesian language. We found we had many similarities, so if we wanted to we could talk about my mom or aunt haha...but of course we didn't. I was able to learn about his family, his lifestyle and the Hindu religion. Before he became a taxi driver he was working on a US cruise ship, handling luggage and cleaning the restrooms. He said the pay was very nice, but it was starting to get too hard to be away from his family. That was another similarity we had in common. He was surprised that I hadn't seen my mom in ten months, but understood how it felt to be away from family.

Most locals in Bali follow the Hindu religion and there are many temples throughout the area. I learned that there different kinds of temples, family temples, village temples and bigger spiritual temples. According to the Balinese tradition, the temples are the point of meeting amongst the humans and the gods. The temples are specially considered during some festival days or in the “odalan” (temple anniversaries). In these dates the temples are decorated to praise the gods. The word in Sanskrit for temple is “Pura”, which means “space surrounded by walls”. Many families build there homes are their family temples and for the family. Village temples are usually more open for tourist.  The bigger spiritual Hindu temples are normally only used for special occasions.  Most temples of Bali can be classified into these categories: Pura Puseh (origin temples), which are the most important and are reserved to the founders of villages (Balinese are worshipers of their ancestors). Pura Desa dedicated to protector spirits that guard the villagers. Pura Dalem (dead temple), where is venerate Durga the Shiva’s wife and deity of the dark and destruction. Besides, there are several temples dedicated to the spirits that protect the agriculture, these temples are known as Pura Subak.  As well as learning about the Hindu religion and the different temples, we also got to see some traditional Balinese dances.

 We also spend a full day in the city of Kuta where we swam in the ocean and bargain at the outdoor markets AND let me tell you that was an exciting yet overwhelming experience.

I am again so thankful for all the experiences and the new people I was able to meet, but more thankful that I was able to share that with my mother and aunt.

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