Balinese Hindu Worship Procession


After watched our little Balinese friend get ready for her dance (see last post), we needed to move back to our car to get on to an appointment. 

But being very schedule-conscience in Bali is not always very useful.

Reportedly, in the late 1950s the Balinese were getting bored with their brand of Hinduism & many were beginning to forsake it.  Some Balinese were wooed into Communism & others just questioned everything. 

Then, the 1960s happened, young restless westerners started traveling the world, and an influx of budget tourists poured into Bali, wowing & swooning at the beauty of the island & it’s stunningly colorful Hindu worship & processions.  The Balinese began to feel affirmed—“The whole world comes to us to admire our religion!”—and sometimes downright proud of their magnetic draw on the world. 

Suddenly Balinese Hinduism was back—with a ferver & devotion unheard of in the previous decades.

So, today, when you go to Bali, you’re sure to have your tour schedule “disrupted” almost daily by religious processions.  The Balinese hold big, expensive, compulsory-attendance Hindu celebrations all the time.  Seriously!  Non-Balinese Indonesian business owners will sometimes admit that they hesitate to hire Balinese because they’re always taking time off for endless compulsory family’s celebrations. 

Now, many tourists get upset about the traffic jams the Balinese cause with their processions.  But, hey, everyone should be a photographer.  Just forget the schedule, get out of the car, or give up getting back to your car for a while, get out there in the middle of a procession & shoot away. 

The colors & textures & expressions will amaze you.

Why the dog?  If you’re seriously asking that, you haven’t been to Bali yet!  One Balinese Hindu explained to an outsider that the ugly, yelping dogs are a very important part of Bali.  Bali's landscape & culture are so beautiful that it’s yin & yang would go all out of kilter if it were not for the ugly dogs! 

Fortunately, there’s more beautiful Balinese people than there are ugly Balinese dogs. 

Come with us Sept. 14-21 for our Java-Bali Photo Tour with Matt Brandon & consider be signing-up for the extension tour to Borobudur & Jogjakarta.

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