WE BECAME UNTAMED. Just like every group that gets together for a purpose, there is a cycle that it must go through: Forming, Storming, Norming, and Performing. Six days ago when we first met, we were enthusiastic, innocent, and congenial. The idea of a trip to see the untamed parts of Bali was shiny and romantic. We were on our honeymoon with each other. Well after six days of heat, squeezing 7 American bodies into a medium size SUV, compromising different levels of personal needs, varied definitions of what “untamed” mean therefore expectations are met and not met, we all became a bit untamed ourselves. I have no doubt that we will come together as a group and finish the trip out splendidly. It’s just a little fun to watch at the moment.
Interesting Facts about Bali and Balinese that I learned:
– Bali has a cast system that has three levels. Unlike India, they can cross marry easily. But wealth and privileges still belong to the highest level.
– Either the youngest or oldest son of a Balinese family must stay home to take care of the parents.
– When a daughter gets married, she no longer gets the inheritance of her own family. She becomes part of her husband’s family. Her husband gets to have his inheritance. (She is s.o.l. as we would say.)
– Traditional Balinese meals are served to the elders and men of the family first, after that the women get to eat, then the children.
– In general, it appears that as much as one half to three quarter of the land property is dedicated space for the family temple, and the left over space is their living quarter.
– They pray and do devotion at least twice a day, the average is five times a day.
– Temple space is always divided into three sections: the beginning (birth), middle (life), end (death). So in a town there are at least 3 main temples: Beginning, Middle, End. In a home, the temple area is divided that way too.
– For Balinese people harmony, spirituality, and community are some of their highest values.
– At the core, Balinese believe in Animalism first, then Hinduism or other religions on top of that. So we see little food offering left out everywhere, to honor the trees, the spirits, ancestors, even for the little ants to partake in the day’s eateries.
– Beautiful sarongs are always worn to the temple to show respect to the gods. (The sarongs are HOT to wear. Cause they block the wind from cooling your legs down. Give me shorts any day)
– Many people still wear everyday sarongs for most of their daily activities.
– Balinese live in a community based society. Most decisions are decided and carried out from community meetings that are held at local banjars (town hall meeting space).
– When you meet a Balinese person, they always ask “where are you going?” and “where did you come from” so that they can connect with you. They are not being nosy or rude (or planning to attack you if they know where you will be).
Last but not least (for now), I am rereading the “Love” part of “Eat, Pray, Love.” It’s fun to experience Bali then check it against what Elizabeth Gilbert wrote so I can understand more of what just happened. To me the book is pretty accurate. Oh, and Julia Roberts is in Bali right now finishing up filming for “Eat, Pray, Love” Lots of hoo-ha’s and gossips about that. Can’t wait to see the movie.