Bali is an island that offers so much splendid beauty that has tourists coming back to visit the island. The people are very warm and the culture and traditions are something worth learning. The Balinese are genuinely happy people, perhaps attributed to their strong faith in Hindu. They have the belief that a balance should be maintained between the spiritual and the physical world to have peace and prosperity.
People in Bali share many things in common. They have a vivid organization of villages and farming. Almost all aspects of life are placed in the hands of two traditional committees, which are the Subak and the Banjar.
The Subak is concerned of the production of rice. As such, it is responsible for taking care of the irrigation system to ensure that every member of the community gets his/her fair share of irrigation water. It is a tradition for the head of the Subak to have his sawah so that the water will have to pass through the sawahs of the members before reaching his own. There is also the Banjar which is responsible for arranging the village festivals and marriage ceremonies and cremations. The villages have one Banjar and the men are expected to join one once they get married. Banjar has an estimate membership of 50 to 100 families and they each have a meeting place of their own which they call the Bale Banjar. This place is where the meetings are usually held and this is also where the gamelan orchestras and drama groups practice.
Every stage of Balinese life has ceremonies and rituals which are called the Manusa Yadnya. The first of these ceremonies takes place even before birth, followed by another ceremony after the birth wherein the afterbirth is buried with the proper offerings. The first major ceremony is held halfway through the baby’s first Balinese year of 210 days.
Balinese people basically has four first names and these are Wayan or Putu for the first child, Mane or Kadek for the second child, Nyoman or Komangfor the third, and Ketut for the fourth. The preceding children will be given the same names following the same order. It can also be noted that Bali has many children. This is because they love children. After the ceremonies of babyhood is another one which will mark the stages of childhood and puberty. This includes the important tooth-filing ceremony.
Everyone in Bali is expected to get married and have a family. Marriages usually take place at a young age. Unlike other Asian countries, marriages are not arranged. Instead, they are divided in two forms, the mapadik and the ngorod. The mapadik is the respectable form which requires the family of the man to formally visit the family of the girl to propose marriage. Ngorod, on the other hand, is the elopement. This does not come as a surprise to the people because they are practical people. The couple could go and hide somewhere so as to avoid being found by the girls’ parents. They will jus re-emerge for the official marriage to take place.
Truly in every country there are many traditions that can be learned and explored. These are what make up the people of the country, thus giving the country an identity. In Bali, there are many other traditions that can be learned to have a better understanding of the place. These traditions, when witnessed are a great way of educating the self and making your stay in Bali more exciting.