Today, we learned a lot about Bali, especially about their primary religion. It is Hindu, but Balinese Hindu, not India Hindu. We learned all about the Hindu Balinese calendar. The Balinese Hindu calendar is different from our calendar, because with their calendar they have 35 days in the month and 210 days in a year. Every month, they celebrate for three days in honor of the good spirits defeating the bad spirits. During that time, each family and neighbor shares their meals with one another.
So, if they only have 210 days in a Balinese Hindu year, what happens on their birthdays? Instead of celebrating their birthdays every 365 days, like we would, they only use the International (US) calendar to calculate their age for when people like us ask them, but the crazy thing is, they actually get to celebrate their birthdays every 210 days and have a whole different Balinese age. The Balinese Hindu people seem like they have a celebration for just about everything. Like when a person dies, 10 years after that time they have a cremation ceremony, which means they gather the persons bones, burn them and have a celebration of their life. Typically, there are about 60-70 people that they have the ceremony for, meaning that many people died in their village in the last 10 years ago. Something cool they do when they have the cremation ceremony is put up their tribal statue. Some have lions, some have Pegasus horses and others have bulls that are all very pretty. It seems like a sad occasion, but is actually a very beautiful and happy day.
Something really special I noticed were these bowls made from Palm leaves that have three things inside of them…flowers, holy water and fire. They call them offerings. Each morning, the women wake up, while their husbands sleep and make these offerings to please the Gods for health and good things. They put the flowers in, because of the God Brahma, who is the Hindu creator of the World. The water signifies Vishnu, who is the protector the Hindu people and the fire symbolizes Ciwa, the destroyer of the Hindu World. I think the offerings are really lovely and they make me feel like their Gods are very honored and that they will always take care of the Hindu people, because the people take such care and time to make them.
The Balinese Hindu people pray three times a day at the Family Temple and all the families have their own family temple. The families also pray at the Village Temple with their priest every 210 days. The children also pray every day at the beginning of their school lessons. Their specific prayer is called Giatrimantram (I don’t know if I spelled this right, but that is what it sounds like) and it is to the god of knowledge.
I learned all this information from our guide, Tri on the way to our cooking lesson at Bali Asli. His name means Three or the third born in his family. He is awesome.
Then, we went to Bali Asli, which means Genuine Bali. It is a restaurant owned by an Australian woman named, Penny. She took us on a trek through a few villages and taught us about a lot of the fruits, vegetables and plants in that area that she cooks with. She was teaching us about the foods we were going to be using in our cooking class after the hike. When we got back, we started cooking. We got to be partners with other people and I got to be partners with Mommy. We made something called Bumba Bali paste. It is spicy and it is used in almost all the traditional Bali meals. We made a salad with beans, greens, shaved coconuts, shallots and the Bumba Bali paste. We made Nasi Goreng which means chicken fried rice, fish in banana leaves with tomatoes, tofu in banana leaves with the Bumba Bali pasta and chicken satay with peanut sauce. Guess what was in all those things? BUMBA BALI PASTE! They use it in just about everything.
Is it time to eat yet? Yes, yummy and tasty, but a little bit spicy for my kid tastebuds.
It was an awesome day, but we were really tired, so we went home and got to take a nap.
Bali makes me feel really happy, welcome and warm, because everyone is so nice, everyone says hi, the weather is amazing, the beaches are awesome and I love sharing this time with my family and Ryan.