Hello everyone and welcome back to another article about my Balinese adventure! Today the main subject is about how Balinese people live. It is going to be about their daily life, what are their traditions, what they believe in, what are their habits, what they think is important etc.
Now it has been a few months since I arrived in Bali so I had the time to observe and inform myself about those that I think is interesting to talk about because it’s obvious that as a French there are some things that Balinese do that I can find strange.
So first, we are going to talk about religion. Here in Bali, most of the people are Hindu and only a few are Muslims. If you think about it it’s strange that Bali is part of Indonesia and that Indonesia is the country where there is the strongest Muslim community in the world. But that is just facts.
Here in Bali, they are very religious and the religion rhythms their day. For example, you will hear religious songs on the radio every day at 12am or 6pm because it’s the time the ceremony starts.
And when it’s a whole day of ceremony, the activity of the village stops. For example, the shops will close, people won’t go to school (or to Slukat), the traffic on the road is going to be huge and sometimes people won’t go to work. Also, there is a ceremony almost every week.
The ceremonies consist most of the time of praying the Hindu gods and ask them certain things. We saw that there is even a ceremony for cars and scooter (for blessing it).
On the other side, Karma is part of their daily life and they really believe in it. Karma consists of if you do bad things to people, bad things is going to happened to you and if you do good things, good things will happen to you. That is how it works.
That is why sometimes people feel that Bali is a little bit “safer” than France but of course you always need to be careful.
In terms of transports, Bali is still in development are very green so there is not may option. It’s only by scooter or by car. There are no public transportation.
Bali has also a lot of traditions that are in the people’s mind since a long time. For example, about love: it is not common at all to show affection in public when you are in relationship. Even holding hands in public unusual. And in the tradition, you can’t sleep in the same room together, living together or having sex before the wedding. It’s forbidden.
And most of the time if you are not married yet you live in your parent’s house. So in general there is a lot of pressure from the families about wedding and everything since the childhood of the person.
But not everyone is like this, I saw that the younger generation is less “traditionalist” and also it can be because of the western influence. I aslo had questions from one of my student in Slukat (a girl) who asked how was living in France and how works the relationships there. Because the young Balinese are very intrigued by this.
The Balinese people are also very pressured about education because most of the country is still in development so they don’t have a lot of option in terms of jobs and if you don’t speak English of if you didn’t go to university you won’t have a good job.
In Bali the only jobs that are well paid are in banks, government or tourism and the only cities that I think are dynamics are Denpasar, Kuta, Seminyak or Ubud (so where there is a lot of activity). That is why most of the younger generation try to learn english and go away from their home. It is also getting more and more common when you see that the average salary is around 200€ per month here if you have a good job in Denpasar and many people are still living in the countryside in their native village and work in the rice field for example.
So if you compare it to western ways of life, it is really different from what I have seen !