26 August 2012

Selamat hari raya Galungan dan Kuningan

Bali - the days before Galungan

The chairman of the Bali Hindu Parisadha Council urged Balinese Hindus to practice
restraint and moderation in the upcoming celebration of Galungan, a joyous festival to celebrate the victory of virtue (dharma) over vice (adharma).

I sincerely hope that Hindu devotees celebrate Galungan in a simple way and not in a consumptive way he said. In the past decade, religious festivals have gradually become an arena where a large number of Balinese Hindus
flaunt their social status and wealth through expensive clothes as well as lavish offerings.He also urged Balinese families to start familiarizing their children with the art of creating offerings.

Instead of purchasing offerings from traders, the family should craft the offering at home, thus providing a learning opportunity for our younger generations he said.
Photo's: the Penjor, symbol for Galungan

25 August 2012

Bali - Parade in Negara

Today was the yearly parade in Negara. Here a short photo impression.

Are the Australian V8 supercars coming to Bali?

With the construction of a track near Denpasar already being discussed, a Bali consortium have approached the governing body of the hugely popular V8 Supercar circuit to request adding Bali to the calendar of races scheduled for the
2015 race season.

A source for V8 Supercars has confirmed the request, and the signs look promising that Bali will be added to the ever growing global circuit.
“The category has met with representatives from the proposed circuit, and they are building a track, which is about an hour away from Denpasar. They are looking at a large investment and have targeted V8 Supercars to be one of two major global racing categories to put the track on the map,” stated the source, suggesting that other high profile
races such as the Moto-GP circuit may also be attracted to Bali.

“Obviously V8s are very appealing as Australians are very important to their tourism market. It will help them push their message,” added the source.
Authorities in Bali are backing the proposed scheme, with a Singapore based investment group slated to fund the project.

24 August 2012

Bali - The Gunung Batur

On the slopes of Gunung Batur, hikers can still encounter the white cloths and scattered dry flowers that are the remains of the offerings presented by the descendants of Panji Sakti,
the famed king of Buleleng, to the people of Batur.

The 1717 meter tall peak, the island’s second highest after Gunung Agung, stands majestically
under the blue sky that is showing the soft yellowish tint of a fading sunset.
There are two established hiking posts on the slopes of Gunung Batur: Toya Bungkah and Jati temple.

Those who wish to watch the sunrise are advised to start the hike at 3 a.m., as the journey upward
can take 2 to 3 hours. The ascending hike is a perfect metaphor for life’s struggle. The easy first steps bring you onto a sandy trail dotted with pine trees and millions of stars twinkling in the night sky. One hour later, the terrain upped its challenge and nature showed its superiority over the humans limited energy and drained lungs. Trod carefully, conserving energy, as well as trying not to give in to the steep, slippery path. All the exhaustion, the pains in your joints and muscles, disappeared when you reach the peak.

A small food stall is waiting for you, the alluring aroma of hot coffee warmly embraced your presence. The food stall is ran by Putu Desy, a 19-year-old local girl, who humbled you with her daily chore of hiking repeatedly up and down the mountain on a daily basis. As the morning sun emerged in the distance, painting the eastern sky with glow of gold, enjoy your coffee and instant noodles. The simple dish tasted like a royal banquet here on this majestic morning.

23 August 2012

500 death during the first Lebaran week

So far during Lebaran, 500 deaths have been recorded on Indonesian roads and the majority of the victims were motorcyclists.

In response, the Ministry of Transportation declared yesterday that travelers using motorcycles should use public transport.It is better to use public transportation, not the motorbike. Take the bus or train and package off the motorbike, said the Head of Public Communication at the Ministry of Transportation.
“The death toll so far during Lebaran did not reflect the total accidents involving motorcycles, which could be up to four times as many,” he said.

How we say that?: Better (to) late then never....

22 August 2012

Gillard attend Bali Bomb memorial October 12

The Australian Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, confirmed on Sunday that she will be in Bali on October 12, for the 10 year anniversary of the Bali bombing.

Memorial services will be held in Bali and in Canberra in memory of the victims and the survivors of the tragic event.

“This is a sad moment that has had a big impact on Australia as a nation as well as for the families of the victims,” Gillard said in her statement. “The passage of time has healed the physical injuries but it will never shrink our horror at this act of terrorism. We will never forget,” she continued.

The Australian government has offered assistance to victims and their families, those who suffered serious injuries may bring a companion if they wish to attend.
On the first anniversary of the bombing, the families of the 88 Australians who died in the blast received assistance to attend the memorial. In Canberra an event at parliament House will be led by the Governor General, Quentin Bryce.
Activities in Bali are planned around the Garuda Wisnu Kencana Park, with more details to be released closer to the date.

--The Beat--

21 August 2012

Bali - Woodcarving

Kemenuh village hosts a large number of woodcarvers among its population, the main reason for the presence of so many wooden placards with “wood carving” or “wood carver” carved onto them along the village’s main street.

Most of the woodcarvers specialize in crafting animal figures, from the highly popular
gecko to the formerly popular ducks and the soon-to-be popular angelic felines with benign faces and extra large wings.
In one day people could carve 15 small-sized figurines and six large-sized statues. They sell the
unpainted wooden work to an intermediary buyers for between Rp 7,000 to Rp 15,000.
The buyer will take the unpainted statues to several households in Tengkulak Kaja that offer
painting services. In addition to using various brush techniques, some people also employ airbrush techniques to render more convincing shades to the statues.

Another resident chooses to handle all stages of the production, from cutting the wood, carving, coloring, up to marketing. Her husband is responsible for the carving stage, while she does the coloring and marketing sides. She has opened a shop at Sukawati art market to sell her products.
The shop offers various kinds of statues, including a signature package of three different sizes of statues for Rp 20,000.

Trading here is an unpredictable business, sometimes there are no buyers for the whole day.
Sometimes a wholesale buyer suddenly knocks on our door and we sell our whole stock.

20 August 2012

Bali - eating strawberry's in Bedugul

Buying freshly picked strawberries should be on your itinerary when you visit Bedugul. It would be especially memorable if you pick the fruit from the plants by yourself, rather than buying them from a roadside vendor.

There are a number of recreational strawberry plantations in Bedugul, around the Eka Karya botanical garden, including Dikubu Strawberry located just five minutes away. By bringing a small basket, customers are free to explore the plantation and pick the ripe red strawberries as they choose. You only have to pay Rp 30,000 for each kilogram of strawberries that you pick if you take them home, but if you prefer to eat there, the price is half that.

While taking a rest after exploring the plantation, you can order a glass of fresh strawberry juice, eat grilled bananas and enjoy the cool air of Bedugul. During the holidays, there are usually more people, mostly families, coming to this place. Children are always excited to pick the fruit, while running around and playing with rabbits at a nearby farm.

Located on the main street connecting Denpasar and Singaraja, exactly at kilometer 51 in Candikuning, Bedugul, Dikubu Strawberry is open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Open since 2009, they also offer a package for camping and outbound recreation starting at Rp 50,000.