Friday, August 24, 2012


Everywhere you go in Bali you will see women and men placing little baskets made of palm and filled with flowers, coins, crackers, burning insence and other gifts upon the altars and shrines, in front of businesses and homes.

It's a tradition of showing gratitude for all they have, and asking for blessings of protection and happiness for their families and loved ones.

I’m not very well versed in the ins and outs of the Hindu religion, but I am fascinated when it comes to watching the acts of every day life in this remote place of the world.

Shrines and temples are everywhere.

Every family has one in the northwest corner of their yards…and they vary in style, height, and amount of decoration.

There are the larger public shrines and temples everywhere you turn, their ornate gates giving just a glimpse of what is inside....

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Statues and altars are draped in cloth ---and the black check you see on the parasol is found everywhere. Mawa told me the most prevalent colors are Black, Red, Yellow and White and all have meaning. Here is a lovely lady leaving her morning offering at the shrine. I caught this at about 6:30am this morning. Offerings are made at sunrise, noon time, and sunset – and sometimes at midnight.

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Another shrine with the familiar black and white check wrapping.

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This shrine is found down the walkway along the beach –at the back of another hotel property on the way to the pagoda that I’ve made my way to every morning for sunrise.

See lots of black & white check? it’s like a “national” design. The gate into the shrine is a “split gate” which has historic meaning too..

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remains of offerings form the day before are present. I guess there is no “rule” as to when to clean up the old ones ..they just seem to stack new ones on top of the old ones until someone decides it’s time to sweep them up and start fresh again.

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There are statues everywhere from gruesome and scary to cute and adorable. ALL wear sarongs! When we asked Mawa why, the answer was logically simple. “If we are comfortable with clothes on, shouldn’t they have them too?” Okay. Works for me!

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There are many shapes and sizes to the offerings…if you look close you will see a cracker in this one. It’s a thank you for providing enough to eat.

The one at the top of the photo had a coin in it….thank you for abundant blessings and enough to provide for the family.

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Different shapes, specific contents with personal meaning.

we haven’t had much time to really stop and visit any of the large shrines. We have that planned in the next few days. But first we need a lesson in Sarong tying! Yes, proper attire and reverence is required. Here’s a sign I took a photo of explaining some important aspects:

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Today we had our batiking class, and it was amazing! There are many photos to edit and I will probably end up putting them in a slide show for everyone when I get back. It’s almost 10pm as I write this, and I need to get to bed! we are meeting Mawa again at 8am for another excursion in the morning…..the bird park --- and SHOPPING!

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This was this morning’s gorgeous sunrise. This pagoda has become my morning pilgrimage to watch the morning unfold.



  1. Thanks for sharing the stories and pix, Bonnie. Makes me feel like I'm there.

  2. I love it! the statues and the sarongs!!! I've always wondered about the shrines and the offerings. thanks.

  3. Fascinating glimpse of some of the traditions of the people there.
    What a spot to watch the sunrise!

  4. My favorite part of the day is reading your blog, Bonnie. I'm learning so much about Bali from your posts and really enjoy seeing your pictures, especially the morning sunrise live from the other side of the world. Thank you so much for taking the time to share this trip.

  5. I agree with Glady...my favorite part of my day is knowing there will be a post here when I get home from work on your day in Bali!! Bonnie...the first thing that came to mind with the colors you describe in Bali that you see every were...is nothing else but a new quilt!!! Thanks for sharing with us..and sweet dreams!!

  6. Looks wonderful...so much to learn!

  7. This is just so wonderful. Thank you so much for sharing your trip with us. I will probably never have the chance to see this so feel like I am sharing your trip with you!

  8. Thank you for sharing your experiences with us! The first thing I noticed about the first pictures was the brilliant colors.

  9. The native americans use the same colors in their medicine wheel. Black, red, yellow, and white. They symbolize the 4 directions and the 4 stages of life. It is interesting how similar things are a half a world away.

  10. Your pictures are gorgeous. One thing that's poignant, to me, is the offerings and the awareness of giving thanks for all they have. We need to do more of that. Or at least I do! Hope your trip is wonderful!

  11. Beautiful pictures of your mornings in Bali. I love learning about their customs. Did anyone tell you why specific women and young children could not enter the temple. Just curious.

  12. Such beautiful images from so far away.


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