Traditional Balinese hillside home, village and temple described by our friend Komang.
That's a formal Balinese greeting learnt whilst visiting the traditional hillside village of Tajen, home of our friend Komang from Duta Bali Holidays. The word 'duta' in Bali means envoy or ambassador and Komang is a charming ambassador for the traditional values of Balinese culture. When we arrived at the village the first place we visited was Komang's former primary school, where excited children greeted us.
Tajen village street scene.
Komang and his extended family live together in a compound of buildings with a central courtyard.
On the ground is rice drying, and the building to the left is the grain store raised on posts.
The buildings around the courtyard house 4 families, in total 20 people, sharing a communal kitchen.
Komang's uncle rakes the rice to help dry it.
There's also a small fish farm attached to the compound.
Komangs house is ornately decorated.
And then arrived some delicious Bali coffee and sweet treats made of taro and banana.
There are no chairs so that everyone sits at the same level.
The Hindu temple is a central part of family and village life, and Banyan trees (a type of strangler fig) have religious significance and are grown near them. Last year the 300 year old banyan tree in Tajen snapped and fell on the temple causing extensive damage (220million rupiah about $22,000). Community fundraising includes a raffle with a prize of a McDonald's 'dinner'. The modern meets traditional!
Temple scenes, including musical instruments used in ceremonies.
There's no separation between spiritual and physical life in Bali. There are signs of this everywhere, the most ubiquitous being the offerings placed daily on doorsteps, entrances, road junctions as well as at temples. These offerings are bits of food, flowers, cigarettes and incense – there to meet the needs of spiritual ancestors and through this bring good luck and health to the living. It was a fascinating and unique experience.