As one of the 17,000 islands here in Indonesia, Bali is smothered in rolling, emerald green rice fields and palm trees. A tropical island whose massive cliffs are endlessly pounded by loud and powerful waves. A little nook on the globe that oozes with natural beauty. But, above all, Bali is a place overflowing with culture, ritual and tradition. The early morning’s fragrant and aromatic smoke from incense constantly filling the air. The nearest temple’s call to prayer vibrating over loud, muffled speakers at sunrise. The men and women wrapped up in their colorful and intricately designed sarongs, balancing big burlap sacks of rice on their heads. The delicately woven palm tree leaves filled with fresh flowers and snacks that are offered daily to the Gods. You need not look very far to see or feel just how deeply intertwined the Balinese are to the roots of their culture and tradition.
Unlike the vast majority of Indonesia that is Muslim, 94% of Bali adheres to Balinese Hinduism, which is a combination of existing local beliefs and those of traditional Hindu influences from SE Asia and India. Within these beliefs lies an artistic and dramatic series of ceremonial dances. I won’t bore you with the unpronounceable names or their meaning, if you are genuinely that interested, a quick search on Wikipedia will do the trick. However, we will share a slice of our extremely entertaining experience with the ancient and ritualistic traditional dance, the Kecak (pronounced Ka-chack).