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The Land
The People
The History
The village Community
The Religion
The Priest
The Cremation
The Mount Agung
The Offerings
The Calendar
The Temple Ceremony
Nyepi and Galungan
The Cockfight and Toothfiling
The Dances
The Popular Tours
The Shoppings
The Balinese Food The Books on Bali
The Future

The land
The People
The Flora
The Fauna
The Food
The Public Holidays
The Tourist Areas

The Cosmic Force

Living and working on the land in between the high mountains and the depth of the sea, the Balinese believe that man must likewise give his life direction and purpose by acknowledging his position in the universe. Just as nature must fulfill its purpose by obeying the cosmic laws, so man must do the same. Man is surrounded by the powers of good and evil - aspects which are reflected in his own personality - and must strike a balance between the two opposing forces if he is to live in harmony with himself, his fellow men and his surroundings. In short, he must co-operate in the cosmic plan if he is to be at one with his Creator. True happiness can only be attained by obeying one's higher nature, whilst chaos and confusion are the results of evil, thoughtless actions.

Spiritual Harmony

Thus, the Balinese community operates rather like a colony of bees, each having their appointed function and duty, working together towards a communal end. To achieve this high level co-operation is to strengthen the village against evil influences. Should any insident occur to break the harmony, such as a crime or violation of the law, then the villager is thought to be at its most vulnerable. Ceremonies, and exorcism must, therefore, be carried out immadiately in order to restore the customary balance. Perhaps the best illustration of the effecient level of co-operation fostered by such a philosophy is communal methode of rice cultivation previously mentioned.

The Balinese believe, therefore, that man must dominate all lowly inclinations allowing his noble instincs to emerge and Hinduism has taught him that this must be done firstly through positive action, such as charity, through study of the holy scriptures and philosophy in order to obtain greater understanding of life and finally through expression of appreciation of God's gifts in the form of offerings.

Noblesse Oblige

When the British King, Charles II, visited St. John's College, Oxford, England, he asked whether he could have a certain portrait of Charles I, but the college demurred.

"I will grant you any favour in return," said Charles.
"In that case," said the colleges, "it is yours."
"Thank you," said the king, "and what is your request?"
"Give it back, please," they said.
He did, and the portrait is still in the college library.

-Sir Hugh Casson in Raise Your Glasses.

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Island Paradise.

An inexperienced driver had piloted her car into the island provided for pedestrians on a busy thoroughfare.

"Lady," shouted an astonished policeman,

"you're in safety zone."

"I know, I know," she replied, breathless.

"And am I glad!"

Contributed by Jean Kazenberg in the Reader's Digest, February, 1993.