Bali is just one of 16,000 islands in Indonesia, and is the only island that is predominantly Hindu. The Balinese people are fiercely proud of their religion, and it plays a very important part of every day life. When they cook in the morning, a small token of the food is taken and offered up to the Gods, on a small banana leaf, and placed in front of the house. Later in the day, flower offerings are placed at certain points around the house, and blessed with water and incense. This is done every single day, by the females in the household. the only time they will not do it is when they are mensruating, and then one of the men will take her place. I have also taken on this role in my household. I enjoy taking time to go through the routine every day. It’s very peaceful, and although I am not deeply religious, I like that I have this time to contemplate on my day, and give thanks for what I have. It’s a very gentle religion, it is never forced on anyone. The ceremonies are happy occasions, bringing the villagers together, in peace and harmony.
We have just celebrated Nyepi, and it is such a wonderful day, where we can reconnect, without outside distractions. I spent a lovely day with my family. Playing together, eating together and generally enjoying each other’s company. the next day we all felt refreshed and peaceful. So it was a shock to see a fellow Indonesian man using social media to rant about how awful Nyepi is because he could not watch his favorite football team play on TV.
The Balinese are understandably upset, especially as it is coming from a fellow countryman. Indonesia prides itself in being very tolerant of all religions. So this goes against everything the country stands for. Being the peaceful people they are, they will not take action against this man. However, he needs to take a good long look at his own priorities and think before he speaks next time.