I smell fresh flowers, frangipani perfume, and incense sticks. I look around and see beautiful kind faces, people start smiling when I pass them. The feeling I have is powerful, my heart feels light and I can feel the love. I am grateful to sit here with all these beautiful people at this temple ceremony in one of the villages in Tabanan. My eyes get a little bit teary, what a joy to be on this island and experience authentic Bali.
The Gamelan music starts and woman and children stand up to do a ceremonial Balinese dance. They make hand movements and look so gracious. Their hair is decorated with flowers and they wear beautiful sarongs. I’m wondering if they know how beautiful they look right now. I am amazed by everything that is happening around me. It is like a state of being in love but this time I am love itself.
The Balinese smile
I see a pretty girl, I think she is about 9 years old and she acts differently than the rest of the kids. The way she carries herself, I almost have the feeling like she is an old soul. I wonder what is going on in her head because she looks serious and I don’t know what it is but she reminds me of myself. She looks my way and sees me smiling at her. She starts to smile too. On the other side of the temple is an old man and he looks wise. Almost like mister Miyagi from the movie Karate kid. (haha). These elderly in Indonesia have something in their eyes. Their body may get older but their spirit is wise and younger than they physically look. I am intrigued. I think the Indonesian smile and all the hard-working is what keeps them young. The Balinese smile is one of the things that make Bali authentic.
Time to pray
The bell starts to make sounds and I hear old Hindu chanting. I have no idea what the elderly are chanting but it sounds pretty intriguing. It is almost like they are in a trance and the bell sounds make everything more magical than it already is. It is time to pray. The volume of the voices are toned down and people are focussing on the ceremony. There is one man who gives us a cleansing with lemongrass water. Before Balinese want to pray they have to clean themselves first. We start praying and I pray in my own way. It doesn’t really matter how because the connection with all these people is what makes this prayer powerful. Wonder what we all could accomplish if we would live like this. The community vibe is really strong and I am thankful to experience authentic Bali.
I hope you get a taste of authentic Bali! See you next time.
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