Your Ultimate Bali Guide

Interacting with Balinese; Dos and Don'ts

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Photo credits: Shavasti - Flickr

Bali is one of the biggest tourist attractions in Indonesia. Every year, thousands of people arrive and set up their new adventure to explore Bali's culture. However, Bali, which is known for their Hinduism culture, has their own rules about what are allowed and prohibited actions in Bali, especially for foreigners. So here is for you, a guide for interacting with Balinese; dos and don’ts.

Dos

  • Enjoy Sunset and Sunrise
    There are lots of beaches that provide you beautiful scenery and a cozy place to chill out with friends, while enjoying the sunset or even sunrise.
     
  • Cycling around Bali
    This is the eco-friendly way to explore Bali. You can rent bicycles and cycle around Bali's beaches.
     
  • Diving and Snorkeling
    Bali's clear and beautiful sea is full of exotic sea creatures. So, you may consider diving and snorkeling as your to-do list in Bali.
     
  • Watching Kecak Dance
    As one of the most popular traditional dance of Bali, watching Kecak dance is a must.
     
  • Watching Balinese’s Traditional Ceremonies
    Balinese has a lot of traditional ceremonies, such as Ogoh-ogoh, Omed-omedan, Galungan, etc. It is a good opportunity to learn Bali’s culture.
     
  • Buying Local Crafts
    With unique and artistic handicrafts, Bali’s local crafts is a must have item.
     
  • Enjoying Local Delicacies
    Vacation without delicacies is like a match without fire; it feels empty. Enjoy local foods like Sate Lilit, Nasi Jenggo, Bebek Bengil, etc. and experience the new taste.

Don’ts

  • Kicking or Stride Over Canang
    Canang is a ritual offering for Gods, ancestral spirits, or demons. If you find a bucket made of young coconut leaves, and it fills with flowers, fruits, or meats, make sure you’re not kicking or stride over them. It will bring a bad luck. Apologise sincerely if you accidentally touch it.

  • Cursing in Traditional Ceremony
    Respecting other people’s belief is important. You're on other people's land, so make sure you respect their cultures by avoiding cursing and walking in front of people when they are praying.
     
  • Entering a Sacred Place without Permission
    Some places in Bali require its visitors, including the Balinese, to wear a scarf called anteng and a garment. Women in their period also prohibited to enter sacred places. So make sure you understand the rules.
     
  • Put Out Mischief Behaviors
    Stay away from mischief behavior and speak with manners, as Balinese really respect their dignity.
     
  • Urinate on Trees
    Not only for shrines, but Balinese also make some trees as a sacred place. So, be careful not to disrespect them.
     
  • Nyepi Day or Silent Day in Bali
    There is one traditional ceremony called Nyepi. When you’re in Bali on Nyepi Day, you can’t go outside your hotel, turn on the television or radio, turn on the electricity, or making fire. That’s why they called it a ‘silent’ day. They even put some guards called pecalang to make sure no one violate the rules.
     
  • Staying in Bali without Kipem
    If you want to stay in Bali for a longer time, make sure you have Kipem. Kipem is a temporary ID card for people from outside Bali. The authority holds a swoop regularly to check on Kipem, and you will be dealing with the customs law if you don't have one.

That’s the simple yet useful guide for interacting with Balinese; the dos and don'ts. Being in a new place and getting involved in a new environment could be a thrilling experience. But make sure you respect and abide the local culture.

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