Monday, July 8, 2013

Back from Bali, and soon holiday times...

Rice terraces in Tegallalang at Bali.

I feel a bit unfair for not having posted for a while, even if the haze in Singapore cleared out for almost two weeks ago. I've been busy having fun, first by escaping the hazardous levels of smoke that floated here from Sumatra by taking a last minute flight to Bali with my two girls, and then by entertaining some very good friends who visited from Melbourne. 
We are soon leaving for our yearly trip "home" (even if we increasingly ask ourselves where that "home" really is) both to Sweden and Finland, and the rest of the family will even fly to Seattle to meet our friends there. A bit complicated, yes, but the way our life goes, for the moment. Before printing the travel documents and preparing for packing, I'm posting here a couple of pictures from Bali. It was just as beautiful and culturally interesting as I'd expected, but at the same time, even more touristy than expected too - three million visitors in a small island make a huge impact. Still, talking to people in the small village of Abangan near Tegallalang, I felt that the tight culture revolving around their religion (a Balinese version of Hinduism) with its many rituals and celebrations keeps the extended families together, and that it will be the glue that saves the culture by holding the families together. Would I go again? Maybe, but not certainly; there are so many less trodden paths to explore...
Now, a blog silence for a while. I'll be back again in August.
A 'tractor' for tending the wet fields..

Cages for roosters that are kept for cockfighting - poor things. But I would love to have these as springtime protection for all tender shoots from the hungry deer in my garden in Sweden.

The beautifully decorated entrance to the local temple at Abangan. Those rods are made of bamboo and palm leaves, and built as high as possible so that they can reach the gods in the skies...

The local temple at Abangan, preparing to celebrate the full moon festival.

Beautiful baskets full of food offerings to the gods - with this kinds of gifts, I would definitely listen if I would be one of them.

Village kids and elders waiting outside the temple for the celebrations to begin.

A small temple and waterfalls on the way to the Tirtha Empul.

More families offering to the gods on the way to the holy water temple...

Some of their offerings, which are handmade with palm leaves and flowers, plus some extra candy to please the sweet teeth of the gods - the time spent in devotion while making them is as important as the end results.

Pura Saraswati in central Ubud, with large lotus ponds and a bridge leading to the main temple.

 Temples by the sea at Tanah Lot, facing the huge waves rolling in from the south western seas.