Bali is an island that seems to have a magnet at its very heart. It gives you a feeling that is difficult to understand, unless experienced but once visited you are surely compelled to come back. Maybe it’s the beauty, maybe the friendly people, or maybe even the influence from the spirits that certainly live in this place.
Bali is also known as ‘the island of the gods’. This truly beautiful tropical island is inhabited by remarkably artistic people, who have created a dynamic society with unique arts and ceremonies. Bali is small, just 140 by 80 km and lies between Java, the most highly populated and influential of all Indonesian islands, and Lombok, one of the quieter and moderately slow paced islands. Like many islands, Bali not only captures what is special about Indonesia, but has a uniqueness of its own.
Rice is grown on irrigated, terraced hillsides. Other crops include sugar cane, coffee, copra, tobacco, fruits and vegetables. Cattle, pigs, chicken and ducks are also raised. The Balinese are skilled artisans, particularly in woodcarving, gold and silver. The Balinese are noted for their traditional dances, the distinctive music of the gamelan and for their skills in weaving cloth of gold and silver threads called Sonket, as well as for embroidering silk and cotton clothing.
Bali’s culture is based on its unique form of Hinduism called “Hindu Darma”. Though the caste system is observed, it is not as rigid as in India. Religion is the source of customs in family and community life. Its influence is also strongly felt in the arts. The Balinese have managed to preserve their culture despite of the overwhelming foreign influences brought by the increasing number of visitors.
Bali has a whole range of different environments and activities to offer. A vibrant culture, unique arts and ceremonies, and the friendly people and the scenic beauty make Bali an island you will not forget.