Friday, 21 June 2013

Since I've been here I've tried my hand at a couple of traditional Balinese art forms and realised that my lack of artistic skill in England translates to lack of artistic skill in Bali. Unfortunately I have not discovered a previously hidden talent.

I first tried Batik. You basically draw your design onto a sheet of cloth and then put wax over the lines. You mix fabric dye and water to create a shaded effect. It's actually really cool. First you get the material really wet then you put some of the paint on and move it around using your finger. It's pretty messy and I still have the dye covering my hands. The guy who was helping us out offered me "gold" fabric dye for the background which I painted ALL over, only to realise that it was poo brown. Not a good look next to my pretty pink lotus flower.

I also had a lesson in Balinese cooking. The amount of garlioc they use is insane. We easily used 20 cloves but I'd guess more. Some were chopped into chunks, others finely sliced and some grated. I had to take the skin off a coconut and grate the fleshy interior. It was much harder than it sounds! The food here does taste good but it's definitely a bit much for every meal. The overwhelming garlic and oil just makes you feel greasier and smellier than the humidity and heat of the place does.

Today we went to a water temple to get blessed. Earlier on in the week we made traditional flower offering (really fiddley and you have to use a bamboo stick as a needle/thread) and we took them to the temple to offer then to the Gods. We put on sarongs and sashes over our clothes and went down to the water. There is a big pool of holy water and 8 fountains. I had to go from fountain to fountain and pray. First you wash your hards in the fountain, then wash your face 3 times, then the crown of your head 3 times and then you submerge yourself in the water. It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. The temple was beautiful and, despite the cold water, it was really enjoyable and quite moving. I apologise profusely for the corniness of that!

I also went to our family's temple on Wednesday for a ceremony they oput on for their granddaughter. Although I missed the sacrifice of a chicken and a pig I witnessed the sacrifice of a tiny baby chick. At first I didn't realise what was happening and was cooing away at the cute little chick in the old man's hands. Then I saw the knife. He cute quickly through the chicks neck and it's head fell to the floor. It's body didn't realise it didn't have its head for a little bit and ran around in a state of, I presume, confusion. It managed to run a considerable distance from its body. I left the ceremony quite quickly after that traumatic scene!

Bali is great though. It's incredibly relaxed and the people are so friendly. All the local people wave and say hello and the little kids run up to you so that you can stroke their new (flea ridden) puppy. This week has been great, but I can't wait to start my kindergarten teaching on Monday!

1 comment:

  1. I like your posts,just read all of them,u making me laugh sometimes when u describe stuff :) keep posting xx