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Pegas Magazine
Dated: April 2010  

Indonesia can offer not only perfect beaches, it can offer much more than any other country with warm climate. It can offer a lot for those who want to understand the culture and traditions and how people leave through centuries. What do serve . What is their specifics occupations, what do think about.
When you come first time to Indonesia you start to think in new categories. It is so different from what you get used in your home country. If you want to check this you can come here. Everyone will see his own Indonesia. You will see how friendly are the people, how fast they react on your needs and request to help. You will see a unique architecture of temples … will try new dishes… treasures of culture.

In this short article we want to concentrate your vision on certain traditional arts of Indonesia and in particular, on those arts which you can see on the island of Bali. The island is a small spot on the map, one of thousands and thousands of Indonesian islands but all who have seen it and visited it can say that this island is blessed by God. This is a place where the Earth, nature, psychology of people, traditions and religion stay in harmony and unique synthesis and nothing dies ere. Everything continues to grow, change, but the sacred basis remain the same. This is what really valuable and this is why this place is so attractive.

In Bali everything is comfortable and easily accessible for tourists. Distances are not long, people leave their lives with no rush and accurately observe religious ceremonies.

If you stay in one of tourist areas in Bali (like Kuta, Nusa Dua or Sanur) you can reach capital city of Bali – Denpasar in thirty minutes by taxi and in Denpasar you can find a quiet street full of greenery and enter a charming estate which looks like a garden in paradise. This is Center of Culture and Arts of Bali. It is created by a few people – members of one family and everybody is welcome to visit it. Hospitality is one of Balinese people features. The hostess of the Center of Culture and Art is sure that if you overcome long way and came here – you a a special person – you want to know more about the unique culture and traditions of Bali. This Center has no analogues in Denpasar so far.
You can stay here for a few days. Listen to bird singing, walk in the garden along ponds and streams. See the flowers blooming and the symbol of Bali – Magnolia. Ms Wiwiek AstawaLeader of the Center will tell you how she has built this Center during a few years. Her task was to arrange is so that each person coming here will find something interesting and try to do it with his own hands – make a wood carving in the traditional Balinese style, a painting, a batik in the traditional technology, cook a dish following traditional recipe or can take a lesson of traditional Balinese dance or practice traditional music on Gamelan and to communicate with teachers who received their knowledge and skill from their ancestors. Local traditions seem to be divine. They stay in the hearts of the people and realize in their deeds. The Center offers excellent conditions for the guests to get familiar with the unique arts of Bali.
Balinese people keep the heritage of their nation but share with other people with pleasure. You can put on the traditional costume and even see the ceremony in a Balinese temple – such experience give you an ideal opportunity to feel the life of Bali.

This traditional art exit in Indonesia for a few centuries. Batik is an Indonesian word comprising of two words – “ba “– fabric and “ tik” – point. More than ten thousand variants of ornament are known.

Wood carving
In Indonesia and particularly in Bali this art is a sort of a sacred art. Before a craftsman begins to create a figure, a statue or a mask, he must select a wood, get ”permission” from the nature. Only after that he would start his work.

Gamelan music
On Bali every festivities is accompanied by music. Gamelan is a national Indonesian orchestra of percussion and wind instruments–is unique in its originality. It can convey the finest shades of melody and tone. You can hear it in a concert hall or in a temple or even in the most remote villages and towns. You will be charmed to listen to it.

Balinese painting reflect vivid, impressing and unique shades. Each style has its won specific features. Mythological personages, nature, everyday life.

For Balinese people cooking is same important as other traditions and rituals. Ingredients combine in harmony and dishes are adapted for living in a hot and humid climate. Local people take seriously all what is given to them buy the nature. They like to cook meet and rice, fish and noodle, vegetables and fruits. Important components are herbs and spice sauces.

Art of dance is a ritual and festivity at the same time, it is an exiting show as well. Girls learn it since the early childhood and become real masters when they grow up. Movements, poses, gestures, steps and turns – all have meaning and play its role.

Offering making
One of the most touching ceremonies in Bali – offerings made of small baskets with flowers , made in a special way and filled with rice, biscuits. They are very beautiful and look harmonic.

Bali is very popular as a tourist place but its people do not open their secrets for those who are in a hurry. But only for those who are prepared to understand the soul of the island, to be sincere and ready to feel the see – such people will get real treasures and remember it for the whole of their life.

The author express her appreciation to the Leader of Balinese Cultural Creation (Art and Culture Training Center).

Copyright © 2009 - 2010. Created by Wiwiek Astawa