FOOD FOR THOUGHT BLOG | Bali: The island of Gods in Indonesia, by Masrokhin

Jun 13, 2023

FOOD FOR THOUGHT BLOG | Bali: The island of Gods in Indonesia, by Masrokhin

Hi everyone, I would like to tell you about my country. A country which has the biggest Muslim population in the world. It is Indonesia. It is located in Southeast Asia and Oceania between the Indian and Pacific oceans. It has more than 17,000 islands, including Java, Sumatera, Kalimantan and Sulawesi. Indonesia is very populous country. It is inhabited by more than 275 million people and half of the population lives on Java Island. Indonesia is a tropical country and has only two seasons in a year. Dry season and wet season. Dry season usually occurs between May and October. Meanwhile, the wet season falls between November and April. 

As a tropical country, Indonesia is famous with its rain forests and fruit diversity. Some fruits that can grow well in Indonesia are Mangosteen, Durian, Rambutan, Dragon fruit, etc. Indonesia is also rich in cultural diversity. It has more than 1300 ethnic groups and shares more than 700 local languages. For example Javanese, Madurese, Batak, Acehnese, Sundanese, etc.

Indonesia is also the home of beauty. It has so many tourist destinations and of course we will be happy to warmly welcome all tourists who visit Indonesia. Some of famous tourist attractions offered by Indonesia are Lombok and Bromo but in this blog I will look at Bali. 

Bali is one of the most favourite places to visit in Indonesia. It is also well-known as The Island of Gods. This is because it has thousands of temples built on this island and Balinese people have a strong Hindu tradition and culture. We will easily find the offerings offered to the guardian of Gods all around the island of Bali. In order to maintain a sense of harmony and balance in their lives, the people of Bali make daily offerings to the Gods. According to the Hindu religion, inanimate objects have a spirit or essence. Offerings are made daily by Balinese people to the spirits in order to ask for blessings and protection.

The offerings made to the Sang Hyang Widhi  (The Devine Order) is commonly known as Canang Sari. It is a small basket or tray made out of woven palm leaves and is filled with various small items, such as fruit, flowers, and rice. Canang Sari is usually placed all around the house, temple, and village to honour the gods and spirits and to bring good energy to the environment. The practice of making daily offerings is part of Bali’s culture. It is believed that doing so helps people connect with their spiritual world and maintain a sense of harmony in their lives.

The Offerings in Bali (source:

For those who are planning to visit Bali, there are some rules that they need to pay special attention to regarding the offerings. First, it is part of the local religion and culture. So, it is important that people pay attention to the significance of the practice and be respectful of it. Second, the offerings are considered to be sacred by the people of Bali. It is not acceptable to disturb or touch them. If you notice an offering, it’s best to just acknowledge it and leave it. Third, it’s also not allowed to take photos of the offerings. If you want to take a picture, please ask for permission first. Fourth, it’s not appropriate for tourists to make offerings themselves. The offerings are a part of the religion of Bali, and it’s important that everyone respects this practice. Fifth, as a visitor, it’s important that you pay attention to your surroundings and behave properly when visiting certain places of worship (temple). Doing so can help maintain a positive and respectful relationship with the local community.

Bali is also famous with its Ngaben ceremony. It is a cremation ceremony. Balinese people believe that in order to allow the dead person’s soul to enter the higher realm, a Ngaben ceremony should be performed. According to Hindu theology, there is a competition among evil individuals in the lower realm to take the soul. A proper cremation helps increase the chances that the soul will be able to enter the upper realm.

In Bali, a quick Ngaben is preferred, though it can be very expensive. In the interim state, the dead are buried near the town called Pura Prajapati. They are then cremated on the same day through a community-based ceremony. To ensure that the funeral is conducted on an auspicious day, the families make bade (coffin), which are small wooden coffins that are carried out to carry the deceased. They then burn the body inside a bull or animal-shaped bamboo-wood-paper coffin or a wooden wadah (a temple-like structure). The body is then washed and prepared for the cremation ground. Family members, friends, and other mourners carry the corpse in traditional attire and sing and dance with gamelan (traditional musical ensemble in Indonesia) as they travel toward the cemetery, where the deceased is cremated. If the path goes through a road crossing, the coffin will be rotated three times, which will confuse the lower realm’s evil inhabitants. 

The cremation pyre is lit and the final hymns are sung. During the burning of the corpse, the Balinese music group plays a battle song to signify the soul’s fight against the evil underworld. After twelve days following the cremation, the families gather the ashes and carry them to the ocean or the sea.

Ngaben ceremony (Source:

In Bali, there is also a day called Nyepi (silence day). It is a day of silence, meditation, and fasting. Nyepi is celebrated annually to welcome Saka new year (Balinese calendar). Usually, it occurs around March or April. This year, nyepi was celebrated on 22 March 2023. During Nyepi, there are mainly four prohibitions and all Balinese people should be  aware and obey of these restrictions. Those are Amati Geni (no lamp or fire), Amati Karya (no work), Amati Lelungan (no travel) and Amati Lelanguan (no food, drink, entertainment or pleasure). These four restrictions are started from 6 o’clock in the morning until 6 o’clock the next morning. During this day, all roads are empty and quiet, airport, harbour, malls are closed (except hospital). The only person you see is Pecalang (Balinese security) who patrol the roads and make sure these four restrictions are followed by Balinese people.

Pecalang who patrol during Nyepi (Source:

I have visited Bali several times. It is only one hour flight or 10 hours drive from my home town. During my visit, I used to visit Kuta beach and Nusa Dua beach. These are my favourite beaches as I feel so calm and relax to sit on seashore and see the wave while drinking fresh coconut water. Sometimes, I walk along the beach to enjoy the scenery and see many surfers on their boards or kids play sand with their bucket and scoop. Many hotels and cafes are located close to these beaches and they are ready to cheer up your days during your visit.

When I visit Bali, I always make a friend either with local people or foreigners. Once, I had a chat with a tourist from Australia and I asked his impression about Bali. He said “I love Bali because of  its culture, people and beaches. Balinese are friendly and I will never get lost here because most of Balinese people are able to speak English. Foods are so cheap and tasty. I even can buy a can of Coke which costs me only 50 cents. I will definitely visit this island in the future”.

Nusa Dua beach (source:

Are you still in doubt to visit Bali? pack your bag and book your ticket. You will feel that you are in Nirvana and you will be longing for Bali and want to visit this island of Gods again and again.

Heart & Parcel