On my most recent trip to my preferred holiday destination I decided to research green events in Bali and mix pleasure with business…who am I kidding it was all pleasure. My partner on this trip was Louise Fischer from the NSW Art Gallery and Artistic Director of New Theatre in Newtown, Sydney who was researching Balinese art and drama. Louise was overwhelmed by the depth and spirituality behind the many facets of these practices in Balinese daily life.
Ceremonies often block traffic in Bali, and while admiring the colourful procession I realized that although I had travelled to the island many times, i didn’t fully understand these ceremonies. My tour guide, Wayan Tawan, has become a good friend and his patient way of leading me on an experience of the real sights, sounds, and tastes of his culture has been invaluable. Wayan explained to me in his in depth way that this particular event is a pre-funeral precession, occurring days/months/years before the actual cremation.
What I was interested in was that the participants were strolling, chatting & smiling in no hurry and according to Wayan can walk for many kilometres in this fashion. The Island of Bali and its mostly Hindu population have many such ceremonies that bring the community together centred on their religion. These events usually begin and end at the temple which is the meeting place for each village and the process can start many months prior to the actual day/week. Offerings & decorations take time to create and mostly are all made by hand and look glorious once completed.
These Green events in Bali, the Island of the Gods have not changed much since the very beginning, not like western ways where we have adapted as our technology has changed (not necessarily improved)
This article is not a pro-religion piece but most definitely pro-community and the idea of keeping some things in life simple really appeals to my ideals of leading a sustainable life.
Also during this trip I met a young American guy Curtis Lowe who I’d been conversing with through his group’s Face book page Eco Surf Rescue; Uluwatu Curtis has been volunteering his time, knowledge and expertise to nurture a relationship with local businesses and community at the legendary surf spot of Uluwatu on the Bukit Peninsular to install sewage & rubbish removal systems . It has taken Curtis 18 months of living and surfing this coastline to earn the respect of locals who can be wary of westerners and sometimes for good reasons. Curtis is also part of the Green team involved with transforming the Indonesian Surfing Championship Tour towards sustainable practices at their events with great success. He is a passionate and humble man which holds him in good stead working with the Balinese people and the many hurdles that come working in a third world country.
Modern day western society can learn from these ancient traditions by slowing down and getting back to a sense of community.
Do you have an event that has impacted on your life? I would love to hear your opinion on this subject and sustainable events.
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