Skip to content

The Balinese and the Sea

I took this picture in Nusa Dua beach, Bali (Indonesia). While the Balinese society could no longer being called as traditional society due to tourism and Indonesian central government influence to unify islands as one archipelago nation, Balinese Hinduism is still the center of their life. Balinese has strong connection with their surrounding environment; the good spirits live on the mountains while divine and evil forces are on the sea.

The Balinese in their daily life try to create balance between the good and the evil.  This picture captures a moment when a small group of Balinese prepared some offerings for a small ceremony on the beach. I assume it was aimed to throw ashes of the deceased to the sea in order to purify the souls. The sea is believed having forces to purifying anything that comes from the island. I may be wrong in interpreting the ceremony, but let the picture speaks for itself and I hope Balinese bloggers, A Simple Note and Wisata Bali would correct my interpretation.

This post also to respond The Daily Post Weekly Challenge: Split-Second Story.


  1. Very nice shot reflecting the beauty of the island and beautiful friendly Balinese people. It’s impressive that the dominant clothing is white. This looks so much nicer and reflects hope and happiness in a sad moment to me. Well captured Indah.

      • Yours make me smile and happy too – because I like it. Probably you are smiling because my English is so bad. And now I’m working on my big post. Probably you are laughing loud when you read it.

  2. I love how you captured the belief, and the journey of life (assuming your interpretation of ashes) , and the beauty if nature. This picture goes to show how man no matter how powerful still bows down to the nature ..

  3. You might enjoy some of the anthropologist Clifford Geertz’s work on Bali. If you ever had time to read it, I’d be fascinated to see what an Indonesian thought about some of his ideas.

    • Hi Paul, I was familiar with his works during my study years..oh my, that was long time ago I read his books on Bali and Java. I am more familiar with his book on Java though. Did you read his books too? He was certainly considered as reputable scholar for Indonesians. I am not sure if current situation the Javanese “religion” could be applied to his analysis but back then during Soeharto era, it felt applicable.

  4. This is really fascinating, You are an overly professional blogger.
    I have joined your rss feed and look ahead to looking for
    more of your excellent post. Also, I have shared your website in my social networks

%d bloggers like this: