Last Saturday Balinese have completed the sequence of Galungan festival by celebrating Kuningan Day as the closing. Every ceremony in Bali has its uniqueness, for example Galungan’s landmark is the Penjor (decorated bamboo). Kuningan day also has its uniqueness, Balinese have a special decoration for it called Tamiang. On Kuningan day, all the temples and houses are decorated with the tamiang shown on the picture. It is made of young coconut or palm leaves and colorfully decorated. The word tamiang is a reminiscence of a shield, a form of shield commonly used in war. Tamiang is often interpreted as a symbol of self-protection. Tamiang, when seen from its round shape, is also often understood as a symbol of the Dewata Nawa Sanga who became God of the nine cardinal directions.
One of the biggest celebration for Hindu people in Bali are Galungan and Kuningan days. They are celebrated every 210 days of Balinese calendar, Galungan being always on Wednesday (Sept 16th) and Kuningan (Sept 26th) on Saturday (10 days after Galungan). It celebrates the victory of Dharma over Adharma (the triumph of good over evil). It marks the time when ancestral spirits of deceased relatives visit the Earth. The last day of the celebration is Kuningan, when they leave earth. The spirits of deceased relatives return to visit their former homes and the Balinese have a responsibility to be hospitable and welcoming to their past ancestors through prayers and offerings throughout their home.
Galungan is also dedicated as a day of Family Gathering, a day after the Galungan most of the Balinese families will visit each other’s house. When they visit their family house, they will enjoy the food that has been prepared such as fruits, cakes and many other things that they already used for their offerings. This time, because of the pandemic and the restrictions of gatherings, the celebrations are different from what they usually are. But the Balinese spirit is anyway there, full of joy and happiness.
This week, we decided to post on Dewi, the daughter of our late Indra and Kadek, our priest and restaurant manager. Dewi has grown into a beautiful and happy young woman who just finished high school and will soon be entering university when the Covid 19 crisis will be behind us. Her older sister Eka, a few years older, has just completed her Master’s degree in civil engineering and is looking now for her first job. Like everywhere in the world, the period is perhaps not the best one for that but, fortunately, Bali has a lot of infrastructure projects in preparation.
To readers of this blog looking for a civil engineer, do not hesitate for a second to recruit Eka. You will be amazed by her abilities and her human qualities. Congratulations young ladies, we are very proud of you!
With the coronavirus pandemic, thousands of people working in the tourism industry in Bali have been forced to return to their villages and traditional ways of making a living. For most of them the income drop has been extremely strong and the only way to partly compensate was to return to what the generous nature in Bali is able to offer, from the farm and from the sea.
At Dajuma, all our staff continues to work on a part time basis and to receive a reduced salary covering basic needs, the rest of the time being allocated to farming and fishing. Let’s hope that the “return to normal” will come soon!