Global Travel Media » Blog Archive » Ubud culture walk

Home » Headline News » Currently Reading:

Ubud culture walk

November 15, 2019 Headline News No Comments Email Email

An early morning guided walk through Ubud was a good way to understand Balinese Hindu culture, the balanced lifestyle that fascinates ever-growing visitors to the most popular island.

Rooster calls woke us up even before the alarm, giving us time to enjoy a cup of tea in the balcony overlooking vast greenery. Birds orchestra at the nearby frangipani drew our attention to the glittering white tinged yellow flowers that spread a pleasant aroma. An early breakfast of Nasi Goreng by the hillside at Sthala Ubud overlooking the fresh water stream below was a feast indeed.

Guide Made Sumyarsa led the ‘Ubud morning walk’ enthusiast group of guests from the hotel through the main street of Ubud and turned onto a village street at the local convenience store that sold food, fruits and flowers needed for canang sari, the daily ritual of offering. We ward off a few watchful dogs that started barking at the intruders into the quiet village with sak sak, as we stopped by to click pictures of beautiful homes and temples. Moss laden walls and pillars added the antique touch to aesthetically constructed buildings, over which swayed coconut trees. No house can be built above the height of the tallest coconut tree in Bali, for the evergreen tree is revered as god. P

We turn right onto a small lane and walk a few yards to arrive at Samyarsa’s house. He pointed to a black plaque hung at the gate. Provided by local authorities, it read that there were four laki (female)s and four perempuan(male) and a total of 6 members in the family. We passed a square block with a statue of Ganesh, which was to guard the house from evil, to go to the kitchen on the right. The kitchen is always in the front of a Balinese house. The three big vessels with lids on the traditional fireplace had fresh food cooked earlier by Made’s mother. An offering of rice and coconut placed on a cut banana leaf here was the first offering of the day. “An elaborate canang  sari offering on woven palm tray could be done any time through the day”, said Made.

The house had four separate units and the room on the extreme left belonged to elders of the family. The garden in front of the room had a few half-buried stones. Each represented a member of the family and hid the birth placenta cut by the father of the child. The stone would stay on till the person’s last breath. The raised veranda and the room in the centre of the house was for festivities and rituals. Family members don’t  prefer to sleep in this room for it was also the place where the bodies of the dead are placed before cremation. The room behind the kitchen was used by I Made(second son) and I Wayan(eldest brother). If he had more younger brothers, their names would be prefixed  with Nyoman and Ketut.

Mango and custurd apple trees in the compound brimmed with fruits. There were other herb, flower and fruit trees too. The big, gated courtyard with carved and neatly thatched pillars behind the elders room was the family temple exclusively accessible to members. Each Balinese house has a temple.

Further on the street were green paddy fields with fully grown crop. We were greeted by two elders with conical bamboo hats who sat at the farm to shoo away birds. There were plenty of coconut and banana trees too. There was a canang sari offered to the field as a gratitude for peace and good crop. The daily ritual of gratitude performed at every home, office, shop and business place involves strategically placing of different coloured flowers to different gods along with some food and a lit incense.

After passing a few fields, we arrive at the main square of the village that had the village pura or temple alongside a big community hall reserved for ceremonies and festivities. It also had bale kulkul, the big wooden bell on a raised platform used to call villagers for ceremonies. The house next to it had an elaborately carved main door.  People were driving their scooters and cars to work. Income from jobs makes up for the demand gap created by agriculture. While tourism is the mainstay,  Ubud is known for its creativity and art. Unique compound wall of the village carpenter had aesthetically assembled wood pieces. Many of us desired to cuddle a cute puppy that came out of a house. Its owner Kadah, walked out to talk to us. She told us how she was  fascinated by Indian movies and soap operas and even mentioned a few star names.

As we walked back to our hotel, we could see raised shutters at shops on Ubud main road showcasing exquisite art. We could now guess where that beautiful creativity came from. Balinese principle of Tri Hita Karana, balance with fellow beings, balance with nature and balance with God is an exemplary lifestyle with a universal appeal.

Written by Anand and Madhura Katti

Comment on this Article:

Platinium Partnership



Premier Partnership Sponsors


Official Media Event Partner


Global travel media endorses the following travel Publication




%d bloggers like this:
%d bloggers like this: