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Bali and Balineses. Traditions and customs.

Bali and Balineses. Traditions and customs.
Bali is an island located in Malay Archipelago. There is an active volcano called Agung (3,142 meters). The climate is divided into two periods - wet and dry. Rivers are dehydrated during dry period. Bali is one of the most popular resorts in the world. The population of this island is Balinese people. They found their first settlements in the first millennium AD. The culture of Bali was under the influence of hindu-javanese culture. In the beginning of XX century Bali was under the Dutch control. After the Second World War local residents were fighting for independence. Indigenous people of the island are bali aga, it is translated as “people who live in the mountains”.
Nowadays local residents speak Balinese language. Some people speak Indonesian language too. Local culture is very developed here. Balinese are very hospitable and friendly, they like foreigners. The main occupation of people here is farming. They work on the land and grow rice. There are a lot of rice fields in the Bali. Besides rice people grow beans, coffee, tea, different spices and corn. Breeding cattle as pigs and horses are quite popular here.
People like different trades for example wood carving, sewing and pottery works. Most of people live in villages or small towns (about 90% of population). According to census in 2010 the population of Bali is about 3, 89 millions.
Balinese people don’t wear too fashionably. Women wear skirts with long shirts, men – shirt and special male skirt – kamben but very often they wear pants instead of skirts.
What to eat in Bali?
Usually local residents eat rice, pork, chicken and fruit. Real delicacies are meat of wild boar, bats and lizards. National drink is rice beer with palm juice.
Bali’s population adheres to Balinese Hinduism. They have ancestor worship here. Burial rituals are very important here. The ceremony of cremation is very colorful and exciting event in life of every person here.
Theatrical dances are very popular in Bali. People wear special costumes and masks for dances. In the center of every settlement there is a special place for cockfights. This place is sacred because shed blood after these fights is sacrificial.
Temples are located between “desa”, these several residential quarters are called banjara. There are rivers and rice fields around these banjaras.
The Banjara are a class of people from some states. Balinese people consider banjara their tower because here they can find help and support. Exile from banjara is very severe punishment.
People here praise God and thank for their life. Traditionally they make various religious ceremonies.
The society in Bali is divided into some castes. There are three higher castes: Brahmins, Kshatriyas and Vaishyas. Only 3% of the population is in higher caste. Lower caste or “jamba” is bigger in Bali. Every cast gives special names to babies.
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