Visiting the Locals in Bali Villages

June 02, 2012 :: Posted by - simplyjen :: Category - Uncategorized

Don’t you feel like you know someone a bit better after you’ve seen the inside of their home? I know that little is left to the imagination about me once you see my house, scour my bookshelf, peruse photos, see the multiple machines for making caffeinated beverages in my colorful kitchen, the generally healthy food stocked in my fridge, the dry erase board easel/chalkboard in my makeshift office and stacks and stacks of magazines.

It was no different going to the home of a local Bali family – but instead of learning only about the people who inhabited the home, it gave me a glimpse into the culture of an entire village.

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Our host Weda told us more than 60% of Bali residents still live in traditional villages like the one we visited. Each village is a series of compounds that consist of between one and five families who are all somehow related.

This sign shows their address to be #35 and says that four families live in the compound, 12 male and 7 female for a total of 19

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Each compound has it’s own trio of temples to represent different deities, hence Weda told us Bali is often referred to the place of 1,000 temples.

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I was struck by the disparity between the compound’s ornate temples – and their living quarters, which (especially the bathroom) were small, dirty and be condemned by the board of health stateside.

Each family on the compound has living quarters such as this one.

Each family on the compound has living quarters such as this one.

The Bathroom! For the whole compound! And somehow, the family was all perfectly clean and put together.

The Bathroom! For the whole compound! And somehow, the family was all perfectly clean and put together.

This, despite the fact that the family we visited has to be somewhat well off considering their trade is bamboo-making, which is done by all generations on the premises:

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They also own lucrative livestock including the biggest (and Smelliest) pigs I’ve ever encountered and a couple of bull:

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And, someone(s) on the compound even participate in cockfighting. It’s illegal in Bali as well, but a popular form of gambling, as was obvious by the caged roosters found regularly around the island:

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Also seen around the property were happy playing children and lots of wild roosters and chicks…

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We didn’t stay for the lunch that was being cooked in the compound’s ‘kitchen’:

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But, I’m very grateful to the family we visited for allowing us to witness what village life is really like for a Balinese family. It was an education I feel fortunate to have received.

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