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The People of Bali

The people of Bali at all levels have a deep connection to the spiritual and physical side of the island that is reflected in their pride and dedication to Bali and sharing it with the rest of the world..

Welcome to Bali, Welcome to My Life...

Bali's reputation as a tourist destination is already established in the minds of so many people around the world. It is known as a beautiful island with mountains, temples, palaces and visits of terraced rice fields.
 
It is known as a place where traditions of art and culture predominate, where the village way of life based on their strong religious beliefs is still in place.
 
But, it is also a place where modern sports such as diving, sailing, rafting and above all surfing have taken hold and are enjoyed by thousands of visitors every year. It is a place where the ultimate luxuries of life: fine dining, spas and massage have reached the peak of perfection.
 
Behind all of this is a single unseen premise; none of these practices, pursuits and pleasures are created as tourist industries in Bali, but are based on the talents, dedication and skills of the Balinese people in their normal course of life.
 
That's why we now present Bali through its people - real people - who live their lives with love and care of all they do. So when you come to enjoy Bali you will soon realize very quickly that to all these people, and the many thousand of others who are dedicated to making visitors happy, that they don't think of it as a job but really their livelihood in the broadest sense.
 
So, we join them in saying "Bali is my life" Make it part of yours too.

Campaign Video Part 1 | Campaign Video Part 2 | Bali Is My Life Movie | Eat Pray Love Movie

Art and Culture                                     

Gamelan clashes as the darkness is split by a myriad of oil lamps to reveal an impossibly beautiful girl resplendent in gold and red. She extends her fingers into amazing shapes as she angles her body and looks into your soul with striking eyes that flash with emotion. You're mesmerized and smitten for ever.
 
It's Ubud, Bali and from the moment you see the Legong dance of young Ayu it's forever etched in your memory
 
Ida Ayu Yuliastini
The Young Dancer

The smell of wood chips fills the air and we see the man himself staring intently at a block of wood as his chisel carves another beautiful mask. " Hello! I am Anom and welcome to my family home for the last 700 years" , he says. " Did you know, the wood talks to me, it tells me what type of mask it wants to be, a king, old man even a monkey". He places a mask over his face and suddenly takes on the attributes of the character.
 It's Mas, Bali and Anom's transformation creates a truly mesmerizing moment, never to be forgotten.
 
Ida Bagus Anom
The Mask Sculptor

"We , the Balinese are close to nature and when I express my concern about society and humanity through my painting I feel that I am representing the spirit of Bali and our unique relationship with the environment. Coupled with a quality of light and shadow in Bali like nowhere else on earth, it's not surprising that my work is full of vibrant colours... oh! sorry did I splash you with paint?"
 
Made, an internationally acclaimed painter with his studio in Ubud is full of passion and his work speaks for itself, but if you are lucky enough to see him paint watch out as sometimes his enthusiasm takes the paint in all directions.
 
I Made Sumadiyasa
The Artist

 

Anak Agung Ayu Dwara Wati Karangasem is a great granddaughter of the last king or Karangasem. She lives in Denpasar where she is studying to be a dentist.

Her aunt Anak Agung Mirah sasatrwati has played a big part in the well being of her large extended family, making sure the children are educated, and that they are all well versed in Balinese traditions and particularly in the family traditions of the Karangasem Puri. She has taught them respect for their heritage. so even though Haley now follows a more modern path, she can bridge the gap between ancient and modern between the traditional and the new. Her love for Bali and its special ways will stay with her forever.

AA Ayu Haley Dwara Wati Karangasem
The Princess

Kecak Rina is a legend in Bali as an innovative dancer of huge energy. His own Kecak troupe which plays at ARMA every full and dark moon is a highly original and charged performance, which differs from the Kecak dance created with the help of Walter spies in the 1930'.

He also dances many others traditional dances as well as creating new versions of older performances.

 

Kecak Rina
The Dancer

 

Stone Sculptur Wayan Cemul is one of Indonesia's national treasures. Even at 86 years old his spirit retains the youthfulness. Recognised as one of Bali's famous sculpturs, he was the sole student of sculptor Kadir  and develoved his own unique primitive style, encouraged by foreign luminaries like Donald Fried, Arie Smit, Han Snel and Rudolf Bonnet. He has been designing fancifull primitive art stone carvings for many years. His work graces galleries and gardens in many countries and his work has impacted many younger stone carvesr.

I Wayan has visitied other countries but will always return to Bali. Now his traveling days are almost over, but Bali will always be his home.   

Wayan Cemul
The Stone Carver

Community

Perfectly balanced as she carefully traverses the thin grassy walls between the rice fields, Putu makes her way to school following the same beautiful route that she always takes. We watch as more immaculately dressed children appear from all directions and are amazed how they keep so clean and dry. as you pat your own dripping brow. "Hello mister! Are you Australian?" she asks " we learned about your country yesterday. Is it true that you all learn to surf at school?
 
Another precious encounter in the middle of nowhere leaving a lasting impression to treasure.

Putu Srijayanti
The Schoolgirl

"It's all about rice you know. A constant cycle of planting, harvesting and maintaining the fields to secure a steady supply of food for every village". This is what's shaped the whole island according to Mde Darmo, who is caught in the beautiful light of morning harnessing the power of his cows to turn another muddy mess into a field of dreams, and dreams it is without the blessing of Dewi, the rice goddess.
 
It all looks idyllic here in Gianyar but when you're up to your knees in sticky mud, suddenly you appreciate the incredible achievements of people like Made Darmo.
 
Made Darmo
The Farmer

 

Popo Danes is one of Bali's most renowned architects. Born in Banyuwatis north Bali he studied in Udayana University in Denpasar and has never looked back. He has designed award winning resort hotels, villas and other interesting creations. The ever youthful Popo has traveled to and enjoyed working in many countries  but always returns to Bali.
He loves Bali because it is his home island. He loves its position and the acess to international thoughts and influences while retaining its true Balines identity. "So many things connect in Bali and the mix of modern and traditional suits his profession. We can live as we are in Bali we can be ourselves. In Jakarta you have to be someone else"

Popo Danes
The Architect

 

Ibu Mangku has run her warung Nasi Ayam Kedewatan since 1984. Although the original family run warung has expanded in size and she has open branches in Seminyak and Kapal, the quality remains unchanged. Everything is still cooked on wood fires and it is all cooked under her strict supervision in her original Kedewatan home.

Her food is famous and people come from far and near to try it. Some people love her food so much that they eat there almost every day. She loves Bali, it is her home, her family her place of business and her spiritual support. It is where she wants to be.     

Ibu Mangku
The Warung Owner

Leisure

In exotic aroma envelopes the senses as the chef stirs his wok into a frenzy of fire and dancing vegetable. "Have you ever heard of Nouvelle Balinese cuisine?" he asks with enthusiasm. "Not yet? Well watch out it's on it's way. I'm fusing the best of traditional Balinese cooking with influences I have picked up from around the world, and it's going to be outstanding!"
 

I Putu Sudari Yasa
The Chef

The first moment of embarrassment quickly fades as strong fingers find that naughty little muscle that's been annoying you for so long.  "Is that the spot?" asks Lilik, one  of the Masseuses at a top hotel. Of course she already knows from experience that the stress is already disappearing from your body.  "Just relax  listen to the waves outside and I'll make it better" she says, and she does.
 
It's Jimbaran, Bali and you wonder why you never had a massage earlier but after today's bliss you know you will be back again.

 Ni Kadek Lilik Suriati
The Masseuse

"Hello mate! I'm Budi and it's my mission in life to make sure you can call yourself a surfer in three hours, so go for it! " Now the obsession begins, the thrills and spills, burnt skin, grazed knees and the stories of the wave that wiped you out or the wave that gave the perfect ride.
 
Suddenly your one of the elite, speaking surfer language on the beach at Kuta and hooked for life.
 
I Gde Budiyasa
The Surfer
 

Dolphin white water rafter work for Sobek White Water Rafting in Sayan just out of Ubud. For eight years he has guided thousands of happy tourist down the twisting and turnings rapids of the Ayung Rivers. When he was a boy in school he dreamed of working on the river and even after so many years he loves his job.

"It is my hobby and my job"  he says beamingly. Where did he get his name? Everyone at Sobek has an English style name as it helps the tourists to feel comfortable and to identify them. He loves Bali because it has give him a good life and it is where he wants to be. Bali sustains him and keep his live beautiful.

Beamingly
The Rafter

 

 

 

So there you have it: fourteen  people representing the island of Bali. Real people who live, work, play and pray in Bali. Poeple whose lives interact with and enrich the holidays of so many visitors. People who leave lasting memories of Bali through their dance, their art, their food or their fingers!
 
And people who you'll never deliberately go to meet - you'll just see them going about their lives, going to school, tending their fields, looking after their shops, driving their motorcycles and sitting preparing temple offerings as they watch the world go by. They are as much part of Bali as those directly involved with tourism, maybe even more so.
 
We thank you for taking this journey with us to experience the delights of our island.
 
So when you think about your next holiday, think about making friends with the people of Bali - they are waiting to share their lives with you.

 

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Viisting Bali soon?  Check out what's happening in Bali and at our Bali Hotel Association member hotels and resorts.  

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"Bali is my life" - this is a powerful statement that reflects the fact that Bali is not just like any tourist destination but a beautiful island that is owned and lived by the Balinese who welcome visitors to enjoy the island.

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Living in a Balinese community is ruled by the local philosophy called the "gotong royong" which means joined responsibility and mutual cooperation.

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