Before coming to Bali, I just knew the type that nowadays (decorated with stamps of animals, sea life and flowers) has become popular among the women across the world as an outer garment covering the swimwear. Instead, Sarong is commonly wore as daily dress by man and women across the South and South-East of Asia, but also in some other parts of the world. I found out that the art of making Kambeng (Balinese word that refers to Sarong) and the Batik method of decorating has been practiced by Balinese for centuries. The traditional prints or stamps have geometrical design, like shapes, plaid or strips. In Bali, Kambeng is usually wore by men and women during the traditional rituals as ceremonies, while dancing or playing gamelan.
The Galungan – one the most important ceremony for Balinese Hindu people – was the opportunity to wear our new Sarongs: our neighbor, the temple priest (pemangku), invited us to join him and his family in the procession and the following ceremony. The event was amazing! Hundreds of people would walk along carrying baskets whit fruit and offerings on the head and playing gamelan. We visited two temples where the people would pray, sing and play instruments.
In December we had the opportunity to join an important event for Denpasar: the Denpasar Festival, one of the biggest festivals of the city. The atmosphere was very charming: the city centre was crowded by lots of people walking among dozens and dozens of stalls with food, sweets, clothes and exhibits….I also watched some minutes of Balinese drama (but I couldn’t understand anything!) and a nice photo exhibit on the local traditions… and finally I saw the Navicula, a quite popular Balinese band that plays songs about environmental issues.
I spent my time on Christmas day in Pandawa beach: while my family and my friends on the other side of the world were opening presents, I was swimming in the Indian Ocean! At the end of 2014, this beach hosted an important year-end festival called Pandawa Beach Explore, to celebrate Christmas and to welcome 2015. I saw a Balinese dance performance, but the festival included also dynamic music concerts and DJ performances.
My 2014 ended watching fireworks blowing across the sky of Canggu Beach with all the “Act Global’s family”.