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January 2015

Photo #24 – Barong Dance, Bali/Indonesia

I still have pictures from my Bali trip which I will post after I sort them out.  Here are some of them.  The most common barong dance in Bali is lion barong which is the symbol of good spirit.  It is probably the most well-known story telling dance.  In addition to barong, there are also women and men who dance and play the traditional instrument. The story narrating the fight of good and evil and will end with the final battle between Barong and Rangda (queen of evil), with the victory of barong over rangda. Rangda runs away, the evil is defeated, and the celestial order is restored.

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Practice 689

Ever since I came back from Bali, I have been wanting to paint a Balinese barong.  Barong mask always fascinates me.  I like the strange look of it and the colourful of the mask too.  It took me several days to finish this painting.  As usual this is painted on rice paper but not a Chinese painting, I guess. Please enjoy!

According to Wiki, Barong is a lion-like creature and character in the mythology of Bali, Indonesia. He is the king of the spirits, leader of the hosts of good, and enemy of Rangda, the demon queen and mother of all spirit guarders in the mythological traditions of Bali. The battle between Barong and Rangda is featured in Barong dance to represent the eternal battle between good and evil.

In Balinese mythology, the good spirit is identified as Banas Pati Raja. Banas Pati Raja is the fourth “brother” or spirit child that accompanies a child throughout their life, which is a similar concept to guardian angels. Banas Pati Raja is the spirit which animates Barong. A protector spirit, he is often represented as a lion. The Barong is often portrayed accompanied by two monkeys. Barong is portrayed as a lion with red head, covered in white thick fur, and wearing gilded jewelry adorned with pieces of mirrors. The shape of lion Barong is somewhat similar to a Pekingese dog. The origins of the Barong are far a back in time and quite uncertain. Its origins could be from animist’cults, before Hinduism appeared, when villagers still believed in the supernatural protective power of animals.

parctice 689

Photo #23 – Tanah Lot, Bali/Indonesia (2/2)

The day we visited Tanah lot was the Kuningan day.  The Balinese believe that Kuningan day is the day when their ancestors return to heaven after visiting the earth during Galungan celebration.  They make offerings to be given to the ancestors on their farewell day.  The yearly ritual has always attracted so many people and the place was fully packed.  These are some of the pictures that I took that day.

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Practice 686 – #37 (entrance to Tanah Lot Temple)

entrance to tanah lot

Photo #22 – Tanah Lot, Bali/Indonesia (1/2)

I took so many pictures while we were in Bali but only few are decent enough to be posted.  Very unfortunate it was cloudy all day when we visited Tanah Lot and I had no chance of capturing that famous Tanah Lot sunset for you to see. Usually at around 6 pm and when there is low tide, people are allowed to visit that tiny rock island by walking across. They are greeted by priests at the entrance and not allowed to walk inside the temple.

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Practice 685 – #36 (Tanah Lot, Bali)

Just before the school holiday last year, I came across articles which introduced the top 10 places in world people should visit for their holiday; one of them was Tanah lot – Bali/Indonesia.  Although I was born in Indonesia and had spent my early years there, but I had never been to Bali.  I had been there a couple of times when my plane transited in Bali but never stepped out of the airport. So we decided our next holiday would be Bali if we had a chance and so here we came.

Tanah lot is one of the most popular tourists icon in Bali we visited.  There is a small rock island with a pilgrimage temple which makes it so mystical. According to Wikipedia – Tanah Lot is claimed to be the work of the 16th-century Dang Hyang Nirartha. During his travels along the south coast he saw the rock-island’s beautiful setting and rested there. Some fishermen saw him, and bought him gifts. Nirartha then spent the night on the little island. Later he spoke to the fishermen and told them to build a shrine on the rock, for he felt it to be a holy place to worship the Balinese sea gods.

The Tanah Lot temple was built and has been a part of Balinese mythology for centuries. The temple is one of seven sea temples around the Balinese coast. Each of the sea temples was established within eyesight of the next to form a chain along the south-western coast. In addition to Balinese mythology, the temple was significantly influenced by Hinduism.

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tanah lot

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