Notes on Antique Textiles, Folk Art & Timeless Traditions – Jaina Mishra

So Far yet So Close – The Culture of Bali

Bali is about 4500 km away from India by flight.

So far. Yet the seeds of culture planted centuries ago have thrived in that soil and the culture today is so pretty and so close to the authentic original form.

On this 10-day trip to Indonesia, I learned more new details about Hinduism and its variants than I had in the preceding 10 years.

Not only did my lectures push me to direct my study  – there were facts which came at me unexpectedly! Facts that charmed and alarmed me.

Everyone knows that Bali’s primary religion is Hinduism. But that it is practiced with deep understanding  of the depth of philosophy is something I did not know.


An anecdote:

My husband [AM] switched roles with me this once and played ‘trailing spouse’ on this work-play trip to Indonesia. He recites the Gayatri Mantra “Om Bhur Bhuva Swaha …”  in his ‘buland awaaz’ or deep voice every morning after his bathing rituals as a matter of routine.

So when our taxi driver in Bali was explaining the local culture to us, AM asked about this mantra which is supposed to be a part of every practicing Hindu’s routine.

And surprise surprise the driver knew it! And within a moment the taxi was filled with synchronised recitations of ‘Om Bhur Bhuva Swaha Tat Savitur Varenyam….” albeit sung in slightly different tunes.

Quite a moment!!!

Wonderful to have experienced the migration of memes!


1 Jan 2016

And as the Gregorian Calendar turns a page – Happy New Year to everyone!

A perfect Sanskrit wish

“May there be tranquillity & well-being on earth,

on water,in fire, in the wind,
in the sky, in the sun,
on the moon, on our planet,
in all living beings,

in the body, in the mind and in the spirit.

May that tranquillity & well-being be everywhere, and in everyone.”


Happy New Year!







One comment on “So Far yet So Close – The Culture of Bali

  1. Pingback: Indonesian Archipelago Diaries | The Wovensouls Journal

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