Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Where is Bali as The World’s Best Island ?

Bali Island, who does not know about it?
It is tremendously popular in the world as it is often voted as The World’s Best Island by International Travel Magazine, making Bali the number one tourism island in the world. The island of Bali  Located in INDONESIA archipelago , lies 3.2 km east of Java and 98 km west of mataram lombok , and is approximately 8 degrees south of the equator. Bali and Java are separated by the Bali Strait. East to west, the island is approximately 153 km wide and spans approximately 112 km north to south; its land area is 5.632 km ². A popular tourist destination known for its Natural Attractions, perfect climate and relaxed atmosphere, this island of flowers, temples and friendly people is Considered a real gem by travelers worldwide.

FACTS ABOUT BALI
Climate
The sun shines almost all year long with temperature between 20 to 33 degrees Celsius or around 68 to 93 degrees Fahrenheit. Rainy season is on October until March, while June to September are the most awaited months as there is rarely any rain during these months.

Economic
Currently the population of Bali is above 3 million people. The main livelihood is in tourism industry and also agriculture. Other livelihoods include home industry, such as textile, cultural arts, etc.

Social
Bali has strong communal life, orderly organized up to village level. Banjar, the popular term at village level, organizes every community activity whether religious, cultural, etc so that those activities can be smoothly implemented.

Culture
Bali’s culture strips the cliché from the word unique. The version of Hinduism practiced with great fervour is found no place else in the world and has inspired fervent artistic expressions that charms visitors. The population in Bali is almost all Indonesian; 95% are of Balinese Hindu descent and could be described as ethnic Balinese. The remaining residents are mostly from other parts of the country, particularly Java. Balinese have traditional caste divisions that resemble the Indian Hindu system, although there are no untouchables’. Nor is there separation of labour based on caste, except for the Brahmana priesthood. Over 90% of the population belong to the common Sudra caste, which now includes many
wealthy Balinese. The main significance of caste is in religious roles and rituals, and its influence on Balinese language.



At the core of Balinese society is the village, a cohesive religious community organized around a group of temples. Village members are required to take part in temple rituals and assist in the community’s funerary rites. Religious practice in Bali entails music, theatre and elaborate offerings. The labour-intensive nature of rituals requires a high degree of social organization, visible in the village layout. Family house compoundsare usually laid out on a north-south axis. The village core is dominated by temples, market, civic structures and often puri, houses of the nobility.

THE BALINESE CALENDAR

Certain Balinese holy days are calculated according to the complex 210-day pawukon calendar. This is made up of 30 seven-day wuku (weeks), along with nine other overlapping wewaran (cycles) of different lengths. The most common wewaran are the three-day “market” cycle, the five-day cycle and the seven-day cycle. Many festivals fall when these cycles cross.

Saraswati and Renewal of the Cycle:
On the last day of the 210-day cycle, Saraswati, the goddess of learning, is worshipped. Books are honoured with offerings laid on them and sprinkled with holy water. Children make offerings at school while adults bring gifts to healers and traditional teachers.

Banyu Penaruh:
The first day of the 210-day cycle is one of ritual cleansing with holy water, usually at a spring temple or at the house of a high priest.

Pagerwesi: 
This is a day for spiritual strengthening; it is celebrated elaborately in North Bali with penjor and feasting as at Galungan. The name means literally “fence of iron”.

Tumpek:
Once every 35 days, offerings are made to specific categories of valued things, such as metal objects, trees, books, musical instruments, livestock
and wayang puppets; in modern Bali, motorcycles, cars, computers and refrigerators may be included. There are six Tumpek daysin the 210-day G calendrical cycle.



Demographically, foreign tourists visiting Bali are from: Australia, Japan, China, Malaysia, and South Korea with percentage of, respectively, 22.76 percent, 13.00 percent, 7.8 percent, 5.76 percent, and 5.72 percent. In 2009, the Level of Hotel Occupancy in star-hotels in Bali was on average of 54.90 percent with average length of stay of foreign and domestic tourists of 3.70 days. Impossibly green rice terraces, pulse-pounding surf, enchanting Hindu temple ceremonies, mesmerising dance performances, ribbons of beaches, a truly charming people: there are as many images of Bali as there are flowers on the ubiquitous frangipani trees. As you stumble upon the exquisite little religious offerings that seem to materialise everywhere as if by magic, you’ll see that their tiny tapestry of colours and textures is a metaphor for Bali itself

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