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Updated by Joanna James on Mar 12, 2018
Headline for 05 Unusual things you would See in Bali - Quirky Features of a Tropical Paradise
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Joanna James Joanna James
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05 Unusual things you would See in Bali - Quirky Features of a Tropical Paradise

Bali may be a popular destination, but it is by no means without its own quirky surprises. These are some of the things you will see in Bali that will make you take a double take.

1

Offerings at every turn

Bali is a place with different cultures and religions. One of the major religious groups is Hindus, who make offerings to their deities every morning. These offerings are placed in a small weaved basket. They are usually an assortment of colourful flowers, and whatever the food the family has made that morning. These baskets of offerings are placed at temples for deities of higher order, and on the crossroads for deities of a lower order. This means you are likely to come across baskets of offerings on your daily walks in the morning.

This is an ingrained part of the culture though, to the extent that some of the luxury resorts like Anantara Uluwatu Bali Resort have classes teaching their guests how to weave these baskets.

2

Chequered Cloth

One of the most prominent colour schemes you are likely to notice is the black and white chequered clothes. These can be found not only as a garment worn by the locals, but also draped around trees, flung over statues, and even rocks. The colour and pattern combination of the chequered cloth is supposed to symbolise the balance in the universe, similar to Yin and Yang. The reason for draping these chequered clothes over inanimate objects is because the locals believe that particular object to be in possession of a spirit.

3

Gigantic Kites

Kites are an important part of the Balinese culture. In fact, there is a special kite festival held every year where people from all over the country flock to showcase their creations. This is such an important event that any Bali Cliff hotel - those located on the oceanfront - become completely booked. The actual dates of the festival cannot be decided until the last minute though, as everyone waits for optimal weather conditions. A kite festival is a grand event with large cash prizes. The creations are gigantic and will give you a show unlike any you have seen for absolutely no cost.

4

Festival of smooches

Soon after the Saka New Year, a curious festival takes place in Bali, called the omed-omedan. It is a festival celebrated by the Banjar Kaja community where the youth who are coming of age engage in a tug of war of sorts, attempting to kiss each other - the couples are prearranged - while the adults douse them with water. It is a curious festival that has been happening for years, for according to legend, the one year the festival was not held, a plague spread over the village.

5

Balinese script

A dying form of writing, Balinese script is derived from Brahmi script. It is flowing and artsy, and is not in common use anymore. However, in an attempt to preserve this important part of the culture, the local government has declared that all signs and posts must contain the Balinese scripture as well.