As some of you may know, we’ve been really fortunate and have just spent the last few weeks on a family holiday in Bali. We had a great trip; we spent time in Ubud; ate, swam, walked through rice fields, drank fresh coconut juice and just hung out. We then went to the beach and had a villa in Bingin. If you’re a surfer you know where Bingin is! It is just as beautiful, the water was fresh and it was great swimming in the ocean in August and having the sun lick our skin. My boys’ legs became chocolate colour with their beautiful olive skin and I even got a bit of a tan too. It was a beautiful family holiday and when seeing a country with new eyes it’s made me think and see a few Indonesian qualities that I really like and think that maybe I should apply a little bit more to my life.
Every morning an offering of gratitude and faith is made. A beautiful simple offering to the gods to show thanks, give abundance and ask for protection. Flowers, fruit, sweets, rice, incense is offered in a bowl handmade from palm leaves. Master 3 and his mates were privileged to partake in this offering with Made our host. What a special way to start your day, a reminder to give thanks.
The Balinese diet is centered on rice and rice based products and is full of lots of colourful fruit and vegetables, herbs and spices. Protein mostly comes from soya bean, which is then processed into tofu or tempeh. Eggs play a big part in their diet and are nearly included in every meal; breakfast, lunch and dinner. The most common form of meat products are fish and poultry.
Coconut products are used in abundance it's a heat stabilized fat making it great for cooking and is also full of the ‘good fats’ making it a key nutrient in their diet. Coconut is full of many healing properties; anti-viral, anti-microbial, anti-bacterial, it's protective and energy giving. Most products have some sort of coconut milk/fat/oil used within. Also, peanuts are another main characteristic found in the Indonesian cuisine. Dairy is very rarely used but tea is drunk daily.
The Balinese live a very relaxed life compared to their Aussie neighbors. Nothing is in too much of a hurry. Mostly the mornings are used to get the jobs done and the afternoons to relax and rest a little before the evening chores begin. I spoke with several locals who have had the opportunity to come and experience life in Australia and all said they couldn’t believe how hectic and busy everyone was, and that they much preferred their way of life. It is easy to breathe, walk and live without too many stresses.
Family life is also very different to our way of life. Most families live in an extended family situation; that is with many relatives living in the same house or commune. The responsibility of children and babies are shared with all the members. They really do take into account the saying ‘it takes a village to raise a child’. Mothers, like us work away from the home but have such a wonderful community to continue to raise and care for their children, I find it enviable.
It’s also very common for the Balinese to bed share with their children believing it is the best place for their child to sleep; close to them and protected.
And, I personally love that all children are named One (Wayan), Two (Made), Three (Nyoman), Four (Ketut) and then one (Wayan) again – seems to make life so much easier!
What differences do you love about foreign places?