Friday, August 15, 2014

Uluwatu Kecak Dance

Kecak is one of Bali traditional dance, the only musical instrument used to accompany the dance is the rhythmically but seemingly random chant "chak...chak...chak..." uttered by several dozen Balinese men. The men were sitting in a circle where the main dance is performed in the center. It delivers a trance-inducing atmosphere for the dancers.

Uluwatu kecak tells a story about the Hindu epic, Ramayana. It is a story about a wise prince named Rama and his beautiful wife Sita. Rama is the legal heir of the Ayodha kingdom but he is exiled from his father Dasarata's realm, he was accompanied by his brother Laksamana and Sita. During a journey across Dandaka Forest, the evil king Rahwana spotted the trio and he immediately lust for Sita, Rahwana tricked Rama and Laksamana thus successfully kidnap Sita and then brought her to his realm Alengka. Upon realizing Rahwana's tricks and deception Rama and Laksamana enlist the help of Hanoman, the mighty monkey king. The monkey king eventually succeeded to rescue Sita and managed to destroy Alengka during the process.

The most enchanting scenery of this whole performance is the venue, the dance was performed on the cliffside of Uluwatu temple complex on the southern part of Bali. Spectators can view the sunset as a backdrop for the entire performance although during this time I wasn't so lucky as the weather were a bit cloudy, but still it is a very memorable experience so make sure you take the front seats!

Kecak Dance

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Melasti

Every year Hindu people of Bali commemorate "Day of Silence" or Nyepi, it is celebrated in conjunction with Balinese New Year. There are several rituals that are performed prior to and after Nyepi and one of the rituals before Nyepi is "Melasti". It is held to purify Bhuana Alit (small world) and Bhuana Agung (The Universe) and is performed in a Pura (Balinese Temple) near the sea. Hindus prayed by facing the sea with the aim to throw all the bad things from the past into the sea. Symbols of the gods are also brought to the sea to be purified. White clothes are worn to indicate purity. This series of photos were taken at Padang-Padang Beach, Bali, Indonesia.

Melasti Ceremony

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Belitung

Belitung is an island located on the eastern coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. The island was made popular by Andrea Hirata's film-adapted novel Laskar Pelangi which features some of the scenic beaches of Belitung such as Tanjung Tinggi. Belitung features white sand beaches, granite rocks, and clear blue-turquoise water that will take your breath away. During this trip I've only spent only one night in belitung and got to visit Tanjung Tinggi, Bukit Berahu, Tanjung Kelayar, Pulau Pasir, and Lengkuas Island. It is clear that it wasn't enough to explore and appreciate the magnificent beauty of the island, will come back here definitely someday!

Belitung
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