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BALI NOTEBOOK COVER SMALL_50%.indd 1

4th Proof

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Bali Notebook (EDM) CD0911-39 / YEE PEI

9/30/11 1:57 PM ~ COVER

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2nd Proof

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Bali Notebook (EDM) CD0911-27 / YEE PEI


B

ali has been described as an inward-looking island. The Balinese orient themselves toward the mountains, and among traditional Balinese the sea coast is not considered a desirable place to live. The soil is poor; only coconut palms seem to thrive there. Those who do live on the coast turn naturally to fishing and to harvesting other products of the sea. Bali is blessed with cool mountain ranges, shapely rice terraces and sandy beaches, but it is renowned for its people and their spectacular ritual culture. The Balinese people practise a form of Hindu-Buddhism with deep roots in animism. Their religion incorporates a three-part

3rd Proof

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Bali Notebook (EDM) CD0911-39 / YEE PEI


worldview of upper/middle/lower expressed in the notion of gods/ humans/nature spirits. This tripartite notion is also seen in Bali’s cosmic geography. The mountains are perceived as the realm of origins – probably because this is where irrigation water originates. It is also where Bali’s earliest communities settled. The broad central plains are fertile rice-growing lands, where villages and many tiny kingdoms were established. The sea is the place of endings and beginnings – where the ashes of the cremated dead are scattered, and from whence invaders arrive, establishing new ideas and technologies in the coastal towns. All these ideas are encoded in Bali’s architecture. From mountain temples to village streets and tourist hotels, basic forms are recapitulated like a musical theme – while the variations provide clues about the pressures of change. In the Hindu-Balinese village, the three-part symbolism becomes very rich. The scheme is seen in village layouts (temples/ houses/graveyard) and also in the structure of pavilions and shrines. Village society is largely organised around the care and animation of its temples.

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Bali Notebook (EDM) CD0911-27 / Sammi


Significant change has always come from beyond Bali’s shores. Its main events of historical note were invasions: from Hindu Java during the first half of the last millennium; from colonial Holland in the 19th and early 20th centuries; from Japan during World War II; and since the 1970s, from almost everywhere through mass tourism. Bali’s destiny as a tourist haven has much to do with its extraordinary culture, which was “discovered”, admired and made famous by a small elite of Western travellers in the 1930s. The colonial Dutch encouraged a strictly supervised sort of tourism to Bali with the hope of promoting their image as enlightened colonists. After independence, the new Republic of Indonesia also saw a role for Bali as its “window to the world”, with tourism as a source of revenue and situated naturally on the southern coast. It is not surprising, then, that the most important architectural monuments on the coast are seaside temples and tourist hotels. Tourism and Balinese culture itself have joined in a new type of dynamic in which they are becoming almost inseparable. As to Bali’s future, the three-part concept provides a clue to its continually successful evolution. In its various expressions, the central figure is always the human being. Humankind mediates between the upper and lower worlds through the balancing action of ritual. Similarly, the Balinese believe that they can best address the challenges of the future by remaining faithful to the spiritual legacy of their ancestors – an exercise in balancing that may require all their considerable charm, imagination and skill.

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Bali Notebook (EDM) CD0911-27 / Sammi


The iconic banyan tree

3rd Proof

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Bali Notebook (EDM) CD0911-39 / YEE PEI


3rd Proof

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Job No:

Bali Notebook (EDM) CD0911-39 / YEE PEI


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2nd Proof

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Bali Notebook (EDM) CD0911-27 / Sammi


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2nd Proof

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Bali Notebook (EDM) CD0911-27 / Sammi


3rd Proof

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Bali Notebook (EDM) CD0911-39 / YEE PEI


Bali at a glance Location: 8°39’S 115°13’E Largest city: Denpasar Land area: 5,632 sq km Highest point: Mount Agung (3,142 m) Population: 3.89 million (2010 estimate) Major ethnic groups: Balinese (89%), Javanese (7%) Main religions: Hindu (92.3%), Islam (5.7%) Main languages: Indonesian (official), Balinese Motto: Bali Dwipa Jaya (Glorious Bali Island) Currency: Indonesian rupiah Best time to visit: May to September Iconic dish: babi guling (roast suckling pig) Iconic temples: Pura Ulun Danu Bratan, Pura Besakih (Mother Temple), Pura Tanah Lot Main economic activities: Tourism, rice production Time zone: GMT/UTC+8 Direct dialling code: +62 36 Main airport: Ngurah Rai International Airport Fun things to do: Surfing, beach activities, visit rice terraces, temples and handicraft villages Useful phrase in Indonesian: Terima kasih (thank you)

3rd Proof

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Bali Notebook (EDM) CD0911-39 / YEE PEI


BALI NOTEBOOK COVER SMALL_50%.indd 1

4th Proof

Title:

Job No:

Bali Notebook (EDM) CD0911-39 / YEE PEI

9/30/11 1:57 PM ~ COVER

BG 50%


Bali Notebook