Bali is known as the island of temples and indeed it is easy to think that almost every building in Bali is either a temple or a shop. On this trip I begun to have a better understanding of the Balinese religion and the role of the temples in every day life. Every Balinese house has a temple, one at the door to avert evil spirits, and then a little temple complex in the house compound for temples to their ancestors and the particular gods that they worship. They were sometimes very elaborate or just often just simple, the structure of the temple was not as important as the spirits they contain.
I just loved all the intricate carvings that were everywhere and in particular the juxtaposition of the white stone against the old red bricks of the building. So many patterns and designs, it was heaven.
There are many dogs in Bali, some are treasured pets, others are very street wise strays. The Balinese used to have a terrible problem with stray dogs and rabies, but a concerted effort between the Balinese government and Australian and other international vets have helped to sort out the problem. Without a specific breeding program the dogs have reverted back to their archetypal form as seen above. Sort of like a pointy eared Labrador. (I just learnt that fact from a TV dog show the other day, but 90% of the dogs in Bali were of this type so it made sense to me and I thought I would sound knowledgeable for a moment). This one had a collar (but no tail) so I presume he was loved by someone in the palace.
By the way this is a drawing by me without any black outlines!!, it was hard to do, but occasionally I just like to prove to myself that I can do it.
Here are some of the less ornate temples, these were nature temples near a farm we passed. The tall brick one is for the male nature spirits and the smaller wooden one is for the female spirits. My understanding is they were to pray to the old nature spirits to say thank you for letting the farmer use the land and keep on the right side of them. The Balinese religions combines their old nature spirit worship, Hindu gods and ancestor worship. A full time job to keep all of them happy, but the island has the most beautiful quality to it, that many people put down to this sincere incorporation of the spiritual into their everyday lives.
I really struggled with this drawing of a beautiful bamboo bridge, the proportions somehow got completely out of whack, but the feel is something like the original. Here is also an offering box that are seen outside every house or business every day. I think the bridge had one because of the cross over of a path and water.
Lastly is a pattern page. Hope you have enjoyed this revisited of the journal. I still have quite a few pages to go, so I will be back with more. I am determined to complete this journal, then it will be the first travel journal that is finished. It is the year for finishing journals, as I have only two more pages to complete my sketch book. That is really exciting as I have never kept up sketching for that long either.