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Directory Home> About Bali > Overview of Bali
 
OVERVIEW OF BALI
 
Rice is the staple food for all Balinese people, and sampling the steamed rice (nasi putih), red rice (nasi merah), or even colored yellow rice (nasi kuning) is a must. Or try a mixed rice dish served with different condiments (nasi campur) or fried rice (nasi goreng), even some sticky rice patties. Rice also has sacred significance, and it is offered back to the gods in the form of brightly colored cakes, or even simply as a few grains sprinkled on a banana leaf. Dewi Sri, the Balinese rice goddess, features strongly in local mythology and religious observance, and she often appears as a "cili" figure cut and bound from rice stalks.

The rivers are a focus for rural village life, as they are a source of water for both work and domestic activities. You'll often find whole villages bathing in the rivers, washing their clothes, washing their cars, fishing from them, or simply splashing around and having a great time. Further down the river path, many of the mud flats near the sea continue to be used by small family groups for making salt, an essential condiment in Bali.

At the edges of the land, the oceans are a source of holy water and the channel for preparing the dead for their afterlife. But there is still a great fear of the sea as the unknown, so even though fishing and seaweed farming are reasonably widespread and many activities revolve around the surrounding ocean, it is treated with great respect.
 
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