Monday, June 04, 2018

Nyepi

This is a guest post from one of the girls babes who was part of the effervescent gang that is determined to enjoy life to its fullest.  

When I suggested if the girls babes can come up with a guest post, lively as she is, Sudha jumped at it and even before I batted my eyelid, was done with a beautiful post. 

Here we go with the first guest post, ever, on my blog (yaaaayyyy).
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While researching about what we will do in Bali, I got to know that one of the days of the trip is going to be a ‘silent-day’. Silence is such an oxymoron when 4 of us are together, we never had a dull moment :-). Then I read further and found out that there are no activities on that day. People fast and are confined to their homes, even the airport is closed!!  That did not deter our spirits. Also, found out many people plan to go to Bali to immerse themselves in this cultural and religious festival. 

Some of the high end resorts also have Nyepi day activities like Spa, special breakfast, access to pool etc. So that brought me back to one of the agendas of the trip – self pampering :-) it would be a welcome chance to disconnect and witness a centuries-old tradition on an island where religion and ceremony play a pivotal role in daily life. Though Indonesia is predominately a Muslim country, Balinese people follow Hinduism.  Already day dreaming about the temples, architecture, beaches, Nyepi added a new pleasantly surprised dimension to the trip.

The Balinese new year, Nyepi,  otherwise known as silent day, coincides with Ugadi and few other Indian regional New Year dates. The day is dedicated to worship and there are large Ogoh-Ogoh, demon like statues built and paraded throughout Bali. The Ogoh-Ogoh are believed to scare away the evil spirits that visit Bali during this time. Also on Nyepi day due to the practice of no lights, no fire (no cooking), no travel, no noise the  evil spirit thinks that no life form is existing in Bali and they go back. Also its noteworthy that even the airports remain closed on this day.
First sight of much awaited Ogoh-Ogoh.  He looks scary doesnt he?
Good reason for Bali being called ‘the island of the Gods’. There are offerings to God kept at each shop, house entrances, street intersections and even inside the cars, boogies etc.  The offerings consists of flowers, rice, leaves on a handmade coconut palm leaf plate or bowl. Coconut palm leaves are used in decoration in the temples and to hold other forms of offering too.
offering on a road side in a coconut palm container
Decoration made of coconut palm leaves


Coconut palm decoration in front of a temple
Ubud is the cultural centre of Bali and we got to stay there at Santi Mandela. Vincy had dedicated a whole blog about this place, you can read ithere, in the earlier post.

The day before Nyepi :

From Ubud, we left to Nusa Dua the beach haven. On the way we witnessed many processions. We found that the days preceding Nyepi, there are huge processions that take the Ogoh-Ogoh along the road to the family temples. Each clan, if I can say have their own temples and each of them compete on whose procession and Ogoh-Ogoh is better.  Most men wear customized t-shirts, most women wear their traditional costume for the parade. They walk with offerings perched on their head. Again bamboo vase like baskets carry fruits, flowers etc.

The decorated Guardian statues in front of a temple, also called as Dwarapalas, on the eve of Nyepi
We also saw school going children in their uniform having a parade of their own. The Ogoh-Ogoh looked less scary. The whole island comes together to celebrate this.

We reached Hilton en-route to Tanah Lot - what a picturesque temple, there should be a blog on that as well.  Nusa Dua Hilton is a luxurious beach resort. We stepped out for lunch and found an Indian restaurant. We were secretly craving for Indian food :-) I would admit. 

The Evening is the day for the grand Nusa Dua parade. We found the temple venue and took a cab to witness the celebration. There were  Huge Ogoh-Ogoh, accompanied by people carrying fire torches.  The people were dressed thematically. We found people playing different kinds of percussion and wind instruments.   There were dance and music performances from each clan. Its equivalent to our Kovil Thiruvizha (temple festival), complete with chariots, band, music et all.  But not the commotion and noise. It was surreal.  We noticed that the people were with devotion, committed to the success of the parade.  The events were synchronized, and onlookers were also well behaved. Was a night to remember.

We had a quiet night by the beach. Stars looked bigger and brighter, and we all felt we might not have seen so many stars in the regular sky (pollution).

Here comes the Nyepi day : We had a grand buffet breakfast, and spent the day resort bound.

I could sum it up as : Lots of chirp, chatter and cheer. Eat, sleep and repeat. Photos, photos and more photos. Sun, sand, and pool.. Rest, relax and rejuvenate.. Wonderful vacation with a day for ourselves. No regrets whatsoever. We learned that, there is no other day like this ! Anywhere else in the World – Nyepi – Balinese New Year.



A week after the trip during my conversation with Rosy, she said – When will we ever get another chance to gaze at the stars, lying down at the beach?

A wonderful experience, for the eyes and the soul.

19 comments:

  1. Well, here is clear proof that the art of blog writing is highly contagious. After a week of togetherness, all the "babes" have become expert writers taking after this blog owner :)

    Nice experience indeed. These are what memories are made of. Kudos to all four of you for doing this repeatedly.

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    1. Yaaaaay Ramesh, So happy you are able to come here to comment. :-) :-) :-)

      I guess that why we girls are together - we root for each other, build and help each other grow in more than one way. that's how we have stayed together for long.

      Under all those million stars in the sky, and the vast expanse of sea right in front of us we four laid down, in total darkness and in complete silence, giving ourselves our own space. And these things happen once in a lifetime. Cherish that day and yes a wonderful memory.

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  2. At long last I think I have found a way of leaving the comment on your blog. Yay !

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  3. Sudha5:03 PM

    Thanks for the opportunity Vincy.

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    1. You are my first guest blogger on my blog and so proud of you and thankful you are in my life. Love to you Sudha.

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    2. Muuuaaah πŸ˜„

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  4. Good to see the beach babe avatars of my corporate colleagues. With the intense chores of our daily life, Each one of us have been longing for a Nyepi day and this nicely crafted blog gives a virtual satisfaction of living that day...

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    1. Hey Mr.Nathan, you actually commented on my blog. Yes this is the avatar we have been trying hard to keep under wraps for sometime and you are the only one who is privy to this, since you are special friends.

      But with Sudha's guest post, looks like my blog is going to go places.

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  5. Anonymous10:26 PM

    veere di wedding..sisterhood of travelling pants..sex and the city..idhelaam real lifela enjamaaing you...travellogue padichapola iruku..that too considering its live commentary..apdiye nerla paatha epect. athenna naai peyi nu newyearku per vachirukanga??!! venda veruppa pullya petuh gaandamirugam nu per vachanaam nu oru pudu mozhi nyabagam comings :D

    ~gils

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  6. after reading your comment ROFLMAO

    Naayi peri ellam odi poganum illa thats why that name may be. and your pudhu mozhi is an ultimate one.

    Gils we were talking about Veere di wedding since its release and we are planning to go fot it together. And Yes Sex and the city reminds me too of our girl trips.

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  7. What an enchantic insight you've given us Sudha ! Makes us also want to go out there, away from this noise and chaos... sit back and rejuvenate...star gazing rushed in memories from childhood at Gran's place...was magical then and I'm sure would be now too !! Awesome indeed ! πŸ€©πŸ˜ƒ

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  8. Thanks Farah. We should try this one day at kg at lease to start with for an hour. No vehicle, no fire, no electricity, (minimum). Very fancy wish. πŸ˜€. Glad you enjoyed reading this.

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  9. You have taken us almost on a virtual tour through your detailed writing!The blogger in you has come out finally! Keep blogging, u seem to be a pro in it.Lucky to have like minded friends too! Cheers!

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    1. Thanks a lot. Yes, need to prioritise and create something someday. Nice words of encouragement doc.

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  10. Vijayalakshmi N2:22 AM

    Very well written Sudha. Looks like you had loads of fun:).Indonesia is a beautiful and diverse country, I love it!

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    1. Hey thanks Viji. Was definitely a wonderful trip.

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  11. Wow girls. Sudha, you are multi talented...

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would love to see reader reactions. Comments, muaah's, likes and opinions accepted. :-)