Bali and Nyepi
I arrived in Bali on a very special day which was the Hindu New Year, which they call Hari Raya Nyepi. It is a very special day and the Balinese have a very unique ceremony during that day, which I will explain.
I arrived to the town when I was so tired and hungry but I had something important to do so I did not eat and I just went directly to the harbor to see if there is any ship going to NZ and as I already suspected before there was none.
I was passing the streets and I saw that in every street there was a big statue which people were working on to get ready for the night. The statues looked crazy and frightening. The town was full of movement as everyone was doing something for the new year.
The ceremony is like this: during the night they move the statues around the town and they make big loud noise and they shout around and the town is very noisy at night full of loud noise and the people are dancing, moving the statues and everything is crazy. Then the next day it is Nyepi, which is the day of silence and on that day everything is closed – the airport, port, shops.everywhere is closed and no electricity at night in the town and all the hotels and houses close their windows, people are not allowed to go out of their houses and they are not allowed to have lights at night or to make any noise. They believe that by making noises during the eve of the new year they take out the bad feeling or something like that from their hearts and they push out the evil from the town and then on the following day which is Nyepi, it should be very quiet so when the evil comes back it will see that there is nothing in the town and it will go out from the town. Oh my GOD so boring staying all the day inside the hotel especially when you go there to see the place and you have no more time. But it was a good chance for me to work and finish some backlog works that I had left undone for some days!!!! Even some hotels did not accept me and they didnt give me room to stay because it was Nyepi. I thought about how the road would be nice and beautiful when there is nothing on the road and I would like to leave the town and cycle to the west of Bali where I can get a boat for Java and from there take a bus for Jakarta to pick up my passport from the Australian embassy but everyone told me if you go out the police will catch you and you should not do it. Actually I was thinking to do that but I decided not to not because I was afraid of the police but because I know that I should respect the people’s culture and religion so I just stayed at the hotel all day and did many things: cleaning my bicycle and its hubs, washing my clothes, writing, chatting with the 2 French guests….it was good I am happy with what I did. Tomorrow I will cycle to the port which is about 130kms and will take a boat for Java and take a bus for Jakarta.
That was all my story in Bali.
10 March 2008