Bali is an island where traditions and culture still intact and influence daily life. Travelers sometimes offend the local accidentally out of ignorance. It will be so much better if us, as traveler, respect those traditions and stay on good terms with locals. Knowing about what should and what shouldn’t we do is a way to avoid problem in order to have nice holiday. So here are some Bali etiquette pointers you have to know before visiting Bali.
Over 91% of Balinese hold Hindu as their religion. On the big holy day, known as Nyepi or Silent Day, everybody should not turn on the lights and stay at home or hotel. nobody should be on the street except for emergency situation. All attractions, destinations, shops, restaurants, will be close at Nyepi. Keep in mind there is one Nyepi day every year and you should check your calendar beforehand.
For woman on their period, it is forbidden to enter any temple area. This rule also apply to anyone with open wound. It’s probably repelling rule for most woman but a whole island culture is firm on this, so it is better to respect their custom. However, everybody still allowed to see Kecak or Barong dance.
Another Bali etiquette pointers about temple is you should wear decent clothing. Visitor of temples are expected to wear shirts that cover shoulder and part of the upper arms. For those wearing shorts when visiting temple, you should put on sarong for men and selendang for women. Sarong and selendang are available to be borrowed in temple entrance for free. Flip-flop are okay as long as the overall look is modest.
Balinese locals (and Indonesian in general for this matter) are far more conservative than most Westerners. We are frown upon public display of affections. So no smooching in public.
Balinese rituals are interesting to see. But you are forbidden to take picture with flash/blitz of the rituals. And never interrupt a ritual.
If you meet a procession of rituals on your way and make you stuck, do not honk your horn to avoid a ruckus, just be patient and respect the locals.
Do not walk in front of people if they are doing rituals or praying at any circumstances.
Do not touch people head. Balinese believe that the soul of a person rest at their head, making it off limits for touching, You should not even touch the head of Balinese children.
Last Bali etiquette pointer for you is about canang sari. You may find canang sari or offering in front of a store, at the street, or wherever. The first thing locals do in the morning is offering Creators a package of woven palm leaves, herbs and flower petal. Do not step on it because it is considered to be disrespectful and offensive. If you accidentally step on one, just say sorry.
Those are some Bali etiquette pointers that might help you to avoid causing offence on Balinese. It is may sound like Bali is a difficult place to get around in, but the rich tradition, history nature and heritage of Bali is worth the difficulty of following etiquette . In general, Balinese are nice and friendly. You should be nice and friendly too to bring the best out of the locals.