The culture of Bali is unique. People say that the Balinese
people have reached self-content. It is not an exaggeration
that when a Balinese is asked what heaven is like, he would
say, just like Bali, without the worries of mundane life.
They want to live in Bali, to be cremated in Bali when they
die, and to reincarnate in Bali.
It does not mean that the Balinese resist changes. Instead,
they adapt it to their own system. This goes back far in
history. Prior to the arrival of Hinduism
in Bali and in other parts of Indonesia, people practice
animism. When Hinduism arrives, the practice of Hinduism
is adapted to local practices. The brand of Hinduism practiced
in Bali is much different from that in India. Other aspects
of life flow this way.
paintings, faithfully depicting religious and mythological
symbolisms, met with Western and modern paintings, giving
birth to contemporary paintings, free in its creative topics
yet strongly and distinctively Balinese. Its
music, and its
wayang theaters , while have been continually enriched
by contemporary and external artistry, are still laden with
religious connotations, performed mostly to appease and
to please the gods and the goddesses. Wood
and stone carvings, gold
and silver crafts parallel the development of paintings,
gracefully evolving with external forces to enhance their
batik of Bali owes its origin to Java, and inspired
the development of ikat
and double ikat.
Bali is a cultural dialectic.