Photographer's Note

The sculptures from the garden I showed yesterday. In the middle, of course, my favourite God Of happiness, Ganesha. On both sides the demons. Such a checkered skirt is a typical feature.

Bali is a special spot in the Indonesia's religious life: while 88% of the population of the country are Muslim, 90% of Balinese are followers of "Agama Hindu Dharma" (local Hinduism tradition).

Islanders think that gods live in the mountains. On the highest peak of the island, Agung volcano, there's a deity that rules kings and kingdoms. It is also thought that at the summit of Agung there's a Shiva's "residence". On the Mount Batur lives Devi Danu, a goddess of the lake that is placed near Batur and is the main resource of sweet water on the island. Sweet water cult is also important for Balinese people, as water gives life and purifies everything.

Bali Hinduism drastically differs from the Indian one. It is officially monotheistic. Above Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva a Balinese god called Ida Sanghyang Widhi Wasa is placed. This top deity is usually displayed as a man with flames going out of him. Moreover, Balinese worship not only Hindu gods but also local gods and spirits of nature.

The islanders treat gods really tremulously. They spend about 1/3 of their monthly income on the religious ceremonies. The island is famous not only for its rich religious traditions and beautiful rites, but also for its big amount of shrines. There are thousands of them on Bali. That is if you don't count the home shrines that are in every garden.

Better see in the large format

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Additional Photos by Malgorzata Kopczynska (emka) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 13020 W: 139 N: 33696] (153728)
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