I shall make my last Bali reference for a while. We are home and it is nice to be here. There are many stand-out things about Bali, but my last comment for now is to notice the importance people place on being part of something. The temple next to where we were staying was the focus of weeks of preparation. It is noticeable that people dress pretty much the same, and engage in similar activities. Bali is not without hierarchy, and there are many nuances I must surely miss, yet the joining-in, the part-of-something, the interconnection between people, place, ceremony and occasion is observable and almost palpable.
People work hard, and they work together. One more example of the importance of belonging to something, being part of something, and connected to something. I am told that if some great crime is committed within a temple the punishment is banishment. Not beatings or incarceration, but the removal of connection with people and place. And again it’s only an impression, and possibly superficial, but I saw very little graffiti, very little of ‘adolescent acting out’, very little hostility or aggression. And yes surely there are problems, but it is rare, especially outside the major tourist area, to even hear a raised voice.
And while I do suspect that the goat’s sense of belonging may well have been short-lived, I still regard Bali as a place of considerable peace, beauty, and purpose.