CONNECTING WITH THE COMMUNITY ON OUR PILOT TOURS
By Fiona Bettesworth | 9 April 2018
We’ve been riding the high of our successful pilot tours in Bali for the last week now, but I wanted to take some time to share my thoughts about a very special experience I had in Ubud on our first day of tours there.
The experience’s we offer here at Real Indonesia provide guests the opportunity to explore the Balinese community, and connect with locals. We met with local resident Sidhi Bagus Genjin and had the opportunity to tour the compound where he and his extended family live - Rumah Mojan.
The village rice-fields that surround Sidhi’s family compound are beautiful, and Sidhi taught us a great deal about how Balinese estates are built, and how the community works together to care for them.
Sidhi introduced us to his family, including his elderly Aunty, Uncle and his nephews. He strives to involve as many of his family members as possible, in an effort to help preserve their culture, build their capacity for story-telling, and find ways they can all benefit from the opportunity to connect with foreign tourists and share their history and traditions.
As I handmade offerings with his Aunty, I learned so much about Balinese Hindu culture. They make their offerings daily and give them every morning. There are many ceremonies of significance which Balinese-Hindu’s must attend, as well as the numerous other cultural things they must remember – special dates for special occasions, such as a wedding, as well as the dates on which these types of celebrations should never be held.
Even as we enjoyed our meal with the family in our compound, I continued to learn more, as they explained the four potions they served were connected to the four inner brothers to maintain harmony and happiness.
Spending time with Sidhi and his family was such a moving and personal experience for me. Although I’ve been to Bali many times before, I had never truly connected with local Balinese-Hindu community like this.
It was a truly amazing experience to connect with Sidhi over a shared vision of preserving the unique culture of the Balinese-Hindus and see first-hand the benefit Real Indonesia can provide to local communities.