AT ANGEL HOUSE WE ARE COMMITTED TO THE ENVIRONMENT AND TO OUR LOCAL COMMUNITY. HERE ARE SOME OF THE WAYS IN WHICH WE STRIVE TO IMPROVE OUR IMPACT ON BALI’S LIMITED RESOURCES.
- We use locally sourced and organic food where possible and buy cultivated traditional Bali rice (no pesticides, Neem oil only and organic fertilisers)
- We do not use MSG in any of our cooking
- Less consumption of energy by encouraging guests to switch off all fans and AC when not in their room
- Encouraging guests to go ‘toilet paper free’ by using the mandi hose/bidet hose
- By using only low watt LED lighting in all rooms and common areas and gardens
- Using LED lighting in the garden and around the swimming pool
- Using sensor lights wherever possible or solar
- We compost all our organic materials including offerings (Canang Sari)
- Waste water system for our kitchen waste converts to grey water
- We have a bio-septic system which uses Bokashi micro-organisms to break down human waste
- Social project (Tunjung women’s Project) a social enterprise and women’s project based in a poor village in Bali – Angel House Ubud purchases calico bags as ‘gifts’ for our guests to use when shopping and to reduce the amount of plastic bags in Bali 🙂
- Participates in the Eco Bali recycling program. All glass, plastic, paper and metal are recycled and this service is provided free to our neighbours.
- all staff from the village of Mas Ubud
- Angel House tours support the local community
- Electric mosquito lamps in guest and main areas have reduced mosquito numbers without using any chemicals
- Only neem oil and organic fertilisers are used in Angel House gardens
- Biodegradable cleaning products
- Active in the village community of Tarukan Mas, Ubud Bali
BEGINNERS GUIDE TO BALINESE PRAYER, OFFERINGS, TEMPLES AND RELIGIOUS CEREMONIES
A GUIDE TO WORSHIPPING FOR GUESTS
The Hindu trinity is: Brahma the creator, Wisnu the preserver and Shiva the destroyer.
1) Sit quietly, men cross-legged, women kneeling to calm yourself and breathe in harmony in preparation for prayer.
2) Wash your face and hands in the smoke of the incense.
3) Praying with empty hands to connect to your own soul.
4) Hold a flower in your fingertips to pray to the supreme One.
5) Having discarded the single flower now hold different coloured flowers in the finger tips to pray to the three God manifestations- Creator, Preserver and Destroyer. (Brahma, Wisnu and Siva)
6) Holding three or more flowers honouring the manifestations of the One God in All.
7) Next pray with empty hands, asking for peace in ourselves and others.
8) Wait quietly for the Pemangku (priest) to come around and sprinkle holy water on you. You may be ‘blessed’ with rice as well.
You will notice in Bali that everywhere you go, you will see offerings collectively called Canang Sari. They decorate scooters, are in doorways, in the middle of the road or footpath and definitely at ‘cross-roads’ where the human world and the spirit worlds meet. Canang sari are just one of the daily offerings made by Balinese Hindus to thank the Gods (Sang Hyang Widhi Wasa) in praise and prayer. They can be part of a larger offering or as simple as a small square or round palm leaf made with rice or other offerings (sometimes sweets, cakes or even a cigarette).
The phrase ‘Canang Sari’ is derived from the Balinese words sari meaning essence and canang meaning a small palm-leaf basket as the tray. Canang Sari is the symbol of thankfulness to the Hindu God, Ida Sang Hyang Widhi Wasa. They are offered every day to thank the Gods for peace given to the world.
Canang Sari are normally filled with colourful flowers. The colours of the flowers are white, red, yellow, blue or green. Those colours are not randomly chosen; they have different meaning and are placed in specific directions.
- White coloured flowers that point to the East are a symbol of Iswara. Iswara is regarded as one of the primary forms of God. He is also known as Shiva or Mahadeva.
- Red coloured flowers that point to the south as a symbol of Brahma. Brahma is often referred to as the progenitor or great grandfather of all human beings. Brahmā is traditionally depicted with four heads, four faces, and four arms. Unlike most other Hindu gods, Brahmā holds no weapons. He holds a sceptre, a book, a string of prayer beads and the Vedas (Hindu scriptures, written in early Sanskrit)
- Yellow coloured flowers point to the west as a symbol of Mahadeva. Mahadeva means “Great God”. The main iconographical attributes of Mahadeva or Shiva are the third eye on his forehead, the snake Vasuki around his neck, the crescent moon adorning, the holy river Ganga flowing from his matted hair, the Trishula (Trident) as his weapon and the Damaru (small two-headed drum) as his instrument.
- Blue or green coloured flowers point to the north as a symbol of Vishnu. Vishnu is conceived as “the Preserver” within the Trimurti; the Hindu Trinity. He is depicted as a ‘blue being’, holding a Padma (lotus flower) in the lower left hand, the Gada (mace/bludgeon) in the lower right hand, the Panchajanya shankha (conch) in the upper left hand and the discus weapon Sudarshana Chakra in the upper right hand.
Normally, Canang Sari stays for one night after it is being prayed and offered before it is being removed to be replaced with the new one. After all, Hinduism is very concerned with the relationship between humanity and the environment. Whatever comes from nature has to return back to nature.
For traditional Balinese woman, it is an obligation to know how to make Canang Sari and other Balinese offerings (“mejejaitan”) because offering the Canang Sari is one of the important daily activities other than cooking, taking care of the children or cleaning the house. Although busy women & men can buy Canang Sari from the markets.
If you see canang sari on the ground when you are walking around street, do not step over or step on it especially if the offerings are being made (walk behind, not in front of the person making the offerings or wait) OR if incense that is still burning. If you would like to learn how to make these offerings, Ibu Wayan can give you a Canang Sari making class.
GECKO AND TOKAY
The Tokay gecko and common house gecko is native to Asia and some Pacific Islands. The Tokay is a large gecko, reaching up to 35 centimetres in length, and is an endangered species throughout Asia due to poaching. The Tokay gecko has a very recognisable croak, it is fairly loud and sounds similar to their name. They also may be heard running around the roof and their sound may be mistaken for other animal sounds. Common house geckos (or cicaks) are much smaller in size, growing to a maximum of 10 cm, but are similar in every other way to their larger counterparts, the Tokay gecko. Both types of gecko are not poisonous or dangerous to humans as long as they are not touched. If the geckos are distressed, they can lose their tail as a defence mechanism, or will bite the threat. Please do not touch, catch or chase the geckos in your room. We cannot remove them as they are native to Indonesia and are found in all houses and hotels. The Balinese believe they are Good Luck and will take your ‘prayers’ direct to the Gods. Enjoy watching them chase each other around the roof.
HOW THE BALINESE NAME THEIR CHILDREN
The naming process on the island of Bali is very easy. A child born in Bali will receive a predetermined name which is dependent on their birth order.
These names include:
• the first-born: Wayan, Gede or Putu
• the second-born: Made, Kadek or Nengah
• the third-born: Nyoman or Komang
• the fourth-born: Ketut
The fifth child born to a family will restart the naming sequence; therefore, they will also be called Wayan, Gede or Putu. All names are used for both boys and girls.
Some naming processes can become complicated when other names are added. These are also names that were used during Bali’s time as a caste society, when names were used to distinguish people’s social standing. In those days, names were used to automatically determine a person’s order of birth as well as their caste position.
It is also common for people’s names to change during their lives, especially when a new child arrives into a family. This addition may be reflected in a name becoming `mother of’ or `grandfather of’.
BALINESE CUSTOMS AND DRESS
There are 3 local temples in walking distance from Angel House and you are welcome to attend, as long as you are CORRECTLY DRESSED. This includes children. There are many customs that determine how clothing should be worn in traditional Bali.
HERE IS SOME INFO YOU MAY FIND USEFUL
When you visit a temple or house ceremony anywhere in Bali, you will always see the Hindu Balinese attending dressed in uniformed-looking Balinese costume.
Traditional clothing in Bali reveals a great deal about the wearer, the most obvious being a person’s wealth and social status.
CEREMONIES ARE THE TIME FOR TRADITIONAL BALINESE DRESS.
For women there are four main items that form traditional dress or ADAT wear; a Kamen / sarong, wrapped around the body like a skirt; Kebaya (blouse); and a Selendang (a sash). The sarong is wrapped around the woman’s waist and is secured with the selendang and is worn tightly around the waist. Under the Kebaya, women also wear a corset.
Men also wear a Kamen (sarong), which is wrapped differently. Men wrap the cloth around their waist and then have a fold in the front. Over the top of this is worn the Saput (in older times, this was also used as a shawl to cover and keep the shoulders warm) They then wear a shirt with a sash tied around the waist with the knot at the front. Men also wear an Udeng, which is a type of head dress. It is very symbolic and comes in many different styles.
Balinese have become well known all over the world for their beautiful and intricate dress Uniforms have also become common. They are used today to indicate a person’s membership of a different group, for example, within a Banjar there are many different groups (a gamelan orchestra, a work group, a political group).
School children right across Indonesia wear a school uniform. All primary school children wear the same type of uniform, which is red and white like the Indonesian flag. Most uniforms are colour coded to represent different groups of people.