Land of the Gods & garbage.


Bali.

What can I say of it’s beauty.
This is truly the island of the Gods.
The land, the people and the Gods they worship are all beautiful. This island is the only Hindu island in Indonesia, and it is stunning. The people religiously put out offerings and do prayers twice a day. No matter if they are in a coffee shop, hotel, or one of the (many many) clothing boutiques. The ceremonies are unending, Every Tuesday and Friday there is a parade of bodies in white, voices lifted in song, feet moving in dance, prayers, offerings, and absolute reverence in each mini-village’s temple. Shoes are removed and piles and piles of fresh fruit, fragrant flowers and the fog of incense constantly being burnt all on and around the many altars.
One becomes acutely aware of the presence of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva.

At the same time becoming acutely aware of the irreverence, rudeness and utter lack of respect the many many tourists have to the local culture. More than once I have seen these ‘non-balinese’ walk haphazardly over freshly washed bamboo floors with their shoes on. Accidentally kick an offering that has recently been placed in front of a business, or worse, take the flowers from said offering to put in their hair.

The influx of tourists to this beautiful land comes at a price.
And the price is high.
The beaches are littered with garbage. I have yet to even get in the water.
Dreamland (a famous surf-break) was more like Nightmare-land with piles of burning garbage on the beach.

This third world country is starting to pay the price of first world luxury….
and it breaks my heart.

If we (tourists/non-natives/first-world country dwellers) would just be a little more observant, a little more respectful, a little less …. disposable (?).
Perhaps places like Bali could remain the Island of the Gods…. rather than where it is headed
… the Island of Garbage.

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