Bali’s Ceremonial Pollution

Written by on July 2, 2012 in Bali Environment with 0 Comments

Bali’s Ceremonial Pollution


These photos speak for themselves…Bali’s beautiful beaches can go from breathtakingly gorgeous to grossly polluted…from one ceremony performed on our local Echo Beach in Canguu. And this will have occurred on every beach in Bali since it was a part of one of their biggest holidays; Nyepi or Balinese New Year. Most of what you see in these photos is plastic bags used to carry their bamboo, flower and rice offerings, called “canang sari”. The plant based offerings will break down in the waves but the plastic bags will not. The “canang sari” are ubiquitous here in Bali, placed as offerings to the Gods 2-3 times a day, on every door step, sidewalk, rice paddy and temple. Making up these bamboo dishes is part of the daily work for every Balinese wife. She deftly creates them with a knife and stapler as part of her many domestic ceremonial duties. I’ve never seen a more hard working woman than the Balinese wife. She spends about 30% of her day preparing, performing or cleaning up after ceremony. In the morning she smiles as she goes about her day, but by evening she’s done, she’s exhausted from taking care Harreson Prays for BaliHarreson Prays for Bali Harreson Prays for BaliOur hearts go out to the Balinese, who don’t seem to realize the environmental impact of so much garbage left behind from ceremony. of the family, often working a $2.00 a day job AND having to do most of the work for their endless ceremonies. When girls leave Indonesian Islands to go to work in Bali, their mothers warn them; “Don’t marry Balinese man, too much work doing ceremony”. And the younger Balinese women are holding off getting married as they know what they’re in for. They just aren’t ready for the exhausting lifestyle of the Balinese wife. This sadly polluted beach is the impact of her hard work, orchestrated by the all powerful Balinese Priest. The Priest has immense power in Bali. No ceremony is conducted without his guidance. He’s well educated and trained in the many Balinese religious rituals performed here. I suggest that this sad ritual impact could easily be reversed and ended with a simple command from the Priest to take your plastic garbage home with you. Simply plant the seed to raise the awareness of this environmental disaster with every Balinese citizen. “Love Bali by caring for her, take your garbage home.” This is one small aspect of the water pollution occurring here in Bali, I’ll be writing more about what’s really happening in their Sunset on Echo BeachSunset on Echo Beach Sunset on Echo BeachThe same beach a few days after the waves have washed away the garbage into the already overloaded ocean. Pray for Bali. oceans. Surfers beware! Bagus in Bali, Stephanie and Harreson



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