Living in Harmony in Bali

Various Religions Live Side by Side

A Small Island with lots of difference is known as Bali. For the past many years, Bali has been known for its tourism and holiday dream destination. Only a few visitors discover the unique of Bali apart from its fame. It does have lots of attraction to unfold and secret to live harmoniously not only with the God, environment or people, but also with other religion members. People have been living a harmonious life side by side. Respect grows gradually to other religion followers and peacefulness has created from it. The condition has made the Balinese living a happy life with others. There are five religions exist in Bali which are Christian and Catholic, Buddha, Islam and Hindu. The local has successfully maintained good relationships with others. The peace is never broken apart. There are several areas that are dwelled by communities from other religions which live side by side with the natives.

The Bhineka Tunggal Ika or The Unity in Diversity is strongly felt on this Island. The people from different communities respect each other in many ways, both in holy day celebration or any events conducted by other religions. There are several villages in Bali which become the centre of non-Hindu communities. These places have been existed in Bali for years. They live the life like locals and have been like family members to others.

The Christians community has been all around Bali area. However, the biggest community inhabited the Jembrana area, which is in Bimbing and Parasari.  The community has been living there since 19th century. The local Christians build their homes with the Balinese architectures. The Church is also built like the Hindu’s temple with the typical Balinese architectural carving. Normally, Balinese carving on the temple’s wall would be based on the Ramayana and Mahabharata story.  The Christian Church’s wall is carved with the story from the bible. The indigenous Christian has adjusted themselves. They dress up in Balinese traditional costume for the church or other special events and they would do the same for the upcoming Christmas. The Christmas celebration would not show big difference to Balinese Holly days. Christian fellowships would raise up Penjors in front of their houses and the church.

On the other hand, some area which are dwelled by the Moslem communities are Kampung Jawa (Javanese Village) in Denpasar, Kampung Bugis (Bugees Village) Singaraja in Northern part of Bali, Pegayaman Village in Buleleng, Nothern part of Bali. The moslem communities came to Bali in the 14th Century from Madura, Java, Bugis, and Lombok due to easy access to Bali and the nearest neighboring islands. The Moslem holy day celebration is like the other islands in Indonesia. During the Ramadhan, the Moslem community’s house would be visited by the Hindu community and on the other way around. They give parcels or food each other during their religion’s celebration.

The Buddhist community or commonly called Shiva-Buddha has been on the island since 7th to 8th Century. The assimilation between the Hinduism and Buddhism is obviously seen in the religion practiced. The only Buddhist area in Karangasem, (Eastern Part of Bali) is Budakeling, although a few numbers of Buddhists are scattered all over the island.

The saying of Bhineka Tunggal Ika (Unity in Diversity) is implemented well in the Balinese community with the various kinds of religions. The difference make all beautiful and happiness is created though the tolerance among others, between all religion’s followers. This is the secret of living happily and harmoniously. The way to be adapted by the world and inspiring them.