Bali is Australia’s favorite abroad playground however it’s additionally an island steeped in custom, sturdy customs and etiquette that could be very completely different from house.
And it’s vital we’re throughout it — the very last thing we wish to do is offend locals throughout our keep, particularly when contemplating how welcoming and tolerant Balinese individuals are.
Listed here are some cultural sensitivities and gadgets of etiquette to concentrate on on this Indonesian province, and issues to keep away from in case you don’t wish to trigger an upset.
Don’t give or obtain together with your left hand
In Bali, attempt to keep away from utilizing your left hand when giving or receiving one thing, or touching one other individual.
The left hand is used for self-cleaning, equivalent to within the lavatory (Balinese folks usually don’t use bathroom paper and clear with water as a substitute.) Due to that, in well mannered society, the extra pure proper hand is most popular for transactions.
Don’t be too frightened in case you’re left-hand dominant — Balinese folks have develop into used to the habits of western travellers, so that you’re unlikely to gravely upset folks. However you’ll be able to all the time use the phrase “Ma’af tangan kiri”, which implies “excuse my left hand”, in case you by chance use your left hand in a transaction.
Don’t enter temples in case you’re menstruating
You could have seen these confronting directions on indicators exterior Balinese temples — girls who’re menstruating aren’t allowed to enter.
It may be a troublesome factor for guests to know, however blood in a holy place is taboo in accordance with longheld Balinese beliefs, and subsequently girls who’re bleeding are requested to remain exterior.
Guests to temples ought to have their legs coated. Sarongs are often accessible on the entrance of temples so unprepared guests can cowl themselves appropriately.
And by no means climb on sacred or holy websites, as vacationers have made the error of doing up to now. That could be a sure-fire method of upsetting folks in Bali.
Don’t contact the pinnacle of a Balinese individual
It’s in all probability unlikely to occur, however simply in case — it is best to by no means contact a Balinese individual on the pinnacle. This consists of ruffling a little bit child’s hair.
In Balinese tradition, the pinnacle of the physique is sacred and touching another person’s is an indication of disrespect.
Don’t level together with your index finger
It’s a non-issue at house in Australia, however in Bali, pointing with the index finger is taken into account impolite and needs to be prevented. If it is advisable level to present instructions, it’s finest to make use of your complete hand, or the thumb of your proper hand.
Watch out when strolling round streets
You could have seen choices of flowers, palm leaves and herbs across the island. These are canang sari — each day choices made by Balinese Hindu folks as an emblem of thanks.
These choices are positioned in all types of locations — streets and footpaths, entrances to buildings, on stairs.
Stepping or kicking canang sari is taken into account deeply disrespectful so watch the place you’re strolling so that you don’t tread on these holy choices.