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The Jatiluwih Rice Fields: a UNESCO Cultural Landscape, from Bali for the World

Set in the heart of the Tabanan Regency in Bali, the Jatiluwih rice fields have been named a UNESCO Cultural Landscape, part of Bali’s Subak System. The vast expanses of terraced, green rice paddies are stepped along an entire mountain, from its peak to where its foot meets the sea. The fields that make up this area have adopted the traditional Subak irrigation system – a method that h

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The Borobudur Festival

The majestic temple of Borobudur in Central Java has twice been the site of a celebration to showcase the wonders of this ancient site, one of Indonesia’s premier tourist attractions.

The Borobudur International Festival is a place where trade, tourism and culture overlap. Taking place in 2003 and then again in 2009, the festival saw people flock to the celebrations, showing the vital role t

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The Temples of Mengwi and Uluwatu

Travelling west from Bali’s capital Denpasar, you will find the town of Mengwi, which is home to one of the grandest temples of the island, the Taman Ayun. Built around 1740, Pura Taman Ayun is a water garden temple, symbolizing the cosmic union of sea and mountain.  Reflecting the order of the cosmos, the temple consists of three successive parts, they are: nista (the impure and demoni

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Toraja's Social Life and Ritual Cycle

According to myth, the original ancestor of the Toraja came down from heaven by way of a star-lit stairway to live in this beautiful part of earth.  This myth, told from generation to generation continues until today where the people of Toraja believe that the star- lit stairway down from heaven is a  media for people on earth to communicate with Puang Matua (The Only One True God).

The n

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Bali’s Most Magnificent Cremation Ceremonies

Bali’s cremation ceremonies must be some of the most magnificent in the world.

 For, to the Balinese, it is only through the cremation of the body that the soul can be released from this temporary vessel to reach the afterlife. And, in order to do so, the correct rites and rituals must be followed, especially when it concerns those of royal lineage.  For, at death, the body must b

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BAU NYALE: Lombok's Annual Sea Worms Festival

Annually, on the 20th day of the 10th month on the traditional Sasak Calendar, which falls around February each year, the Sasak people celebrate the traditional ceremony of Bau Nyale.  Bau in the Lombok language means “to-catch” and Nyale is a type of sea worm that surfaces only around this time of the year. Therefore, Bau Nyale is the festi

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Randai, the distinct Minangkabau Performing Art combining Literature, Music and Pencak Silat

The Randai of the Minangkabau in the highlands of West Sumatra merges story telling with drama, traditional Minangkabau dance, song, music, rhymes, and self defense pencak silat actions. Most intriguing of Randai is that it is always done in a circle, which, according to local wisdom is the symbol of unity, the unbroken link of Minangkabau society with all its traditions and based on Islamic learn

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