Category Archives: Uncategorized

I went to see a Balinese dance performance and it was on a stage – how were Balinese art-forms presented before the advent of tourism?

The way Balinese present their art-forms has changed dramatically over the last half a century or so. The western concept of a stage – let alone a theatre or a concert hall – never existed in Bali before tourism started … Continue reading

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How do Balinese make bronze gamelan instruments?

For centuries, the art of Indonesian bronze forging was enshrouded in magic and secrecy. Since the onset of mass tourism, however, this specialized processes has become more accessible and been fairly widely documented. According to recent archaeological evidence, the Balinese … Continue reading

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What are some of the Organizations that are structured under a Balinese Banjar?

Whilst travelling around Bali, you may have learn that Bali is made up of not only villages and hamlets, but also a smaller division called banjar which can be loosely translated as a village ward or community centre. This will … Continue reading

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Cultural Complacency

Many times I’ve thought to myself: What makes Bali such a popular tourist destination? Is it the surf? Is it the shopping? Is it the weather? Is it the nightlife? What is it? What makes Bali different from the rest? … Continue reading

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What is Rindik?

Last week, Mekar Bhuana co-founder, Vaughan Hatch, explained to a group of guests at a dinner reception in Ubud a bit about the history of bamboo music in Bali. Part of his explanation included a demonstration performed by one of … Continue reading

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Learn Ancient Gamelan Selonding at Mekar Bhuana

After the purchase of a beautiful iron selonding gamelan set, a duplicate of the ancient 10th century set from Besakih Temple, Mekar Bhuana Conservatory has immersed itself serious selonding study. And many students in the conservatory are keen to learn. … Continue reading

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Bali’s Believe It or Not

In Bali, everything is alive. Everything has a soul, so they say. Shrines, statues, even trees and boulders are ornamented with sacred black and white sarongs, as if they are human. Some ‘in the know’ people have suggested to me … Continue reading

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Mekar Bhuana’s World First Balinese Dance Tutorial Series – helping Balinese dance to ‘blossom around the world’

Have you ever tried learning Balinese dance? It can seem pretty tricky with all those flashy eye movements, wrist twist, back arching and finger wiggling! Indeed Balinese dance can be a little challenging the first time you try… Balinese dance … Continue reading

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What is Wayang Wong Part II

According to Prof. R.M Moerdowo’s book, Reflections on Balinese Traditional and Modern Arts, wayang wong as we know it today was once referred to as Barong Blasan or Barong Kedingkling. Between 1775 and 1825, the King of Klungkung, I Dewa … Continue reading

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‘Heavy Metal Magic’

Tucked away in the foothills of Mt Agung in the Klungkung Regency is the ancient village of the gamelan smiths – masters of magically charged metal – the archaic art of bronze smithery. The small village known as Tihingan (meaning bamboo) … Continue reading

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