Why Indians love Bali?

Updated: Jan 19, 2020

Among the 18307 islands in Indonesia, Bali is one of the most sought after destination where people from all over the world love visiting year after year. Guess what!! Indonesia has 169 countries exempted from visa processing. That's amazing, isn't it?

During my visit to Bali, I noticed a wonderful sense of connection between me & the people I met. Was it because we shared a common language? Well, not literally but figuratively yes. We shared a common bond over the love of Bollywood music, the Hindu religion, and the delicately built temples all over Bali.

Some random Hindi songs were being played on the radio in Teja's cab. Teja was my assigned driver cum assistance for taking me out to different parts in Bali.

I asked him excitedly, "Teja, you love Bollywood music?"

He replied smiling, "Yes, I do. In fact, we all love listening to Hindi songs."

"Do you understand Hindi?"

"Very little. But it doesn't matter."

I was in awe to see a geographically distant country like India have had an influence in Bali's culture to this extent. Being the third Muslim dominant country, Bali has a deeply rooted Hindu culture which was frankly a revelation for me.

“ The vivid memory which I always cherish more is the breakfast that I enjoyed sitting in my hotel room balcony hearing the birds chirping, the sun rising up, the locals going about their business, the smell of charcoal & the lush green paddy fields. ”

My 4-day trip was mostly spent in either visiting the temples, local markets, street food, the giant waterfalls, or witnessing the Kecak fire dance. I was taken by surprise when I noticed that the Kecak dance draws out the story of Ramayana - very popular mythology in India. As the act unraveled one evening, I was awestruck with the beautiful way they depicted the Ramayana scenes. It was an unforgettable experience.

The bonding just not ends there. Everywhere in Bali, you will find statues of Lord Rama, Hanuman, and Lord Ganesha. People practicing 'canang sari' - one of the colorful daily offerings by the Balinese Hindus, and gathering at the local temples for mass prayer in traditional attire are something which is not uncommon for us in India.

I never actually felt that I left India. I just felt like entering into a different state within India.

Due to its touristy nature, Bali is also notorious for scams and cheating tourists if they do not know how to calculate in Bali currency.

"Which country are you from?", asked the coconut selling lady.

"India", I replied

"Oh! Good good! Here you go. Final price for coconut 25000 IDR", smiled the lady & handed over a giant coconut.

Do you see what happened here? She was selling it at a price of 35000 IDR to tourists. The moment I started bargaining, she verified my country & accepted my bargained amount. Why you must think? Well, the answer is really simple. In India too, such happenings are common. We are raised in an environment where we will bargain for everything because we know the price is never the closest actual price of a product. :-D

Now you know why it was a delightful surprise for me when I realized these common things. I like to think that the bond goes well beyond the music & Hinduism. My thoughts take me to a place hundreds of years back when we had trade relations between India and Bali. The prominent one is from a place called Katak, Kalinga ( current name - Cuttack city in Odisha). A particular sector of people called Sadhba would start their journey from Katak during Spring and comeback almost a year after doing trading in Java, Sumatra & Bali. They would sell off the items they brought once they reached the riverbank of the city Katak. People of Katak would celebrate the homecoming and trade marketing by organizing a huge fair. Interestingly it is still in practice and they commemorate each year the great tradition and culture exchange by organizing "Bali Yatra". Another interesting fact is the presence of a local maritime museum, where one can visit and witness the great bonding & similarities between people of Cuttack and Bali in terms of food, culture & language.

Next Read - Five attractions I wish I knew the entrance fee before visiting in Bali

For me, Bali is Goa (minus the temples & culture) that I would keep going back to again & again. The vivid memory which I always cherish more is the breakfast that I enjoyed sitting in my hotel room balcony hearing the birds chirping, the sun rising up, the locals going about their business, the smell of charcoal & the lush green paddy fields. I could just spend my entire day in this state of bliss and repeat this all over again.

Coming to think of it, I have a wishful thought. I would love to stay in Bali for a longer period. However, to compensate for my office work, I can work remotely due to the flexibility that my company offers. The internet connectivity is great, the food is awesome, you have a massage parlor every 10 feet away from you. What else do you need to move out of your home & work from Bali for a few weeks?

I would love to read your thoughts in the below comment section.

If you liked our article, please show us support by following us on Instagram @themindfultripper