We’ve just had an activity packed wonderful day… I’ll let our bloggers tell you all about it, but what we got to do and see today was a truly special experience.
- Little Planet
Chanting / Acapella & Traditional Instruments
Today we were treated to a type of traditional chanting. According to Mr. Made Sidia (the owner), this form of chanting was created when an entire Village was suffering from skin cancer.
At first, the effect was a little off. The circle of singers had only one or two people uttering strange, guttural sounds. Yet, slowly everyone began singing, and the mélange of voices was quite brilliant.
Later, we got to try for ourselves this chanting. Unlike how we were lead to believe, it was rather difficult, yet fun as well.
However, I had the most fun with the traditional instrument orchestra. It was a full ensemble – gongs, drums. My first instrument was some kind of xylophone but with metal pots. The rhythm was hard to start with, but soon I was able to lose myself in it.
The second instrument I played was the gong. Never before have I heard such an out worldly sound; one so surreal. I believe, that just for a few seconds at least, I came a bit closer to Nirvana through it.
Sangar Pari Poornar
As well as learn to sing in the Traditional Balinese style, we all got a chance to conduct our very own orchestra of traditional Balinese musical instruments. There were gongs, and xylophone like contraptions, and many other unique instruments which we attempted to play in harmony and recreate two of the local songs in Bali. It was rather fascinating to see… or hear, how such simple instruments can come together to sound like a beautiful symphony, particularly if they are played with a fluid and accurate rhythm.
Our second days concluding activity was the puppeteering, also known as wayang kulit, in Indonesian.
We were all able to experience the skilled puppeteers at work. They flawlessly depicted the classic tale from the Ramayna, where Lord Ram was robbed of his beloved Sita, by the all powerful Ravan, King of Lanka. After the presentation we were made to construct our very own puppets, and come up with our own unique endings to this story. Of course, we were no where close to matching the skills of the professional puppet masters called “Dalang”, but we were still able to bring a hearty laugh to everybody present in the audience. Through his eye-opening activity we were able to actively understand and see how much Bali is different from other of Indonesia, with it’s breathtakingly wide influence of Hinduism.
With Day Two down, we are all exhilarated to take on whatever challenges lie beyond us in the course of the next few days. Until tomorrow, Terimah Kasih, and goodnight!
Batik Painting – Sangar Pari Poornar
Our second day began with a nice insight on the local culture. We were allowed to express ourselves in the form of Batik painting. Nyoman Deking, a famous Balinese painter, lead us on our first quest of the day. We had the honour of learning about the process and the significance of this integral part of Balinese culture. Although it is now printed and used on many sarongs, a form of traditional clothing, Batik painting in it’s original form was taught to us, as we first designed our paintings with pencil. Next, we outlined our drawings with hard beeswax. Softer wax was then provided to us for covering areas we did not want coloured. The locals then applied the blue, red and violet dyes. The activity truly opened our eyes to what is within us, as we drew the unexpected and attempted to not get wax everywhere.
The Students of the Sangar Pari Poormar were kind enough to give us a traditional Balinese dance. It was truly amazing. We were witness to yet another strange art form, however there was something also strikingly familiar in what we were shown. It reminded many of certain Indian dances including Bharatanatyam. Unlike many modern dances we have gotten so used to, full of flowing motions, this focused more on precision and the expressions conveyed. We definitely felt the rhythm of their dance, as they penetrated our very soul. They forced us to believe in what they wanted us to believe in, and we were mesmerized, unable to look away. What was even more amazing was the fact that many of the students were merely five year-olds, yet they were organized, almost to perfection. The dance also made us believe in ourselves, as the same kids who made us feel such emotions, also seemed to be just like us, as they chatted and played and even dabbed.