1. Body language: it is rude to point with the index finger. Use, instead, your thumb and always your right hand (left is seen as impure). The head is seen as sacred, so avoid patting children’s heads, and refrain from displaying the bottoms of your feet (also seen as impure). Talking with your hands on your hips is a sign of contempt, anger or aggression.
2. Hospitality: handshaking is customary for greetings (again, use only the right hand). A common method when greeting in passing is to press your palm to your friend’s palm in front of your chests, fingers point upwards.
3. Visitors: are always welcomed with refreshments, but refrain from eating or drinking until host says ‘silakan’ (please begin). When eating with hands, first wash hands, then use right hand only. Sandals and shoes may be left outside the entrance the home.
4. What to Wear: When visiting rural villages, skimpy attire is not considered appropriate. Cover your shoulders, do not wear short shorts, cover your knees.
5. Bargaining: in a Balinese market, haggling over price is not considered impolite, but be pleasant. Bali is not one of those places where making an agitated display of negotiations is considered part of the process. Smile, and insist on the price you want to pay, and if they refuse your price, smile, say ‘thank you’ (terima kasi) and walk away.
6. Shoes: You will always remove your shoes before entering any store or restaurant. This is customary for all.
For BOTH men and women, when entering a temple, you MUST wear a sarong around the waist and sometimes a sash is also required.
WOMEN ONLY – you must cover your shoulders and your knees.
Please ask permission before taking pictures.
Please avoid pointing the soles of the feet towards the shrines if sitting on the ground.
And when in doubt just in case you find yourself not knowing the etiquette learn how to say ‘ma’af sekali’ (very sorry).
Women on their cycle are not allowed in the temple, nor are women who have recently given birth
Basically, the Balinese only have four first names:
First child: Wayan or Putu
Second child: Made or Kadek
Third child: Nyoman or Koman
Fourth child: Ketut
Fifth child: Start over with Wayan or Putu, and so on….
So don’t get confused if you feel like everyone you meet has the same name!