Balinese Etiquette and Respect

Dear Fellow Travelers and Kindred Spirits,

We often hear talk about eco-sustainability but we want to propose that before you think about the earth you first consider human sustainability, the people part of the earth. We define an eco-conscious commitment to green travel as promoting the culture of the areas to which we travel and never leaving having made things worse.

Indonesia has easy to follow etiquette to help us all avoid being disrespectful travelers. We are going into their home and as such should respect their culture and customs. Together we can be model peaceful travelers! Thank you for your consideration and politeness.

With lovingkindness,
Alchemy Tours

Daily Etiquette
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: always welcome 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.
orangedoormonkeys4. What to Wear: When visiting rural villages, skimpy attire is not considered appropriate.
5. Public affection: touching between members of the same sex is seen as friendship affection, but affection between members of the opposite sex is seldom seen in public.
6. 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.

Temple Etiquette
1. For both men and women, when entering a temple, wear a sarong around the waist.
2. Please ask permission before taking pictures.
3. Please avoid pointing the soles of the feet towards the shrines if sitting on the ground.
4. And when in doubt just in case you find yourself not knowing the etiquette learn how to say ‘ma’af sekali’ (very sorry).
5. Women on their cycle are not allowed in the temple, nor are women who have recently given birth

Names
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!

Balinese Social Structure
Balinese follow the caste system, and there are four castes in Balinese society. Intermarriage between castes is prohibited. Balinese live in villages, and the family is the basic unit of the Balinese society. A society of families who live in a neighborhood village is called a ‘banjar.’

Castes
BRAHMANA – priests, scholars
KSATRYA – warriors, nobility
WEISYA – merchants
SUDRA – farmers, laborers (primary population)
girlnamaste

Bali Yoga Retreat Testimonials

Our time at Soulshine was reinvigorating, almost transformative. I can’t imagine a more beautiful place – it’s like a slice if Eden. Everywhere you turn there was a new scene of lush beauty. And the staff was so great, you can’t help being happy just being there. The trip into Ubud is quick and cheap but going back to Soulshine was like going back to an oasis, removed from the entertaining bustle of Ubud. Walking down the long path from the road along the gurgling stream, passing by local fishermen, a local batik artist’s workshop and small tiered rice field and finally passing through the two yellow flags marking the beginning of Soulshine was like coming home to a place I didn’t know I was missing. Go. You won’t regret it.
Dr Lon, Chicago, January 2013

Soulshine grounds are stunning, set in the rice paddy fields with the most friendly staff I have encountered. No reason to go to any other restaurants in Ubud, the restaurant they have on site has divine dishes that will satisfy anyone (also caters to those with special dietary needs!)

balifunstufftodoThe yoga studio is set on the top floor of the main building and is like nothing you’ve ever experienced before. The views are stunning from there and you can feel a light breeze passing through … you feel you’re in heaven. They also have high quality yoga equipment on site for use!
Nicole, LA, Stayed October 2012, traveled solo

My first introduction to Indonesia could not have been more sublime. As a yoga retreat center, we were surrounded by the most beautiful nature could offer. The staff of soulshine is warm and gracious.We were treated to breakfast with our yoga package of gorgeous fruits and other yummy delectables every morning. As much as I ate, you would think I should have gained more weight…but instead became leaner by the end of the retreat, partly due to the yoga and I’m convinced due to the freshness and preparation of the meals.
Genie, San Francisco, November 2012, traveled solo

“Imagine a place so beautiful and mystical. A place where lush vegetation and fields of rice patties fill the mountainous landscape. A place where everyone walking around is smiling from ear to ear. Food so incredibly fresh and delicious that you can’t wait until the next meal. That was my Bali and staying at Soulshine was even more of a slice of heaven. I couldn’t have imagined a more serene environment. Everywhere I turned there was a new scene of lush beauty, whether looking out of my cozy bedroom, the open air yoga room or lounging by the infinity pool, I was constantly seeing and breathing in the tropical environment. Wayan, Agung and the staff were so friendly and accommodating, from the first ginger mint smoothie to dinner with Agung and his family, I felt as if we were all lifelong friends and I was staying at their home. Bali was the most invigorating and transforming trip I had ever been on…it’s no wonder I lost track of time and worries, or as they say in Bali, “Kin Kin.” I already can’t wait until I go back.”
Lexi, Seattle, Stayed October 201, traveled solo
MonkeysAT

Bali: Where everyone walks around smiling ear to ear

Hearing from our clients, in their own words, about the incredible experiences they have traveling around the world are always inspiring to us. Here below Lexi shares her personal insights on traveling to Soulshine Bali.

We will be there next September 22-29, 2013 and October 6-13, 2013. Read on to hear what Lexi gained from her trip and keep manifesting your next adventure!

“Imagine a place so beautiful and mystical. A place where lush vegetation and fields of rice patties fill the mountainous landscape. A place where everyone walking around is smiling from ear to ear. Food so incredibly fresh and delicious that you can’t wait until the next meal. That was my Bali and staying at Soulshine was even more of a slice of heaven. I couldn’t have imagined a more serene environment. Everywhere I turned there was a new scene of lush beauty, whether looking out of my cozy bedroom, the open air yoga room or lounging by the infinity pool, I was constantly seeing and breathing in the tropical environment. Wayan, Agung and the staff were so friendly and accommodating, from the first ginger mint smoothie to dinner with Agung and his family, I felt as if we were all lifelong friends and I was staying at their home. Bali was the most invigorating and transforming trip I had ever been on…it’s no wonder I lost track of time and worries, or as they say in Bali, “Kin Kin.” I already can’t wait until I go back.”

Bali Favorite Quote

For today’s inspiration, as everyday we get more excited to bring you to one of the most beautiful places on earth, Bali, are is our favorite quote.

“Don’t talk about heaven if you’ve never been to Bali.”
― Toba Beta, Master of Stupidity

Casey Petersen's Guide Eye on Xinalani

Xinalani Personal Insights
By Casey Peterson

The sea is my favorite place on earth and at Xinalani it is all around you. You can hear the waves crashing lightly while you sleep and the smell of salt water is in the air. Swimming is accessible right outside your front door and boat rides are taken to get to and from the island.

I am not a person that needs luxury while on vacation, or has to be spoiled in-order to enjoy myself. I enjoy a rugged adventure like back-packing or camping. After experiencing Xinalani I realize you can have both! I loved the way Xinalani allows for pampering while also sets you up to experience nature and Mexican culture. I felt like I was far away from home and the worries of life without having to be consumed with where I would find my next meal or where to go.

Another great part about this trip is the chance you get to be in Puerto Vallerta for a bit if you choose. The experience of being in the hustle and bustle of this resort town is such a welcomed contrast to the rest of the experience and i really loved how that dynamic was present.

Mostly Xinalani and the yoga retreat was a needed change in the middle of winter. Being away from life on a vacation where you also get to grow and learn about yourself through yoga is the best kind of time-out I can imagine. Going back to Xinalani has been something I have been looking forward to since the day we left.

Try Life: Live It

Jacob Young’s life motto is pretty simple.
Try life: Live it.

He takes to heart the words of Felix Baumgartner “don’t live life as a spectator. always examine life: espouse new ideas, long for new things, constantly discovering new interests, escaping from boring routines. engage life with enthusiasm; grasping life aggressively and squeezing from it every drop of excitement, satisfaction, and joy. the key to unleashing life’s potential is attitude. the person who approaches life with a child-like wonder is best prepared to defy limitations of time, is more “alive”, more of a participant in life than the person who remains a spectator.”

Today get involved, jump in, don’t wait. And certainly stop living YOUR one life as a spectator.

Try life: Live it!

Join him on retreat:
January 5-11, 2013 Costa Rica The Sanctuary at Two Rivers Yoga, Surfing and Happiness
March 30-April 6, 2013 Puerto Vallarta, Mexico – Xinalani Transform Your Life Yoga Retreat with Silvia Mordini & Casey Peterson & Jacob Young
April 25 – 28, 2013 Harmony Hill Yoga Retreat
June 22-29, 2013 Tuscany, Italy Yoga & Wine, Cycling Retreat
July 1- July 7, 2013 Amalfi Coast, Italy Yoga & Beach Holiday
August 2013 RYT200 Yoga Teacher Training at Haramara, Mexico
September 22-29, 2013 Bali Soulshine “Art of Adventure” Retreat
October TBA
November 30-Dec 7, 2013 Prana Del Mar Yoga, Eco-Chic Beach & Mountains Gratitude and Manifestation Retreat