One of the wonderful local customs I noticed in Bali, Indonesia, during my vacations there last month, was the profusion of daily offerings, gorgeous works of art they are, made by the Balinese for their Gods, their Demons, their houses, their rice fields, in front of their commercial stores, in front of hotels and restaurants, on the streets, practically EVERYWHERE! 🙂 It is, in fact, difficult to walk around town without not accidentally stepping on these little mounds of flowers and rice, placed innocently on the ground, while you look up guiltily and want to escape. Here’s a close up to the offering. The offering is made of a bunch of leaves stapled together holding specific flowers where each flower represents a Balinese god. The snaky looking greens are actually a type of leaf which is sliced up using a knife :
At first my cynical husband passed off this local custom as a gimmick invented by the locals to attract tourists (he’s really cynical, huh?!), but the deeper we travelled into the country observing the locals, we realised it was no gimmick. My husband was surprised by how much time a local spends each day and every day, preparing so many of these offerings unfailingly and untiringly!
These offerings are meant to give pleasure to the Gods (and Demons). They apparently provide good karma to those involved in their preparation. It was delightful sometimes to see a little bit of chocolate or fruit juice included in their offerings!
With such abundance of food lying around, there is no shortage of food for the little animals that scurry around, and other bigger animals. I have frequently seen cats sniffing around the offerings.