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Temple Etiquette in Bali  

by on Saturday, 15 September 2007No Comment | 2,680 views

Unlike the forbidding sombre temples of the Oriental countries, the Balinese temple is a gay, open air affair with one, two, or three open courtyards surrounded by low wall, each court leading into the next through more or less elaborate stone gates, and with a number of empty sheds, pavilions, and shrines in varied styles.

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Though many temples also serve as tourist destination but their main function as place for worshipping God has to be respected and the perseverance of temple holiness is vital for Balinese.

Here are some rules that have to be observed by the visitors in visiting a temple in Bali.
1. A proper dressed is needed, if you wear a long pants or a long skirt, a sash will usually be required. If you wear shorts, a sarong will be needed. The sash must be tied around the waist.

2. Do not climb onto the temple buildings or walls.

3. Do not stand or sit higher than a priest.

4. Do not stand directly in front of the priest, or walk in front of the kneeling congregation. You must also not remain standing when people kneel to pray.

5. If people are praying, avoid getting between them and direction in which they are praying.

6. Use camera with discretion. Do not uses flash when the devotees are praying, it will be better not to use flash at all.

7. By ancient law, menstruating women are banned from the temples, due to general sanction against blood in holy area same prohibition applies to people with open wound.

8. Women who have recently given birth and her husband are banned form the temple ground since Balinese ancient scripture consider that giving birth and the presence a new family member upset the spiritual balance of the family but after 42 days they are allowed to enter.

9. Persons who recently bereaved is also banned from the temples since the lost of a family member is also considered upsetting the spiritual balance of the family only after 42 days they are allowed to enter the temple.

10. Some temple prohibits baby and toddler to enter the temple, since Balinese religious law stated that a child is a spiritually complete human when one of his or teeth falls off. A baby is considered has strong relation with God since he or she has just departed from His realm and not yet completely human as well as impure as the result of giving birth activity.

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