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Walking and Balinese  

by on Tuesday, 23 September 2008No Comment | 883 views


Nowadays, in Bali, walking has become an exclusive activity that mostly done by foreigners or peddlers. In the last few decades less and less Balinese walk to their destination. We prefer to ride our motorcycle even to cover 50-meter distance to the nearest food stall (warung). My father or grandfather told me that they used to cover 50 60 km by walking to find medicine for my grandmother or to attend a temple ceremonies, and they ended their stories with a complaint on how spoil the younger generation of Balinese nowadays with their motorcycles or cars.

Maybe the only walking activity that is survived in Bali the walking activity in relation with religious ceremony, such as walking on a religious procession, and this walking activity usually restricted for short distance, and for the distance that more than 5 km, Balinese prefer to use car or truck to transport the religious procession. The only long-distance walking activity that covers more than 10 Km, which is done by Balinese, is a Melancaran activity. Melancaran is a journey of Barong (personification of Lord Protector in form of mythical beast such as lion, tiger, boar, etc) in a certain area in order to restore the balance of negative and positive force in that area. The Melancaran Barong activity is held during a 42-day period following Galungan. The Melancaran can cover a few villages or 3 up to 5 hours of walking.


The popularity of motorcycle, the bad condition of the sidewalk, the blazing heat of the sun and other inconveniences experienced by pedestrians seem to deter Balinese to take a walk to their destination.

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