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Guide Stories: Balinese Tour Guide Hari

Balinese guide Hari talks to Jacada about the island’s rich culture and traditions.

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Balinese guide Hari’s story of introducing visitors from around the world to his homeland.

“The most special thing about Bali is the culture, which is not comparable to the other islands in the Indonesian Archipelago, perhaps because of its religion. Bali is predominantly Hindu, with this culture and tradition still conserved today. The thing I like best though is the cordiality of the people here who are warm and welcoming. With tourism Bali has changed a lot, making a significant contribution to the growth of Indonesia and giving the people here a better chance of finding a job.”

“I love to talk to people from other countries. I’m interested in finding out about other people’s culture.”

“When I was at elementary school, I became interested in being a tour guide after seeing my cousin bring a group of foreign tourists to visit our native village. He spoke to the group so fluently in English and I wanted to be able to talk to them too. I love to talk to people from other countries; that’s why I’ve tried to learn a few different foreign languages. I’m interested in finding out about other people’s culture.”

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“On the first of my Bali tours, I needed to speak Italian but my knowledge of the language was poor and they wanted to discover almost all of the island. At the time I was so nervous, but I was very appreciative that they kept encouraging me. Being a guide is a wonderful thing, as I can share my knowledge of Bali, and I find it most rewarding when I give the most satisfaction.”

“The two kinds of food here are good food and very good food.”

“I take tourists to almost all regions of the island but my favourite part is Ubud. It has something special about it, in my taste; perhaps because of its spiritual background. As Bali is so rich in culture and tradition, I recommend people to visit the Hindu temples Gunung Kawi, Besakih, Tanah Lot and Bedugul. In Ubud, the monkey forest is beautiful, but the rice terraces in Bali make the best scenery. They look like giant steps and are just so amazing.”

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“I love Balinese food as well. The two kinds of food here are good food and very good food. We use more vegetables than meat. Visitors can experience Balinese food by joining cooking lessons in places like Ubud, Nusa Dua and Kuta.”

“The culture we have in Bali has developed with time as we’ve been influenced by other cultures and traditions, but we still preserve the essential elements that are the soul of Bali.”

“Balinese people are open minded and accept ideas that other people have, but they also filter which ideas can be adopted by them. The culture we have in Bali has developed with time as we’ve been influenced by other cultures and traditions, but we still preserve the essential elements that are the soul of Bali.”

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Image by Stefan Magdalinski.

“Three important elements of Bali are food, culture and tradition, while Balinese dance is iconic of the island. In high Balinese language, the dance is called solah, which means behaviour, and is usually accompanied by music called gamelan, which means to hold and to keep. That’s why, when the Balinese perform the dance, almost all parts of their body represent good behaviour.”

“Three important elements of Bali are food, culture and tradition, while Balinese dance is iconic of the island.”

“You can experience our culture all year around, but we have the annual Bali Art Festival from mid-June to mid-July in Denpasar, and in April – during the full moon – people can go to a 15-day festival in Besakih temple, which is visited by all Balinese Hindu. Once people step on to the Bali’s land they feel like they have arrived home, welcomed by friendly smiling people.”

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