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Bali Information: Balinese Culture

Balinese Village Organisation




The community revolves around family and religion. A man raises the family that worship common ancestors in the family shrine of each household. Within the family compound, the younger are indirectly educated to carry out any household chores and religious activities. The compound is walled around with brick or just simple fence with screened door-entrance to guard against dangerous influences. Outside the compound lies a fruit garden with a corner reserved for cattle stay.


Various families compose cooperative groups of neighbors bound called "Banjar" to assist one another in any field of work. At the village house "Bali Banjar", they have kitchen, meeting pavilion, bell tower and communal temple. They usually own Gambelan orchestra and dance properties to train young generation to keep cultural value. Several "Banjar" are made up into a "Desa", at the central of which are public facilities such as village market, meeting hall drum tower, schools, public health center are available.

The Desa own at least three main temple : Puseh (central temple), Desa (village temple) and Dalem ( cemetery temple) symbolizing the existence or Trinity to create, preserve and destroy the world and all its create, preserve and destroy the world and all its creatures.

Banjar and Desa are the basic Governmental units with the spirit communal and democracy. All decision concerning social welfare and the future of its people are made up 100% agreement. The Klian is escorted by secretary and treasure for ay report to the members of the village. Banjar usually has more plan and activity rather than desa, especially in relation to religious and traditional life. Village rule (awig - awig) is the backbone and character of the village to solve any cases.


Other Balinese association is agriculturist organization called "Subak'. Like other organization, the spirit of the subak communal. It controls the distribution or irrigation water to its members, in turn, they give out of a small bundle of their paddy for water-dam repair and temple restoration. The organization is also headed by klian called Klian Subak, who with his secretary and treasure lead and report any program and property they have reached. A Subak temple is usually laid out at the middle of the subak territory to honor the god of rice "Dewi Sri" When the harvest failure occur, the Klian Subak with his followers will make atrip to Ulundanu temple to get holy water. A few drops of water are symbolically given to each rice-field before planting to chase bad influence and away.

Most People still work in agricultural sector in broad sense, includes wet and dry rice fields, cattle and poultry farming and fisheries, farm-work is delicate and the farmers, three-fore organize themselves in a small group in which they work communaly from the planting time through harvesting, a small wooden bell is needed to signaling their works should be immediately started. Once every six months, they distribute their properties for any holiday's necessities.


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