The Art of Bakti Negara
(Duration: 5'06) Bakti Negara is a style of Pencak Silat (Indonesian martial art) developed on the island of Bali. It is firmly rooted in ancient Balinese Hinduism, and philosophies. Bakti Negara means "national devotion.” The Sanskrit word Bakti, translates to devotion, and Negara, to country. It is the most widely practiced martial art in Bali, and the most well-known style of Balinese martial art. In fact, Bakti Negara is so widely practiced, it is commonly referred to as Pencak Bali or Kuntao Bali (Martial Art of Bali).
Bakti Negara has moves similar to various Balinese dances and performing arts such as the famous Barong dance. Although the martial art is very much focused around self-defense, those who practice Bakti Negara also participate in modern fighting competitions.
Portrait of a Kris Blacksmith
(Duration: 7'44) The Kris is an asymmetrical dagger with distinctive blade-patterning achieved through alternating laminations of iron and nickelous iron (pamor). Kris is most strongly associated with the culture of Indonesia. The kris is famous for its distinctive wavy blade, although many have straight blades as well..
Skull Bliss: Portrait of a Balinese Skull Carver
(Duration: 4'47) Skull Carving is an ancient, unique Balinese tradition, that is carried out in order to honour the dead. This practice is passed down, and families spend years mastering the skill, using only skulls of cows that have lived a good life, and died a fair death. Skull carvers draw on the skull by hand, creating unique, and intricate designs.
Follow Wayan, a skull carver as he takes you around the island of Bali, showing you what inspires him. He shows you his countrymen and women that inspire him through their stories. Follow him, as he explains how the people he sees empower each other through their communities and traditions.
Nguyah: a Balinese Salt Farmer
(Duration: 8'54) Follow the story of Nyoman Warta and his wife, as they show the care they put into the traditional Balinese salt making process.
The practice of Balinese salt farming is becoming less and less common, and therefore is slowly disappearing. It is an honest practice, that takes heart and care, and those who do it put hours into extracting salt from the ocean. From creating tools from scratch, to selling the salt, the process takes days, and requires extremely hard work.
Pandan War: The Balinese Fight Club
(Duration: 4'22) This is a short documentary we shot about a unique balinese tradition where villagers fight with cactus like plants.
Perang Pandan at Tenganan village, East Bali, is an age-old tradition unique only to this well-preserved old Balinese village in the Karangasem regency.
Also referred to locally as mekare-kare and megeret pandan, Perang Pandan is a mass coming-of-age ritual, dedicated to the Hindu god of war and the sky, Indra.
It sees friendly duels between all male villagers, who bout each other armed with a small rattan shield in one hand and a tied packet of thorny 'pandan' leaves in the other.
The event is held annually, adhering to its own local calendar.
Bali: What is Galungan?
(Duration: 4'32) Galungan is a Balinese holiday that celebrates the victory of Dharma (the righteous path) over Adharma (everything unholy, immoral, etc.). Galungan marks the time when ancestral spirits visit the Earth, and Kuningan (the last day of celebration) marks the day when the spirits leave. The dates for these two days are determined in accordance to the 210-day Balinese calendar. Galungan can be compared to Diwali, a holiday that celebrates the victory of Dharma over Adharma, by Hindus in other parts of the world.
Galungan marks the beginning of one of the most important religious ceremonies in Bali: the day the spirits of the deceased return to visit their former homes. The family of the deceased spirits have the responsibility to be hospitable through prayers and offerings.The most obvious sign of the celebrations are the Penjors (bamboo poles with offerings suspended at the end) that are placed in front of the homes, by the road.