Remember the old psych quiz where you’re asked a question and supposed to say the first word that comes to mind? If the question was How would you describe Bali?, we would blurt “Exotic!”
And for us, the primary reason it looks and feels so exotic is the fantastic splashes of radiant color that pervade the place. The Balinese live their faith every day, and in Hinduism, color plays an important role, and each color has a specific symbolic meaning.
The Balinese believe in a myriad of gods, goddesses, and spirits – some to be thanked and some to be appeased. So they’re big believers in daily offerings, most of which involve flowers. But these aren’t just your standard bouquet; they’re delightful flower art created by master artisans. Shops and hotels along the Monkey Forest Road in Ubud have these wonderful flower mandalas in bird baths and fountains near their entryways.
The word “mandala” has a complex religious meaning in a number of faiths, but for Hindus, it means “circle” and represents the Universe. It’s also a spiritual and ritual symbol which stands for protection, good luck, and the notion that life is never ending.
How better to convey these ideas than in vivid, meticulously detailed flower art? Nowhere that we’ve seen does it like Bali.
James & Terri