Batik in Bali

History of Batik in Bali began 1970 and pioneered by Pande Ketut Krisna, he came from Banjar Tegeha, Batu Bulan Village, Sukawati – Gianyar Bali.

Batik come from word ‘ambatik’ which means ‘a cloth with little dots’. The word of Batik also originale from Javanese word ‘tritik’ which can describe the process of making Batik it self.

Batik is well known in Java island, but Bali has it to with it’s own typical characteristics of Balinese batik.

Balinese Batik Motifs

In every process of making Batik, every region has different typical batik motifs. The combination of traditional and modern motifs mix as one. Batik Bali also applies a blend of Balinese original culture with cultures outside the island of Bali. Therefore the typical Balinese batik motifs are very distinctive and beautiful. Here are some batik motifs in Bali that you need to know.

  •  Batik Bali Buketan : Buketan comes from the French word ‘bouquet’. Yes, as its name the motif of this Batik is flower
  •  Batik Bali Ulamsari Mas : The pattern on the Ulamsari Mas Batik motif is shrimp and fish. The motif illustrates the natural wealth that exists in Bali. It can also tell the public that Bali is not only beautiful. Bali is not only a place for trips or vacations. Bali is also very rich in natural resources
  • Batik Bali Singa Barong : The Singa Barong Batik motif is an image of Balinese culture. This motif shows the uniqueness and diversity of cultures in Bali. This Singa Barong motif has indirectly preserving Balinese culture. The more people buy and use this batik, the wealth of Bali will be increasingly known by many people.
  • Batik Bali Penari Bali : Penari means ‘dancer’ in english. It describe a lots of type of dances in Bali. Batik craftsmen in Bali also want to introduce the Balinese dance through batik motifs
  • Batik Bali Merak Abyorhokokai : Merak means ‘peacock’ in English. Abyorhokokai’s Merak Batik motif is actually influenced by Japanese culture. Even so the Abyorhokokai Merak’s motives are also to interpret how the beauty of  Bali Island
  • Batik Bali Pisan : The name of the Pisan motif was taken from stone carvings in Javanese temples around the 9th century. Nowadays many people called it Batik Pisang. The name of Batik Bali Pisan/Pisang has meaning ‘come back again’. So, many Balinese give this Batik to their lover who will travel far, so they can return or come back to them. This Batik symbolizes hope, prayer, and salvation.


 Batik Workshop with Widya

Jl. Sri Wedari No.61
Br. Tegallantang, Ubud, Bali Indonesia
WA: 081238352054
email :

 Nyoman Warta Batik Class

12 Jalan Gautama, Ubud

Telephone: +62-813-3746-5854

 Deking Bali Arts Class

Jl. Raya Bedulu, Bedulu, Kec. Blahbatuh, Kabupaten Gianyar

Mobile: 081338784892


Understanding the differences between Bali’s hinduism and India’s hinduism

Bali is not like other Indonesian islands because ,ore than half of the population in Bali is Hindu.

I was wondering when i visited Tanah Lot, I met an Indian, I asked her, is Hindu Bali and Hindu India are the same? As we know that India is the country that spreaded Hinduism and Hindu became a prominent religion around 5th until the 14th century.

And she answered ‘no, i dont think so because i saw many differences’

and here we go

Start with their holidays, from here we will know that they have big differences, India has; Holi, Dipawali, Siwaratri, Saraswati Puja, Durga Puja, Chhath Puja, and guru Purnima, and Bali has; Nyepi (Saka new year), Galungan, Kuningan, Saraswati Puja, Siwaratri, and Pagerwesi. Bali and India only have two same holidays, Siwaratri and Saraswati Puja. How they decided the holidays is deferent too, India using ancient Hindu Calendar or Indian called it Indian Calendars and Bali using Saka and Wewaran Calendar.

What about the caste system? It’s almost the same, but still, they have differences.

In India there are 5 big castes they are Brahmanis (priest). Kshatriyas (warriors, rules), Vaisyas (skilled traders, merchant and minor officials), Sudras (unskilled workers), and Pariahs (some people called Harijans, Outcastes, ‘untouchables’ ‘children of God’). But there are not only 5 big castes in India there are about 3000 castes in total and over 25.000 subcastes.

But don’t be surprised, in India high caste and lower caste live separately, and even now on there is some high caste that don’t want to share their water, life food everything with the lower caste.

Bali only has 4 castes without subcastes. There are Brahmanis (priest). Kshatriyas (warriors, rules), Vaisyas (skilled traders, merchant and minor officials), and Sudras (unskilled workers).

For Bali, nowadays it easier, because the government is prohibiting to treat people according to their caste. The differences in the economy between high caste and low caste are slowly eroding, and it makes Hindu Bali more relaxed than Hindu India.

Another different that we can found in daily life is that Balinese Hindu name their children according to their caste and their order to birth.

Names according to the caste :

  • Brahmana they will use ‘Ida Bagus’ for Man ‘Ida Ayu’ for Woman
  • Ksatria : Anak Agung, Cokorda, Desak or Gusti or some people using Dewa or Dewa Ayu
  • Waisya : Ngakan, Kompyan or sang, or Si
  • Sudra : They will not use special name, they just use name according to their order to birth

Name according to the order of birth :

  • First child : Wayan, Putu or Gede
  • Second child or middle child : Made or Nengah
  • Third child : Nyoman or Komang, and
  • Fourth child : Ketut

For Example : Ida Ayu Komang Saraswati, Woman from caste Brahmana and she is the third child in her house.

The important thing is that Balinese and India have a different way of praying. For example, if you are in Bali during the new year Saka, Balinese will hold ‘Nyepi day’  no one is allow to get out from their house. But in India, it’s the opposite, they will  get out from their house, they will celebrate it.

Hindus in India practice Pancawarna (Brahmana, Ksathrya, Waisya, Sudra, and Paria), while Hindu Dharma practice Caturwarna (Brahmana, Ksathrya, Waisya, and Sudra).

Hindu Dharma is a Hinduism which is generally adopted by Balinese tribes in Indonesia. Hindu Dharma is the Hindu syncretism of Saiwa, Vaishnava, and Brahma with the local beliefs of the Balinese tribe. Hindu Dharma comes from the Saiwa Sidhanta, which originates from Madhya Pradesh, India.

Balinese Hindu Believe in : 

  1. Hindu Dharma believes in the existence of God, namely Acintya or Sang Hyang Widhi.
  2. The Hindu Dharma believes that the Trimurti is the main manifestation of Brahman, and the gods and goddesses are mediators of Brahman.
  3. Hindu Dharma believes in atman, karma phala, reincarnation, and moksa.
  4. The Hindu Dharma practices Caturwarna, namely: Brahmana (Hindu instructors and learners), Ksathrya (descendants of kings and commanders), Vaishya (middle class society), and Sudra (servant castes).

Bali’s Hindusbelieve in one and only God, that you can’t found in India. Balinese called it Acintya or Sang Hyang Widi. Besides that, India’s Hindus are polytheist, it means that Indians believe in more than one God.

A long ago, Indonesia didn’t recognized Hindu Bali as a religion. But in 1959, Balinese started a fight for Bali hinduism to be recognized as a religion. After a long journey and many attempts made by religious leaders finally, hinduism was established as one of the official religions in Indonesia because Hindu Bali has a god as the ideology that Indonesia has in Pancasila.

Although both of them are different but they still Hindu, and they believe in God. Not only one way to reach God blessing, so be a kind person and be tolerant!

Gamelan: The Traditional Music Instrument in Bali

Bali is a rich island with its culture. Now we will talk about the traditional music of Bali. Same with his neighbor, Java island Bali use Gamelan too as his traditional instrument music. Gamelan is a traditional music ensemble of Java and Bali, typically including many bronze percussion instruments. The word Gamelan comes from Javanese word that has means ‘to strike with a mallet’. Read more “Gamelan: The Traditional Music Instrument in Bali”

Saraswati Celebration : The day of knowledge and arts

Saraswati is the one of Hindu Gods represented as a beautiful woman that has knowledge like a river flow. She will give help or enlightenment to everyone who is willing to study. Saraswati is the goddess of knowledge and arts. She has 4 arms, every arm symbolizing a different concept. Her immanence and transcendence, her front arm illustrated the Goddess activity in the material realm and the back arm is the spiritual realm. The four arms also represent the four elements of the inner life which include mind, intellect, ego, and consciousness.

Saraswati is illustrated as a very beautiful woman with four arms. holding (and playing) a zither, scriptures and rosary beads. It means that Saraswati is Goddess of arts too, that reminds us to live in harmony with the others and the world.  Saraswati has 2 holy animals as her conveyance. The swan represents beauty and the ability of knowledge to filter good and bad habits. The peacock represents beauty and dance,  along with the swan it becomes a vehicle to deliver the knowledge given by God. The last thing, Sarasawati sit on a big white lotus that represents purity and knowledge, it symbolizes to remain untouched by bad or negative influences which may surround an individual. Read more “Saraswati Celebration : The day of knowledge and arts”

Bali’s Offerings

Canang Sari

Photo by Ruben Hutabarat Via Unsplash

If you traveling around Bali, you may see small palm leaf-basket box with a combination of colorful flower  (and at some point accidentally step on), that is Bali’s offerings. These offerings called Canang Sari. Canang means a palm basket of flower and sari mean the essence. In most Hindu temples, house, the street, you will see the new offering every day with a fresh flower, money coin, or a little snack inside the palm basket, and a burning incense stick is placed on the top of the offerings.

You will see Canang Sari everywhere, on the sidewalks, streets, stairwells, ledges, temple, or in front of  Balinese house. Read more “Bali’s Offerings”