Bali for Beginners, Part Two

Spend Your Days

Day # 10,654 1/2: My favorite aspect of Balinese Hinduism is the strong belief in karma, which is why the terrorist attacks that occurred in Bali in 2002 and 2005 (violent Islamist groups set off several bombs in tourist areas, killing hundreds) were even more of a shock to the locals- they just couldn’t imagine why anyone would choose to act that way.  Bali is the only island in Indonesia that is Hindu- Java and Sumatra are fiercely Muslim, and Flores (which we visited next) is strongly Catholic; the religious tension is palpable in some parts of the country, which makes Indonesia feel much more a collection of separate nations than I’d imagined.

In between telling us about Hinduism and the Balinese caste system (both remnants of Indian influence), Budi took us to Gunung Kawi, one of the most famous of the Balinese temples.

By this time, it was…

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