by Catriona Mitchell
It’s Galungan! And outside it’s almost as quiet at Nyepi (Balinese New Year’s Day, when the whole island shuts down): not the whir of a bike within earshot, nor the blare of a neighbourly TV set, nor the squeal of a pig on its way to becoming babi guling.
But it isn’t Nyepi, and we are allowed to go venturing outside. This is what I saw within metres of our office, on a solitary, leisurely, jaw-dropping walk this afternoon.
These are offerings placed outside each household, to the gods who come down to the island during the Galungan period. They’re sitting out there on the street for all to ogle at.
I challenge you to tell me the Balinese aren’t the most masterful craftsmen in the world. Which one is your favourite?