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Bali Tourists Could Be Invited To More Cultural Festivals On Vacation

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Bali is one of the best destinations in the world for tourists who want to explore a new culture. As an island province, Bali’s cultural heritage has its roots set firmly in history and is alive and thriving in the modern day.

While so many regions around the world are slowly losing their cultural identity, communities across Bali celebrate their culture every single day. 

Barong Cultural Dance In Bali.jpg

With tourism one of the leading contributors to the local economy, Bali has long been focused on finding the right balance between promoting tourism and keeping cultural heritage alive.

While there are many cultural spots that can be shared with tourists, naturally, there will always be elements of cultural practice that will be reserved for the local community only. 

As Bali seeks to promote more culturally respectful and sustainable tourism that is spread more evenly throughout the island, leaders are talking more about the idea of using tourism villages as hosts and venues for cultural festivals for tourists. 

The Chairman of the Bali Tourism Village Communication Forum, Dewi I Made Mendra Astawa, spoke to reporters this weekend following the successes of the Jatiluwih Festival in Tabanan Regency.

He wants to see religious and cultural events opened up to tourists to help promote cultural exchange and tourism development across the province. 

Astawa said, “[We must] take advantage of what we have. We can build an event in a village whose budget and human resources are there. When it comes to existing religious and traditional activities, all that is needed is the promotional side.” 

There are 238 tourist villages in Bali, though many are not well known to tourists, either domestic or international.

Penglipuran Village in Bangli Regency shot to international fame when it was named amongst the best villages in the world and won the top award at the Indonesian Tourism Village Awards.

Bakas Village and Taro Village are also increasingly poplar with tourists, yet there are still so many communities who have cultural wonders to share with tourists. 

Astawa used the example of the Usaba Sumbu tradition in Karangasem Regency. The deeply spiritual festival involves prayers, processions, Balinese Hindu ceremonies, and the offering of pork to community members and those who cannot afford it.

The festival dates back to the 16th Century, with some historical references dating back even further.

As described by I Made Ari Kapela, “The tradition sparks a sense of togetherness and increases tolerance and cooperation among the people since the entire village community attends the annual ceremony. It encompasses cultural values, brotherhood, and economic values.”

“The tradition lives as a cultural identity of the traditional village community in Karangasem and represents the people’s values.”


Astawa said “It can be made into a special place for spectators to see residents bringing hounds of pigs, offering them prayers, and we will tell the meaning.”

He feels that are focus should be put on sharing Balinese cultural events than bringing in international music artists as entertainment for tourists. 


Astawa added, “Creating an event must really come from the village, don’t just move the event to the village if a foreign pop must come in. Why not [promote] the culture?”

He explained “one of the components of the awards for tourism villages is arts and performance in the form of events. If [only pop music] events are created, Bali will be in chaos, all you think about is crowds, and in the end it’s just that music, Balinese culture will disappear.”

Kecak Cultural Dance Bali.jpg

Over the weekend two tourism village festivals were held in Bali, to a marked success. The Penglipuran Village Festival say a huge number of visitors, as did the Jatiluwih Festival at the iconic rice paddies in Tabanan Regency.

Tourists planning visit to Bali should keep their eyes peeled for more cultural events and festivals to take part in to get a deeper understanding of this incredible island, its history and cultural practises. 

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