Heading to Bali, it's very important to study local culture, rules and traditions. Here we gathered 5 important features to know for comfortable communication with local people.
- Study the Çaka calendar
To live in Bali means strictly adhering to the local calendar called Çaka. Nothing can happen on a random day – whether it’s a visit to the therapist or a family celebration. A consultation with local Priests is normal here and required to find a ‘good day’ for different life activities or routines in order to avoid bad luck.
- No talks on religious and political issues
The majority of Balinese confess a local variety of Hinduism called "Agama Hindu Dharma", the other part of the population is a mix of three religions (Muslims, Christians, Buddhists). However, the norms of adat – pre-Hindus traditions and beliefs of the indigenous population are used in everyday life. To stay polite and respectful, it's better not to touch the political or religious subjects at all, locals don't like it and it's very easy to get confused.
- Communicate without tactile contact
Due to religious mixes, it's worth knowing that the left hand could be considered "unclean" (by the tradition of Indonesian culture), it should not take food, money and serve it for a handshake. During a conversation, it is better to avoid touching heads (the head is the receptacle of the soul and is sacred in Hinduism) and pointing fingers. At the same time the Indonesians themselves are not very familiar with the concept of personal space and can touch whatever without any rules.
- Learn the local etiquette
There are plenty of local rules, some of them are general: as for example, in Bali, entering the house, you should take your hat off, and the other look quite unusual: the loud speech, for instance, is considered offensive, being invited (quite a rare situation for Indonesians), you should bring a small gift with you and the present must be packed, and during a meal, try to eat everything, otherwise it will be impolite gesture.
- Important to know
Traditionally for Indonesians a family is the center of life. The society of Balinese Hindu is always Patriarchal and all talks should be started with a man. On the other hand, the other part of the island, especially with Muslim majority population (Java), is Matriarchy. The house belongs to a woman, men only visit there, and all questions are managed by women.
To know better the local lifestyle read the Bali guidebooks. Also you can get more info on our professional blog. And if you need any help with the property management processes, contact us! We are always ready to help you with all property questions.