Thanks Giving in Bali

By Jerry Harter, KF13 Indonesia

After a 24 hour plane ride from Seattle, I was looking forward to relaxing and recovering from jetlag before beginning my Kiva Fellowship in Bali.  Emerging from baggage claim at the Denpasar airport, I negotiated for a taxi to the town of Ubud.

Because of its reputation as an important center for Balinese culture and art, the town of Ubud in eastern Bali is a destination for most tourists who visit the island.  Its magic and charm are legendary.  Terraced paddy fields spread out a luscious green backdrop for a town that provides an array of diversions for visitors. Streets are lined with arts and crafts shops as well as guest houses and restaurants catering to tourist tastes.  Taxis, motorbikes, and busses weave their way through the narrow main street of town. But amidst this overlay of intense tourist activity and modern technology there are gentle expressions of a traditional Balinese ritual.

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At various times throughout the day, shopkeepers set out small offerings on their counters, at the entrance, and the sidewalks in front of their stores. These offerings are typically small woven baskets decorated with flowers, incense, and perhaps candies or fruit.  The gentle expression of their offerings is in sharp contrast to the swirl of activity moving around them.

I asked a young woman working at an internet café about the offerings.  She told me about Thanks Giving in Bali.

Jerry Harter is a Kiva Fellow working with Koperasi Mitra Usaha Kecil (MUK) in Blimbingsari, Bali, Indonesia.   Interested alleviating poverty by supporting small entrepreneurs?  Visit Kiva.

About the author

Jerry Harter