Bali: Where Tradition Meets Modernity
Bali: Where Tradition Meets Modernity
WRITER: Elwin Chan PHOTOS BY: Alvin Toh
Bali: Where Tradition Meets Modernity 09. February 2019, by Elwin Chan, Photos by Alvin Toh
Delve deeper into the different aspects of local life and one soon discovers a wondrous sense of interconnectedness in Bali. It is a people in tune to their land and the heavens. A people whose ways of life—past, present, and future—are seamlessly and beautifully woven together.

We discover a land at the intersection of past and present, old and new, heaven and earth. Yet, everything is interconnected. There is a seamless flow in the way of life there.

A world away, yet just 30 minutes from bustling Gianyar, Penglipuran Traditional Village offers a glimpse into a harmonious and peaceful way of life that is still preserved and practised in Bali today. Enter the village, and one immediately feels a sense of quiet, easy rhythm.

The highland air is cool and fresh, drawing visitors in to the languid surrounds. Homes with intricately carved entrances line both sides of a central paved street. It is just wide enough for a group of Balinese women dressed in kebaya to stroll through during festivals.

Visitors will realise too that the doors to these homes are left open, beckoning even strangers to wander into the beautifully landscaped courtyards. Penglipuran Traditional Village is home to about 500 people, whose families have been living there for generations. Ibu Santi, an 80 year old grandmother, was born in the village, and now stays in the same house with her sons and grandchildren. There are various shrines in her home, set up by generations before her. Offerings of flower, rice, and fruits are placed before the shrines, dedicated to the gods Brahma, Shiva, and Vishnu.

Amidst the sounds of chickens crowing (and even that does nothing to puncture the serenity of the village), visitors might even notice something else—that there are direct linkways connecting neighbouring houses. Doorless, open, welcoming. Such is the sense of kinfolk among the Balinese people, a warm, generous invitation to commune with one another.

Penglipuran Traditional Village is a picture of serenity and harmony.
Open doors beckon even strangers to wander into beautifully landscaped courtyards.
The traditional Balinese house is made up of individual dwellings, each one serving a specific function.
Intricately carved details adorn traditional homes.
A group of local students visits Penglipuran Traditional Village.


Penglipuran Traditional Village
Jalan Penglipuran, Desa Kubu, Bangli, Kecamatan Bangli, Bali