Tuesday, August 9, 2011

early every morning

early every morning
offering rice, flowers, incense
to all the gods

A priest and priestess couple are the head of the family compound where we're staying. They both look serene and happy. Everyone here places small banana leaf offerings of cooked rice, flowers and incense all around the compound every morning, at the entrance, at each shrine and statue, and in every room. They hire a girl who makes all these offerings. The shop owners also make offerings, even the high-class ones. Climb a curved staircase and find an offering at the top. The priestess is wearing traditional adat dress for making offerings or going to the temple: a kamben, a wrap-around rectangle of cloth, usually in an indigo batik print, tied on the left-hand side; a kebaya, a lacy long-sleeved top; and a sabuk, a sash worn over the kebaya. Until the 1930s Balinese women went to the temple wearing nothing on top, but the Dutch convinced them to cover up. So now they wear lacy, nearly transparent tops with a little corset, quite alluring.

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