Our fantastic Mr. Aji was a great man, not only he was an amazing artist who creates paintings of the scenes of Balinese mythology, but he was a teacher, wise man and part of the royal family in Ubud. His daughter was married to a royal, and he had the power and will to take us to the Royal home that is closed for the public. He woke us up the next morning, his lovely wife dressed us up in traditional clothes, which consists of lengths of cloth draped, usually batik, wrapped or tied around the body differently for man and woman. That is called “adat” dress, and the women often wear silk or lace long sleeve blouse called “kebaya”, and the men wear a headpiece, which is named “udeng”. We got in the mood in no minute, and we were on our way with Aji.
After a short walk we were inside this magnificent labyrinth of small houses, monuments, flora and extraordinary furniture for the Royal family to enjoy their days. There were statues of all the gods, small temples and waterfalls, amazing flora giving the jungle feeling to it. You can spot the statue of Vishnu in the middle as the centre of the Palace, the keeper of the good spirit.After the tour of the Palace we moved to the performance centre where musicians had their rehearsal for that night’s show. Many funny looking instruments we’ve never heard before were making this great sounds, and as we learned, Aji’s father was one of the best dancers around. Dancing is one of the very ancient traditions in Bali, part of the religion of the people. It always contains some kind of a story, told by the magnificent dancers during the performance. There are different styles and different purposes of the dances, and its variety reaches the very best of Bali. Most of them are connected to their Hindu religion, although some of them are performed for entertaining purposes. Some of them are epic, like Ramayana and Mahabharata. The dancers learn the dance as children, preparing them selves by their mothers as soon as they are born.
Aji was unstoppable. He took us to the amazing house that belongs to the president’s son, and it was filled with Balinese furniture and had an amazing view of the jungle. Amazing day that we will never forget!
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