Not Ubud - Ketut & Nyoman

Trip Start Oct 02, 2008
Trip End Nov 30, 2008

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Flag of Indonesia  , Bali,
Monday, October 20, 2008

On one of my walks through Not Ubud, I met an artist named Nyoman.  She invited me into her gallery for tea.  We ended up chatting for about two hours.

Nyoman learned painting from her father and by going to school.  But she is currently taking a class in tourism.  She wants to be a tour guide and likes the opportunity to practice her English. 

Nyoman and her husband, Ketut, have become good friends.  I visit their gallery/house almost every day.  They have two little boys, about 4 and 2 years old.  How do they like to play?  By playing drums and gongs, parading with flags or humming traditional "gamelan" music.

Ketut and Nyoman really introduced me to Balinese life.  They told me everyone in the village is either a farmer or an artist.  And they're all related.  Every village is one extended family.  I don't think we have names in English for all the relations.  For example, this man is Ketut's grandfather's cousin.  The most common introduction I got was:  "he/she is family." 

I became a little curious.  If everybody is family, then what happens after generations of marriage together?  Ketut explained to me that the girls marry off into their husband's village while the boys stay.  Simple enough.  I found that true throughout the island.  Most villages are one big extended family where the boys stay and the girls move on.

I felt really fortunate.  Ketut and Nyoman really included me into their lifestyle.  They invited me to walk the rice fields.  And to swimming at Sanur Beach.  And nightly volleyball.  And I met all the family that stopped by their house.  It didn't take long before I was being recognized when I went through Not Ubud.

One of the best things I learned from Ketut and Nyoman is "santai saja."  It is the essence of Balinese life.  And what I needed most in coming to Bali - rest.  Every day rest.  The focus here is on procedure, not results.  A refreshing balance from my western mentality.

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