Hinduism is the most important religion on Bali. After India, Bali has the greatest community of Hindu followers. Quite remarkable considering the fact that Islam is the most important religion in Indonesia. The ‘Hindu Dharma’, the religious system of believing, determines the comings and goings of the Balinese. It defines the everyday life on Bali: working, eating, sleeping, praying and even dancing. Everything is prescribed by the Dharma. The accompanying ceremonies are rather spectacular.


The official language in Indonesia is Bahasa Indonesia. Don’t be alarmed if you don’t speak the language. English is spoken by a lot of people. To help you along, here are some Bahasa basics. Apart from being handy the locals will respond enthusiastically if they notice that a tourist tries to speak some Bahasa and you can count on their willingness to help you.

Apa kabar? How are you?
Baik. Dan anda? Fine! And how are you?
Selamat pagi Good morning
Selamat soré Good afternoon (4 pm – 7 pm)
Selamat malam Good evening
Selamat tinggal Goodbye
Terima kasih Thank you
Sama sama You’re welcome
Tidak terimah kasih No thank you
Berapa harganya? How much is this
Sudah! I already have!
Tidak no
Ya yes


If you have the impression to hear certain names over and over again on Bali, it is certainly no coincidence. Names on Bali are not sex related and are determined by the order in the family. The firstborn is named Wayan (sometimes Putu or Gede), the second child Made (or Kadek or Nengah), the third child is named Nyoman (or Komang) while the fourth child goes his way through life as Ketut. If a fifth child is born, the cycle starts anew.