Country Info Bali

General Info

  • Dimensions: 5634,43 km²
  • Population: approx. 3.891.428
  • Population density: 691 inhabitants per km²
  • Language: Indonesia, Balinese
  • Currency: Rupiah
  • Form of government: Presidential Republic
  • Climate: tropical, humid

Religion

About 92,3% of the population is Hindu, 5,7% Muslims, 1,4% Christ an about 0,6 % are Buddhists.

Language

The official language in Bali is Indonesia (Bahasa Indonesia) an Balinese. But in touristic areas you can communicate in English as well.

Climate

Indonesia is shaped by two tropical seasons. Dry season is from April to October, the rain season from October to April. In the rainy season there is heavy rain, nevertheless the temperatures are about 30°C.

History

  • approx. 1500 BC the first immigrants from Southern India settled Bali
  • Indian traders arrived to the island and spread the Hindu faith
  • The first Kingdom was found in 990 AC
  • In 1478 the Hindu upper class moved from Java to Bali
  • From 1846 to 1908 Bali was occupied by the Dutch in stages
  • The Dutch ruled the island until 1942
  • Until 1945 Indonesia and Bali were annexed by the Japanese
  • August the 17 in 1945 the independence of Indonesia was declared
  • Bali has since become a part of Indonesia
  • In 1963 the volcano Gunung Agung erupted and thousands of people were killed 
  • On 12 of October 2002 202 people died in a bomb attempt in two nightclubs in Kuta
  • On the first of October in 2005 26 people lost their lives in an bomb attempt in Kuta and Jimbaran
  • Bali has recovered from the attacks very well and is now a paradise for visitors 

Economy

Most of the people in Bali are employed in the sector of agriculture. The main crop is rice and the moste important export product are coconuts, pork and Arabica-coffee. Besides fishing and selling of fish is very important and a traditional work. The only successful international economic sector is textile industry. Nowadays tourism is the most important source of income. Approximately 4 million tourists visit the island every year. Nevertheless Bali is very successful in keeping its cultural identity.

Employment of the population:

  • 59 % agriculture
  • 19 % trade (textile, construction industry, mechanic goods)
  • 22 % tourism (trade, finance, hospitility industry)

Politics

Since August 14 Bali and its neighboring islands build one of the 27 provinces of the republic. The Indonesian provincial regions are each administered by a governor. The residence of the Balinese governor Made Mangku Pastika is based in Denpasar. Bali is divided into eight counties and one urban district. Their  county councils and First Mayors are ruled by the governor. The mayor of the villages rules the villages, which are divided into different districts.

Culture

Culture and religion are closely connected in Bali. The everyday life of the Balinese is determined by Hinduism. Therefore the landscape of Bali is characterized by temples and offerings. Hinduism is practiced openly and dominates the life every Balinese family. In front of every house or shop you can find small bowl victims decorated with flowers and other daily consumer goods (cigarettes, candy, crackers etc.) called “Canangs”. So the Balinese soften their Gods and obtain the balance of the universe. You can read “Om Swastiastu” which means “God bless you” above many entrances or in places where celebration is taking place.

In each household one finds a temple and guards - sometimes glorious and sometimes of less expensive design, where sacrifices are laid down every day and a short prayer is held. Besides the major festivities such as Galungan and Kunngan, there are countless other days when families drive to temples and hold ceremonies. Those days depend on the temples and families and are very difficult to understand for strangers.

Important in the Balinese society is primarily membership to the family and community. So every place is divided into sections called “Banjar” which coordinate a defined radius in terms of infrastructural developments and general order. Furthermore regular meetings of elders and youth are hold to obtain tradition and to vote on impendings. Each person belongs to a certain Banjar, which is determined by the family. Contrary to the Western culture, the individual of the Balinese has no great significance. The membership of the community and family is more important. That is why the people meet every evening to chat or eat in one of the apartment buildings.