Ancient Wisdom

Hello ,

Greetings from Bali
I'm still here and so far the Volcano has been subdued..
Last week I was telling you about Volcanoes and Tantrums.. You can read about it here.

This week I have been buzzing all over Bali with Ringo (our agent) sorting out suppliers issues and doing my best to develop some new products.
Wednesday was Halloween in here also, but only really for tourists, the locals are a bit bemused by celebrating evil. The day after was their biggest day in the Bali (210 day) calendar. It's called Galungan day.. Ringo tells me it is a celebration of the winning of good over evil. Kind of fitting straight after Halloween.


Every house and many businesses construct the highly symbolic Penjors. Large bamboo poles elaborately decorated soaring to heaven and bowing down to earth. Decorated with coconut leaves with an offering at the base. The basic material of a penjor is a curved bamboo pole. The pole is then decorated with yellow coconut leaves, pala bungkah (roots - sweet potato or cassava), pala gantung (fruit - cucumbers, oranges, bananas), pala wija (cereal - rice, corn), plawa (leaves), traditional cakes, 11 Chinese coins, and a small shrine with some offerings.
Rather like our Christmas trees, it is a festive decoration and follows a basic design.. some folk make simple ones, Ringo tells me you can buy basic ready made ones for about £10, and some do huge and elaborate, spend weeks preparing them. One things for sure they look truly exotic and bring even more magic to this magic place.


Here is an interesting thing.. the penjor symbolizes the mountain and the mountain itself is the symbol of the universe. Therefore, for the Balinese the penjor is synonymous with Mount Agung, the highest and holiest mountain in Bali. You may have heard it's an active volcano and been quite restless lately. But on Galungan day the volcano calmed down, the local government has decreed that the high danger point has passed. Maybe the all the penjor offerings had the desired effect.


I could just see the looming shape of Mount Agung across the bay. Symbol of the universe.. and about to explode.

The problem is that all this gets in the way of regular work. And somehow or other I always end up being here for Galungan day. Today, is my last day here and a mad rush round lots of suppliers to approve final samples and place orders.
Tomorrow, have a flight to Guangzhou in China and a connecting flight to Hanoi in Vietnam. It's the commercial city, and I understand where most handicraft exports come from.

So next week news from Hanoi..
Meanwhile - it's almost Bonfire night, please take special care if you are exploding things.. and have fun.

Hopefully nothing will explode here..

Take care, and thank you for your business and support.

Christmas is coming..


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