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  Village Life

The idea of balance is central to Balinese philosophy and way of life. Nature and Man meet and complement each other. The basic Balinese territorial unit is 'desa' (village), whose surface covers both the wet land of the rice fields, and the dry land of the compounds and related gardens, temples and roads.

To the wet land, correspond the irrigation units or 'subak', and to the dry and inhabited land, the community wards or 'banjar', each with their temples and organizations.

Ninety percent of Bali's population is rural, living in hundreds of hamlets and villages all over the island. Traditionally, the social organization of the island is based on the village, each completely self-sufficient, providing for all the needs and functions of the individual from birth through cremation.

Not just a collection of family compounds, the rural community was and is a whole series of interlocking corporations, a living organism, a microcosm of the cosmic order.

Housewives walking lazily down the street, lounging in courtyards, men gossiping in 'warung', children playing - it's a scene unchanged after generations of Dutch rule, harsh Japanese wartime occupation, turbulent Indonesian revolution and independence, and now the age of mass tourism.

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