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Markets are a necessity in a society where refrigeration and corner stores are not yet widespread. Markets are a refreshing slice of real Bali, away from the suntan oil, and laser disc movies.

The village housewife still makes her way to the public market before dawn, often her only outing of the day. Markets are the women's clubs of Bali, where goods and gossip are exchanged.

Pasar are usually located on the busiest intersection in the center of the village to the south of either the main village temple (pura puseh) or the 'puri'. In the more traditional villages, the 'pasar' is spread under the shade of a huge 'waringin' tree. A small village 'pasar' may be just a row of makeshift stalls on a dusty lane off the main road.

Traditionally, 'pasar' are held on the 'pasar' day of the Balinese three-day week, rotating between different villages, but these roving portable stands and mats are nearly extinct. Now villagers favor larger district markets.

The 20th century city 'pasar', as typified by Denpasar's crowded Market and Pasar Badung, is housed in a huge, square, multistoried cement block where the stench is unbearable and rubbish piles are everywhere.

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