Most of Balineses are Hindu. Balinese Hindu Religion is very different from Indian Hindu.
Balineses do have a caste system calls ‘catur warna’ or ‘four colors’ consist of Brahmana, Satria, Waisya, and Sudra. There are no untouchables & occupation ungoverned by caste. In fact the only thing that reflects the caste system is the language which has three tiers. 95% of all Balineses are sudra and speak low or everyday Balinese with each other. Middle Balinese is used for talking to strangers, at formal occasions or to people of the higher caste. While High Balinese is used when talking to the highest class, Brahmana, or to Pedanda, priest. It may sound complicated but most of the words at the low and medium levels are the same and High Balinese is mixture of the Middle Balinese & Kawi, the ancient Javanese language.
Although Balinese worship the Hindu trinity Brahma, Wisnu and Siwa, these are seen as manifestation of the supreme God - Sanghyang Widhi Wasa. Balineses believe strongly in magic & the power of spirits and many of their ceremony are based upon these ones. They believe that good spirits dwell in the mountains and the seas are home to demons & ogres.
Most villages have at least three main temples, first: the Pura Puseh or temple of origin facing the mountains is dedicated to the village founders, second: Pura Desa or village temple is normally found in the center and dedicated to the welfare of the village. The last one is Pura Dalem, aligned with the sea is dedicated to the spirits of the dead.
Beside these village temples, almost every house has its own shrine and you can also find monuments dedicated to the spirits of agriculture, art and all other aspects of life. There are some temples, for an example, Pura Besakih which is located on the slope of Mount Agung, is considered especially important and people from all over Bali travel to worship there.
Offering play of a significant role, is Balinese life as they appease the spirits & thus bring prosperity & good health to the family. Every day small offering trays containing symbolic food, flowers, cigarettes & money are placed on shirnes, in temples, outside houses & shops, & even on dangerous bends in the roads.
Festival is the other great occasion for appeasing the gods. The women bear huge, beautifully arranged, pyramids of food, fruit and flowers on their heads while the men give a blood sacrifice in the form of a cockfight. There are traditional dances and music, and the gods are invited to come down and join in the festivals. The festivals are almost always very exciting occasions and well important things to remember. You should wish to join in celebrations or enter a temple is that there is a number of rules that have to be respected.
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