From The Editor
Following the tragic 2002 Bali bombings, Outdoor Japan featured a story by long-time contributors Charlotte Anderson and Gorazd Vilhar, called “Bali: In our hearts and in our minds” (www.outdoorjapan.com/destinations/destinations-bali-1.html). They wrote lovingly of, perhaps, their favorite place in the world, and I, like countless others, share their adulation for Bali.
Nearly everyone who goes to Bali is touched by the beauty of this magical place and, now, nearly three years later, it is hard to believe this peaceful island could once again be the target of terrorists. There doesn’t seem to be a more unlikely place for this kind of senseless violence. Simple, beautiful offerings to the gods are found everywhere here, and this daily ritual is as much a part of people’s lives as waking up in the morning.
Our cover story this month, “Blessings for Bali,” focuses on these rituals and offerings that are part of Balinese Hinduism, the predominant religion on this island within the world’s largest Islamic nation.
When we said we wanted to run a Bali feature in this issue, the knee-jerk reaction of some was to hold off. But the more we spoke to people from Bali and those with personal connections to Bali, the more we realized how necessary, now more than ever, it is to support the people there. And so we’re running it on the cover.
We wanted to show the endless beauty of the people, the culture of the place that makes it so special. And the fact there is so much more to Bali than the main tourist area of Kuta. The resilience of the Balinese people and tourists there is evident as occupancy rates have dipped only slightly since the recent bombing in Kuta. There has been no cancellation of scheduled air services, and there is still plenty of local and tourist activity in the restaurants and streets of Kuta and Jimbaran and throughout the island. No, more than ever, is the time to experience Bali.