Dramatic photo of the jungle in Bali. [Image: GeloKorol at Getty Images]

5 Secret Reasons to Fall in Love with Bali

Bali's joyfully chaotic streets and jungle ambiance cast a spell. There is magic in every breath you take to the intoxicating rhythm of this island. Here, you can immerse yourself in the bustling streets and glittering nightlife. Or you can find tranquility in a dreamy landscape of vibrant green jungles and rice terraces that defy gravity. There is a timelessness in Bali's ancient spiritual practices that can rejuvenate your soul and much more to this location than meets the eye.

1. Balinese Spirituality is Authentic

Close-up of a Balinese woman's hands arranging a Hindu offering. [Image: Conchi Martinez at Getty Images]

A beautifully arranged offering waits on a riverbank; heady incense floats from a hidden household shrine. Streets explode with colour, music and dance as a procession winds its way to the temple. Balinese devotion is visible wherever you go on the island.

These are not staged tourist spectacles. They are authentic expressions of an ancient culture that is still alive and vibrant. With its blend of Dharma-Hinduism and local customs, Balinese spirituality exists nowhere else. Celebrating and expressing it keeps the people of Bali grounded in their collective identity despite welcoming 12 million visitors annually.

2. Balinese Creativity is Spiritual

Close-up of stone carving in Bali. [Image: MeredithLangmaid at Getty Images]

Bali's timeless aesthetic manages to be earthy and otherworldly at once. It is a serene blend of nature and craft that has captivated designers since the 1960s. The secret to its lasting allure lies in the island's spiritual tradition.

In the past, the arts were purely a sacred duty and expression of worship. Intricate carvings of deities gazed from holy places centuries before engraved doors graced celebrity homes. Meditative figures sculpted from volcanic rock guarded serene temple gardens. Ceremonial cloth held the prayers and devotion woven into its fibers. This same spirit is still evident in Balinese artistry today.

3. Balinese Farming is Cultural

Wide shot of rice terraces in Bali. [Image: LoweStock at Getty Images]

One of the island's most recognizable features is a complex network of yellow-green rice terraces called subak. This picturesque farming system overcomes the mountainous terrain to make Bali the best rice grower in Indonesia. But it is also a UNESCO World Heritage cultural landscape.

Though the Balinese invented subak more than a thousand years ago, it is far more than an ancient irrigation system. It embodies the Tri Hita Karana philosophy, which teaches balance between man and his fellows, man and nature, and man and creator. The creed shows in the communal spirit amongst farmers: all honour the same rules and responsibilities; all enjoy protection, ongoing maintenance and blessings; all prosper and celebrate together.

4. Balinese Devotion is Artistic

Offerings placed at a fountain in Bali. [Image: Mikuratv at Pixabay]

The Balinese create many offerings, from simple and everyday to extravagant and ceremonial. Symbolic flowers wrapped in fragrant pandan leaves show devotion at shrines. Spectacular mounds of fruit adorn temple processions. Colourful pastry sculptures display Balinese cosmology at special celebrations.

But for all the variety, these offerings have only one aim - to please the gods. And the only way to achieve that is with beauty. The more beautiful an offering is, the more likely the deities will be to grant requests. Mothers pass on this essential skill to their daughters from a young age, teaching them how to transform the mundane into objects of delight.

5. Bali Offers Sanctuary

Tranquil morning on a beach in Bali. [Image: Bady Abbas at Unsplash]

Millions travel to Bali seeking refuge and rejuvenation. Your pilgrimage could be a yoga retreat, a spa experience or even a fitness adventure. It is unsurprising that so many find respite from life's pressures here. After all, Bali is rooted in the idea of sanctuary.

"The Island of Gods" came to be in 1520, when most of Java (as it was known) converted to Islam. Hindu priests, royalty, intellectuals and artists found refuge here, bringing with them the cultural spirit of Java's golden age. Though the island has suffered religious persecution over the centuries, it remains welcoming, tolerant and generous.

Waterfall in a Balinese jungle. [Image: Aleksandar Georgiev at Getty Images Signature]

The sacred and the mundane are intricately bound in Bali. Beauty and imagination are acts of devotion. Grounded self-expression fosters tolerance and compassion, while collective commitment creates abundance for all.

From our creative vision to the Balinese hands that thoughtfully craft our garments, Poème is infused with the essence of this place. We find endless design inspiration in its rich patterns, bold colours, and organic textures. But the island's spirit is what keeps us spellbound.

That is why our intention with each garment is to create beauty entwined with freedom and a hint of magic: an offering that supports your unique voice and the collective good.

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