The Ubud Handbook « 'Kajeng Kliwon' ~ A Very Bad-Hair Day on Bali
‘Kajeng Kliwon’ is the kind of day when anything that can happen will happen.
It invariably does.
Film poster for the 2019 Indonesian horror film 'Kajeng Kliwon: A Nightmare in Bali' starring Amanda Manoppo and Christ Laurent.
IF YOU DON'T pray – or pay very close attention – Kajeng Kliwon is the day when you get run off your 'bike; or forget the pan on the stove until it melts; or your dog gets poisoned; or a coconut falls on your head; or you leave your kids behind in the departure lounge; or your walls just fall down.
It's one of those.
It's a night and a day and a night when the spirit-world's most negative forces are out and about, and you'd better believe that they're on the look-out for easy prey – being on drugs or drunk is a surefire invitation to be probed for problems and pain.
It's not a day to do any serious work; or climb a ladder; or fix the satellite dish on the roof; or take unimportant journeys; or sign divorce papers; or carry out any kind of activity that involves hammers or nails – the latter guaranteed to end in tears.
And don't get your hair cut. It's bad luck.
Kajeng in Balinese means 'sharp', and Kajeng Kliwon has earned a cutting reputation for not taking any prisoners. The Balinese people will also tell you that it's an extraordinarily easy day to get very angry – it is – and that self-awareness and self-control is paramount to keeping one's temper in check.
The antidote? Send a prayer up. Light some incense, and stop for a while. If you're on Bali, take a nod to the northeast, towards Mount Agung's volcano where the spirits live. And then it can be a particularly auspicious day.
Hot tip? Stay at home, have a quiet one – and be very careful the evening before. Because that's when all kinds of Weird kicks off.
Kajeng Kliwon comes around every 15 days on the dot – and is one of the Hindu ceremonial days in the Balinese calendar that is calculated mathematically, and not governed by the moon.
You have been seriously warned.
Video ~ Trailer for the film 'Kajeng Kliwon: A Nightmare in Bali'
It takes all sorts. 2019's 'Kajeng Kliwon: A Nightmare in Bali'. More horror-fodder for the Indonesian masses.
Religion Matters ~ More tales from The Ubud Handbook
NOW YOU KNOW how Jim Carrey felt. Several nights ago, to celebrate the grand opening of the newly-renovated, Disney-style temple in Campuhan, there was a Calonarang – a spiritually-charged ceremony where sacred masks are donned, souls are possessed by the unseen and deep trance ensues.
But this one was a little different...
[ ... » Read on... » ]
FOR A SINGLE day and a night during Nyepi, life on the little island of Bali comes to a shuddering halt. Work and travel is forbidden, and for a short 24 hours no-one – tourists included – is allowed out from their homes or hotels...
[ ... » Read on... » ]
On the largely Hindu island of Bali, Lord Ganesha is everywhere. One of the most recognisable Hindu gods outside India, he isn't difficult to miss – the benign elephant head on top of a chubby human body protects Bali's homes and temples from north to south...
[ ... » Read on... » ]
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Street Art, Urban Murals & Creative Graffiti on Bali
Street art, graffiti and murals for the masses – the most public of Bali's urban art scene hidden in plain sight on the walls of Canggu, Ubud, Seminyak and Kuta.
THE UBUD HANDBOOK ~ Your free guide to living in Ubud and Bali in an online nutshell.
‘First stop on Shree Ganesha's round-Asia tour was a spell in Buddhist Tibet with its strong tantric leanings – a convenient spot to re-invent himself as Vinãyaka, and then as the dancing red Nritta Ganapati – before a full-blown alter-ego revamp as the scarlet, twelve-armed Maharakta Ganapati. Now, Maharakta Ganapati was unusually fond of skullcaps filled with human flesh and blood – and this we might charitably put down to a bad trip.
After all, what happens in Tibet stays in Tibet...’
‘To cut an all-night story short, the mask was donned by a dancer who fell into a deep trance. But instead of staying in the temple, he began to run. And run. He became violent and uncontrollable. He ran for four kilometers down the road – the crowd scrambled after him. He ended up in a cemetery just past my house, and in the dead of night began to do frenzied battle with unseen foes...’
∞ 'Nyepi' ~ Bali's Hindu New Year, and the Day of Silence ~ Melasti, Ngerupuk, Ogoh-Ogoh & Manis Nyepi
‘If previous New Years' Days have seen you waking up with a crippling hangover trying to remember what you did the night before, maybe it's time you headed to Bali in March. Nyepi – the Balinese Day of Silence, and the start of the Hindu Saka New Year – is a day, a night and a day you'll never forget....’
‘Kajeng Kliwon is the kind of day when anything that can happen will happen. It invariably does.
You have been seriously warned...’
“When I had my sixth and seventh babies at the hospital – my twin girls – the doctor ordered me to have a Caesarian. And without asking me, he tied my tubes off as well.
I think he thought I'd had enough babies...”
“On the third bite,” says one hater, “it was as though I'd just eaten a diseased, parasite-infested animal with a bad case of rabies. I prayed I wouldn't be sick because I really didn't want to taste it again on the way back up...”
‘Boobs and political censorship have never been far from the Silver Screen – in Indonesia, they're its bedrock. The silent flicks of Thirties' Bali sucked hungrily on the island's bare-breasted cabinet-postcard image that encouraged so many gilded tourists – and dodgy film-stars like Charlie Chaplin – to visit its sultry, forbidden shores...’
Getting Around ~ Bali 'Biking
“For me, some of the most dangerous people on the road are white people. I avoid them like the plague. You can tell the ones who are going to hurt others – the fixed grins, the hunched over the handle-bars, the wobbling around corners and shouts of indignation when they finally hit someone – because they have absolutely no idea how life and the road works around here...”
‘She tears into the traffic. She can't stop. She narrowly misses hitting a car head-on, swerves past a mum on a 'bike and slaloms across the road. Before she hits anyone – it's a miracle she doesn't – she falls in a bad-sounding heap of bent metal and smashing plastic. A group of Balinese rush to pick her up before the cops see her...’
‘She starts sweeping and I notice that she's limping. There's a spreading bruise and an angry graze running past her knee and down her calf. She wants to carry on cleaning – I sit her down and ask her what happened.
She's shy; I press...’
‘Rule number one on a monsoon day? Don't get wet.
You may not realise that getting caught in a cloudburst or shower on Bali – particularly if you're on a motorbike – is the tropical equivalent of walking naked outside during a Prague Winter after a lukewarm bath.
It'll really slow you down. The shivers, hot-and-cold flushes, a chesty cough, diarrhoea, sneezing, stomach pains, a belting headache and aching bones are all at the top of the list...’
‘Nowhere is free from the tax of life. We all have to pay for our slice of Bali paradise – and this often comes in the shape of our biting, stinging, crawling, flying insect-cousins.
It's the downside of environment-sharing...’
Holidays from the Jungle
‘Agricultural, and unpractised in the dark art of handling international tourists, the aristocratic farmer-people of Trunyan have acquired a damaging reputation for aggression. Their unique tourist draw – a jungle-cemetery where bodies are left in the open to disintegrate underneath a magical banyan tree – is regularly shunned by travellers on the time-sensitive tourist circuit...’
‘Ten meters away and the young man finally looks up – an inane, animal-like grin taped across his face as his girlfriend grips his porcelain butt and grimaces towards the empty blue sky. They disengage like street dogs, utter an invective in Russian, and stare...’
Tourism & Self-Enrichment
‘My concentration's shot to pieces. The spaghetti keeps falling off my fork. She's on her third large beer now. She starts to say 'facking' even more, and is speaking so loudly that people passing on the street have begun to look her way, and she's spitting bits of ciabatta bread and tomato and fish into her friend's dinner...’
‘I'm staying at a cute, family-run bed-and-breakfast – a homestay – on Ubud's trendy Jalan Goutama. A young member of the homestay's family tours her compound, blessing it with incense and rice and flower-petal offerings in little hand-made palm-leaf boxes.
All is well in Bali's spiritual capital...’
‘A Dutch boy in Holland goes to a gypsy fortune-teller who tells him that he is, in fact, Balinese. Afterwards, his uncle visits the Island of the Gods and brings him back a wooden carving of a bare-breasted lady.
Lucky for him it wasn't one of those funny-shaped wooden bottle-openers that looks like a cock...’
‘Shake out those Kundalini Awakenings with some HoopYogini™ and Bhakti Boogie® at the Yoga Barn. Celebrate The Divine Feminine with a splash of Shakti Dance. Puff up your lungs in a Sacred Breathwork Immersion Workshop®, insert a Jade Egg for luck at The Womb Temple™ and polish it off with some tantalising Manifesting And Abundance.
You know you're worth it...’
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Gunung Anak Krakatau – the infamous 'Child of Krakatoa' volcano – erupting in the Sunda Strait between Java and Sumatra, Indonesia.