Man is white; God is gold

The exact location of “suvarnabhoomi”, Sanskrit for the golden land, is unknown but Priscian is said to have noted: “if your ship… takes you to where the rising sun returns its warm light, then will be seen the Isle of Gold with its fertile soil.” That Isle of Gold may well have been Bali.

All across Bali, you will see white and yellow colours – in flower decorations, in clothes people wear, adornments like wearing rice grains and turmeric on forehead, offerings to deities and just about everywhere.

The two colours are considered auspicious. It is not hard to see why.

Marigolds and frangipani decorations in the hotel
Marigolds oh! marigold – like a drop of the molten sun

As an agrarian society, rice is the basic staple. Yellow is the colour of sun, a key contributor to a good harvest.

Yellow is also the colour of turmeric which many Balinese use to cook their rice with to produce “golden ketan” glutinous rice. Incidentally, the word “ketan” means golden in Hindu mythology.

A Balinese meal served on banana leaf (I chose the brown rice and not the glutinous ketan rice but was offered both options)

In hotels and in temples, I saw marigold and frangipanni flowers decorated in bowls. The colour white is for purity and gold for abundance.

Man is white, god is gold.

It is funny how colours can mean so much and once they become a part of a culture, they become a part of life. You can’t separate the two.

Balinese men and women quite commonly wear white & gold
Shrines are everywhere in Bali. Perched on a pillar and bedecked in boughs of marigold and headdresses fit for a queen, they are draped in sarongs. There is always a basket of flowers and incense sticks emitting sweet perfume. In Bali, you are never too far from gods. It is no wonder Bali is called the “Island of Gods”.

#sacredBali #auspicious #colours #yellowandwhite #colourshavemeaning #Purity&Abundance #lifeinmotion #ketan #riceiswork #riceisworship #photostories

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