Nyepi is always profound for me. I am Balinese and working for Bali Direct Store. You can google all about Nyepi but here is what it means to me and many other young people.
As a kid, I spent Nyepi in my hometown in Singaraja, in a small village called ‘Selat’. Life in Selat village is simple but meaningful; basically, if you imagine a typical picture postcard of rice fields and farmers with straw hats, that’s Selat, still today.
The day before Nyepi, us youngsters would join in the parade of ‘Ogoh-Ogoh’ which was a highlight of the year. I did not really understand the meaning of the parade at the time, and all of the wisdom and lore that it contained, but now I love to learn and explore the hidden messages. It’s worth a read, google and find out yourself, or go see a parade with a Balinese friend.
As a kid, I hated not having electricity or lights of any kind. I was scared of the darkness, many of us kids were. Especially after all the Ogoh-Ogoh parade and talk of demons. But the natural light was worth the fear of darkness. Since my village is located on a hill, it makes me think I am always closer to the stars, especially when it gets totally dark. Only at Nyepi, I can see the moon shine so bright and clear, enough to make you see anything around you, warm and calm. A million stars look like they are gathered up and opening a portal to a new, and better life. I would give anything for that view.
As a kid I was not really interested in the religious and cultural side of Nyepi, me and my friends just wanted to have fun and played all day. The elders observed the restrictions on all the prohibited activities, if you are interested google ‘Catur Brata Penyepian’ to find out more about the restrictions. Whilst Nyepi had some downsides as a kid, we Balinese believe that the culture tries to provide us with guidelines to help us get through life. Understanding Bali culture is always a profound thing to do, sometimes you find yourself along the way 🙂
Now, in my 28 years-old life, I’m starting to understand the value of my culture, it takes time but it is worth understanding. For example, very simple, Nyepi teaches everyone to slow down. In this era, we tend to do everything quickly, we require everything to be done fast, and we rely on instant experiences. We are running too fast, till we can’t enjoy the view along the journey, and we miss all the details that are really important to us until it’s too late for us to realize.
Life and death are a couple that comes together, every start has its own ends. If death comes to us and we need to leave it all behind, what is the point of reaching the sky if we are not enjoying the journey?