Pam's Bali  
  Home Gallery Works Links Contact  


Page 29


adat - the traditional laws of social behaviour.

agung - great, grand, lofty.

anak - child, young, offspring.

Bahasa Indonesia - the national language of Indonesia.

bale - a raised open air pavilion, building.

banjar - the local village council in which village activities are organized.

banteng - wild cattle of Indonesia.

bapak - father, a polite term of address for an older man.

barong - a fierce mythical creature, commonly in the form of a lion.

Baruna - god of the sea.

batik - fabric printed by using a dye resist method, using wax.

batu - stone, rock or mountain.

bemo - a small covered pick-up truck or mini bus used for public transport, usually privately owned.

Brahmana - the priestly caste, highest of Bali’s four aristocratic castes.

Usually named Ida Bagus.

Brahma - Hindu god who gave birth to the caste system. Head of the Hindu trinity. Brahma is usually represented wearing white robes and riding a goose.

brem - rice wine.

bukit - hill, mountain.

buta - demonic spirit which causes sickness and accidents to humans.

cap-cai - vegetable dish, also sometimes with meat.

candi - Hindu temple or monument.

candi-bentar - split gate entrance to a temple.

catur yoga - ancient manuscript on religion and cosmology.

Cokorda - title used by the male rulers of the princely Ksatria caste.

colt - a mini van used for public transport from town to town. The fastest form of transport.

condong - female attendant or lady in waiting to a noblewoman.

copra - coconut meat dried in the sun, from which coconut oil is extracted.

dalang - puppetmaster/storyteller who manipulates the wayang kulit puppets, conducts the gender wayang gamelan orchestra and directs the beat, all at the same time. He is a man of many skills, and a much-respected scholar who displays great physical stamina and endurance as a wayang kulit performance lasts many hours.

dewa/dewi - god/goddess.

Dewi Sri - rice-goddess.

dokar - pony trap.

dukun - traditional faith healer, witch doctor, herbalist, dealer in spells, mystic.

endek - Balinese ikat.

Galungan - major annual festival, held every 210 days.

gamelan - traditional Balinese percussion orchestra, first developed in Java. Consists mainly of bronze xylophones shaped like discs, cylinders, keys or round hollow bowls, which are beaten with hammers accompanied by drums and bamboo flutes.

gang - small lane, alley or footpath.

gangsa - pairs of floating bronze key metallophones in three sizes, over

bamboo resonators. Plays basic melody or ornamental parts.

Garuda - supernatural bird, the mount of Vishnu, who tried to rescue Sita when wicked Rawana abducted her. He died trying to save her. This episode is often depicted in wayang shows. The Garuda is the emblem of the Republic of Indonesia.

gong - an instrument, but also used to indicate the whole gamelan orchestra.

gunung - mountain.

guru - teacher.

Hanuman - the white monkey king in the mythological Hindu epic the Ramayana.

homestay - small family run losman.

I - abbreviation of Ida, the honorary title for males of the Sudra caste.

Ibu - mother, also a deferential or affectionate term of address when speaking to any married woman, or woman of childbearing age.

Ida - used when addressing a male of the nobility.

Ida Bagus - honourable title when addressing a man of the Brahmana caste.

Ider - ider - long narrow strip of painted frieze cloth, in the wayang style, hung along temple eaves.

ikan - fish.

ikat - woven cloth, the pattern is created by tie-resist binding prior to weaving.

jalan -street.

jamu - traditional Indonesian medicine, made from roots, bark and grasses. Usually steeped in hot water and drunk, sometimes it is applied directly to the skin, or it may be eaten.

jukung - Balinese outrigger boat, built in a high level of traditional technology.

kain - length of material 2.75 metres long by 1.2 metres wide. The everyday garment worn by men and women, wrapped around the lower body. Also may refer to specific textiles such as kain gringsing, which is used in sacred ceremonies.

kaja - towards the mountains, the opposite of kelod (the direction of the sea; evil).

karma - Hindu belief, that our destiny is determined by the sum total of all our actions, good and bad, from all preceding lives.

kasar - coarse, crude, anything that is the opposite of halus, or opposite of what is considered refined by Javanese standards.

kawi - classical Javanese, the language of poetry.

kebaya - traditional long sleeve, close fitting hip length jacket, worn by women.

kelapa - coconut.

kelod - towards the sea, this direction is considered unlucky, demonic.

kepeng - old Chinese coins with a hole in the centre, used in offerings and as decoration in rituals. Once the everyday currency among the Balinese. They can still be readily obtained for a few cents each.

Kecak - a seated male choral dance drama, from an episode of the

Ramayana, often called the monkey dance because of the staccato chorus of chanting. First performed in the village of Bona, during the 1930’s to accompany trance dances.

Ketut - name prefix for the fourth and eighth born children of the Waisa and Sudra castes.

kopi - coffee.

Korowas - cousins and nemesis of the Pandawas in the Hindu epic the


kraton - small walled fortified city, centre of religious learning and Hindu Javanese rulers.

kretek - Indonesian cigarette flavoured with crushed clove, smoked throughout Indonesia. It has a distinctive aroma.

kris - double-edged dagger that is curved and twisted. A weapon as well as an ornament. A symbol of masculine strength.

Ksatria - the princely caste.

krupuk - fried prawn or fish wafers. Eaten with every meal.

kulkul - large wooden bell made of a hollowed tree trunk, hung vertically,

sounds the alarm and calls the people to meetings.

Kuningan - holy day celebrated 10 days after Galungan.

Korowas - cousins and enemies of the Pandawas in the epic Mahabarata

lamak - flat palm leaf temple hanging.

ladang - non irrigated form of agriculture, using slash and burn method to grow dry land crops.

legong - common term for legong kraton, or the young female dancers who perform this.

leyak - roaming evil spirit that haunts lonely places at night. These spirits can assume any supernatural shape. They devour the entrails of babies and corpses, cast spells, and can manifest as an animal or balls of fire. Only Balinese can see leyaks.

lingam - phallic symbol associated with the Hindu god Shiva.

lontar - a species of palm tree, which provides food, shelter, utensils and ornaments. Large fan like leaves are stripped and plaited into bags, fishing nets and baskets. Most Balinese literature, history and sacred texts have been inscribed throughout the centuries on strips of this palm.

lontong - cooked glutinous rice wrapped in banana leaves.

losmen - basic accommodation, mostly family run. Rooms to let; of

traditional style architecture.

lumbung padi - traditional thatched rice barn.

Made - name prefix for the second and sixth born of the lower caste.

Mahabarata - Hindu mythological epic containing 100,000 couplets, the longest epic poem in the world. The legend of the descendants of the Hindu gods, climaxing in a battle between the Pandawas and the Korowas. Translated into the high language of Kawi, this Indian legend plays a major role in Balinese literature, art and theatre.

Majapahit - ancient east Javanese empire which ruled most of Indonesia from A.D. 1292-1478. Was dissolved by Islamic influences by A.D. 1520. The Majapahit had a profound effect on the art, culture, and political organization on Bali.

mandi - bathroom with a large tub of water, which you ladle over yourself. Also the ritual of washing.

mantra - chant of sacred significance.

meru - multi roof pagoda made of black thatch, only found on Bali.

mie - noodles.

mie goreng - fried noodles with meat, and or vegetables.

mudra - sacred hand ritual gestures that usually accompany mantras.naga - Hindu mythical serpent or dragon charged with magical powers.

nasi - cooked rice.

nasi campur - combination of eggs, vegetables, meat or fish, with sauce, served on steamed rice.

nasi padang - rice with many side-dishes, always spicy.

Ngrorod - marriage by elopement, in which the bride is abducted, usually with the girl’s prior agreement

Ni - honorary title to address female of the Sudra caste.

Nyepi - Balinese new year. An annual day of silence, stillness, prayer, and meditation, in order to deceive the evil spirits into thinking that mankind has deserted the island, so they too will leave. People refrain from all activities.

Nyoman - name given to the third and seventh born children of lower castes.

odalan - temple festival, celebrating the date the temple was founded. Held every 210 days (when it is believed the gods descend from heaven to receive blessings from the congregation).

oplet - small intra city mini bus, usually covered, with side benches for seating in the back.

oton - Balinese year consisting of 210 days.

opor ayam - chicken cooked in coconut milk and spices.

padi - rice growing in the fields.

padmasana - the high lotus throne, reserved for the highest god at any temple.

Pak - term of respect for a man, abbreviation of bapak, meaning father or Mr.

pandanus - palm used to make mats.

pande - blacksmith.

parang - chopping knife.

paras - soft volcanic sandstone material, used for carving.

pasar - market.

pasar malam - night market.

pedanda - high priest of the Hindu Bali religion, belonging to the Brahmana caste.

pegulingan - a small minor orchestra especially for the legong.

penjor - eight metre high bamboo poles, decorated with bamboo decorations, used to line the streets at Galungan festival.

pikulan - carrying pole which rests across the shoulders. The burden is suspended from each end.

pemangku - curator and custodian of a temple. Secular temple priests who officiates at everyday temple rituals; of the lower castes, and humble. Mostly males.

pisang - banana.

prahu - outrigger (sailing or motorized boat).

punggawa - title of indigenous regents, leader of a district (historical).

puputan - “the end”. Suicidal fight to the death when defeat is inevitable.

pura - temple.

pura dalem - temple of the dead.

pura desa - the village temple, used for everyday worship, usually located in the centre of a village.

pura puseh - “temple of origin” used by the village founders.

pura subak - temple dedicated to the irrigation deities.

puri - residence of a noble family; dwelling place for descendants of a local prince of the Ksatria or Waisa caste.

purnama - full moon.

putri - princess.

raja - lord or prince.

Ramayana - Indian epic legend. The hero Rama defeats Rawana of Lanka who has stolen his wife Sita. The Ramayana provides spectacle for the theatre and drama of Bali and inspires much of its art. Of ancient origin, the story of good conquers evil.

Rangda - Queen of the Leyaks.

rumah makan - modest restaurant.

saka - the Balinese lunar calendar.

sakti - an animals or objects spiritual power.

sambal - a spicy hot chilli sauce.

Sanghyang - title given to a deity of great spiritual power

Sanghyang Widi - the godhead, all powerfull. All the gods in the Bali Hindu pantheon are manifestations of the cosmic force of Sanghyang Widi; the creator.

sari - flower.

sawah - wet rice method of cultivation, or a rice field.

sebel - ritual uncleanness, pollution.

sirih - betel nut and lime combined with sirih - the leaf of a species of

pepper, mildly narcotic, mainly chewed by older people in Indonesia.

songket - patterned woven cloth, incorporating gold or silver thread.

soto - delicious spicy soup, eaten throughout the archipelago.

subak - the village irrigation cooperative, which controls the use of water and maintenance of irrigation. This association settles disputes and monitors all dams.

Sudra - the lowest caste. The common people, comprising over ninety percent of the population. Jaba is more widely used than Sudra among the Balinese.

suling - flute.

taman - ornamental garden with a pond.

teman - friend.

tenget - magical, dangerous.

tirta - holy water.

tuak - rice or palm wine.

tukang - skilled workman or labourer.

Wadah - funeral tower.

wantilan - an open pavilion used for cock fights.

waringin - banyan tree.

warung - a simple food stall selling inexpensive food.

wayang kulit - shadow puppet theatre.

Wayan - the name used for the third and fifth born child of the lower caste.

Waisa - the warrior caste. The most numerous of the aristocratic castes.

Widyadhari - heavenly nymphs.

Yama - god of the underworld.

yeh - water.

Back to Works<>