The Lesson that Bali Teaches Me
By Seo-Yeon Bang
Everyone wants to come to Bali. I’ve always wondered why. Why do they want to come here? People may see Bali as a holiday paradise. But, I see Bali as my home, where I’ve experienced and learned so much.
Bali has taught me about the importance of gratitude. While living here, I’ve learned to become more grateful for everything I have. I’m grateful for the fact that I am able to call a place like Bali, home. Living in Bali has provided me with the opportunity to become more open-minded by living in a place rich in culture and unique traditions, ceremonies, and art. From holidays such as Nyepi where the Balinese people create enormous ogoh-ogohs that are extremely intricate and detailed to other ceremonies such as Galungan when the streets are lined with penjors and processions of Balinese in traditional attire.
I also always experience the kind, hospitable, and welcoming community provided by the people of Bali. They always greet me with a bright smile as I walk past, which always encourages me to try my best to become kinder towards others. One of my most meaningful experiences here includes my relationship with our pembantu and her family. Ibu Ketut has been working for my family for about 14 years now. Over time, I have come to see her as a cherished family member who has helped raise me since the day I was born. She treats me as if I were her own child, and has become my Balinese mother. From watching me take my first steps to teaching me Balinese, I’m grateful to have someone like her in my life.
I’m also always grateful for the natural environment of Bali. Every time I visit my home country, South Korea during school holidays, I see modern, urban cities that are constantly busy and bustling. When I’m there, I miss Bali. I miss the calm, spiritual atmosphere of Bali, from its breathtaking waterfalls, beaches, jungles, and rice fields to its welcoming, friendly community. From looking up to the sky in the afternoon and seeing all the young children flying their kites high in the sky.
Despite having lived in Bali my whole life, the beauty of Bali never seems to wear off or lose its novelty. Every morning I’m reminded of its magic – looking out the window and watching the sunrise, listening to the melodic sounds of birds chirping, and the resonating crow of roosters, Bali’s natural alarm clock. Every day ends with a sky full of amazing, mesmerizing colors, displaying a changing palette of colors, always different from the day before.
The place I call home. Where I was raised, where I go to school, and where I still am now. I’m grateful for Bali being the place I call home.
Thank you, terima kasih, matur suksma.