Nyepi: The Most Special of Days
Green School Weekly Newsletter
Mar 28 2014
During the Orientation Meetings I mention about a few opportunities that will unfold before you while here in Bali. Nyepi is one of the most special days I have ever observed in my 25 years of living abroad in 10 countries.
Nyepi is a Balinese "Day of Silence" that occurs every Balinese new year. This year it happens on Monday March 31st. It is a day of silence, fasting and meditation for the Balinese. Nyepi is one of the most special days to happen anywhere in the world. For one day time stops. The only international airport in the world to close down is in Bali with Nyepi. There is no technology, no electrical, no work and no cooking. (Although there is tolerance for those not accustomed to the day so there is some flexibility. But you just cannot wander outside). Following the contrasting evening before with the spectacle and dynamism of the Ogoh Ogoh ceremonies (another amazing event to witness around Bali), Nyepi happens the next day as a day of quiet and reflection. On the day after Nyepi, known as Ngembak Geni, families and friends gather to ask forgiveness from one another.
We all lead busy lives. Most of us at some point have said, "I wish time could just standstill for a day." Well here you have it right at your fingertips. And you may never get the opportunity to experience it again. Sadly I occasionally hear of families trying to get away for Nyepi to a hotel where their kids can play and not be "bored". We apply our Western mindsets that our children can't be quiet and we have to entertain them.
So my kind suggestion is to embrace Nyepi. Step out into your yard that morning and listen to the world around you. You will be amazed. Spend time with your children, look into their eyes, listen to them, hear them. Sit quietly alone or with those you love and just be thankful for what you have. Give you and your family 100% of your time. That evening light a few candles (as lights are not allowed) and see how your world and mindset transforms. You may find the beauty in this special day and you may learn something about yourself.
To me this is the essence of Bali.
Take care and have a special break. And I thank all of the Balinese for allowing us to be part of your culture.