The construction industry is notorious for it’s dominance as a “male” industry. In the USA it would be rare to have a female roofer, plumber or an electrician bid for a job.
But in Bali one interesting area where females work side by side men in the construction industry is as concrete helpers. Here the male/female divide is that women move the concrete and the men apply it to brick walls etc.
The surprise is that pound for pound (or rather kilo for kilo) the women move way more weight as men do the finer motor-skilled application work. I guess I’m falling for my own stereotyping by thinking that only men do heavy lifting. Go figure…
The Balinese construction crew went back to their village for a major celebration called Galungan. The crew from Java continued to add brick walls and cover them with cement plaster. Slowly the building is looking more and more hospitable, but we have a ways to go.
Still it’s exciting to see progress, even if it is at a slower pace.
The Balinese go to great efforts to treat their ancestors with utmost respect, as they believe that their spirits, in a very real sense, come back to their homes and the home temples that are a part of each piece of property for a Balinese family.
See #1: Family Temple. The house temple called Sanggah or Merajan, is the place to worship the ancestors and the Hyang Guru.
The children are very involved in the celebration, as they sing and dance and run to insure that good triumphs over evil.
The penjor is a curved bamboo pole that is decorated with offerings and displayed in the streets of each Balinese village. It’s a significant investment for the village to build and display penjor poles but they are so lovely. The entire island feels lifted up by these skyward, incredible displays.