Bali People & Their Dogs
No matter the outcome, their historical relationship is nothing short of astounding.
As just one of 17,504 officially listed islands, Bali Island sits in the middle of the ring of fire, a long horse-shaped chain of active volcanoes and earthquake sites that runs all around the edge of the Pacific Ocean. Bali became the only part of Indonesia to remain predominantly Hindu.
Indonesia is the largest archipelago in the world and of all official religions Hinduism has the longest history in the archipelago. However, on most Indonesian islands this chapter in its history has been erased by time or conquest. The only exception being the island of Bali. Until the present day most inhabitants of this island (known as 'island of the Gods') practice Balinese Hinduism.
Connected and interconnected in isolation, a direct symbiotic relationship between Bali people and their canine spans hundreds of years. There are many stories and myths surrounding their union and as usually happens with all engaging tales, reality becomes a very fluid medium. One certainty has remained constant for millennium. If Bali people did not want their dogs, they would not be there. Balinese canines are an integral part of Balinese history and culture. Their relationship is far from perfect, nothing is.
So why do Bali people cohabit with Bali dogs. The reality is very simple. It just is and has forever been this way and the thought of any other outcome is not a consideration, it’s their enduring agreement.
‘Without Bali dogs, Bali is not Bali.’
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