Bali is one of a chain of islands that comprises the fragmented Malay Archipelago. This broken land bridge links the continents of Asia and Australia and is situated close to the Equator on the world’s volcanic belt. Life is slow and enchanted on this lush, tropical isle and its people are imbued with graciousness, charm and warm hospitality. https://rupiah138.xn--6frz82g/

As a European resident and the Executive Chef at an up-market resort there, Hubert Lorenz’s daily life was far from dull. Christian, Hindu and Islamic religious practices mingled seamlessly with Balinese animistic and ancient rites.

Early in the morning, some female hotel employees laid daily offerings around the offices and kitchens in hopes of distracting the ever-present evil spirits, while appealing to the benevolence of the good spirits. These same women would be present at the Christian churches on Sundays, but still felt it was best for their after-life to cover all religious bases whilst living here on earth.

Their tablespoon-sized donations usually consisted of a few grains of sticky, white rice, a fragrant flower and a morsel of fruit, all placed on a rhombus-shaped banana leaf. This was placed reverently at conspicuous, inconvenient spots on the hotel kitchen equipment, in doorways, or on top of the computer monitors. Often a thick moving arrow of black ants would point the way to these miniature feasts, ostensibly left for the gods’ enjoyment.

One of the most fascinating of the Balinese rites was that of the Rain-Stopper. When the hotel had a particularly important banquet scheduled for pool-side, a messenger would be sent post-haste to the local holy man. The sarong-clad wise man would trudge to the temple closest to the hotel grounds with his tools-of-the-trade, carried in a requisite black and white checked cloth. (Sidebar – Cloths that were black and white checks or bright yellow are the respectful colors worn at Balinese temples and holy places.) This colorful, but respected individual carried a live chicken and several incense sticks. While intoning ancient prayers and imprecations, he would sacrifice the chicken and commune with the forces that governed the weather, requesting that the rain would abate for a short while in the area designated for that evening’s outdoor banquet.

The Rain-Stopper’s reasonable stipend of a few rupiahs per ceremony was an approved line item in the Hotel’s annual Food and Beverage budget. He received no payment if it rained on the event. Incredibly, more often than not, no rain would deign to fall on the grounds where the banquet was set up. Yet, a mere 75 to 100 yards away a soaking rain could be falling. Given the mostly daily, or twice daily gentle rainfalls in Bali, his success rate was truly astonishing.

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