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If you have ever visited Bali, you have undoubtedly noticed black and white checked sarongs draped over Hindu statues all across the island.

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The tradition sparked our curiosity so we turned to locals for an explanation. 

Turns out the black and white checked sarongs symbolise the good (white) and the bad (black) spirits that are believed to be working as one in every individual. 

Statue in Ubud, Bali. Indonesia
Statue in Ubud, Bali. Indonesia

Balinese culture is extremely harmonic and spiritual and its people are of the believe that everything that’s loved, like the statues of gods must be cared for daily. Sarongs, similar to the offerings, are merely a symbol of care, a way to show to the gods that they are being looked after  (dressed in sarongs and fed with rice and water from the offerings). 


Cultural Close-ups is a series of photographs and stories from around the world that go beyond the pretty sights and famous attractions. If you’d like to contribute a photo and a short story to Cultural Close-Ups, please email your submission to oksana@drinkteatravel.com

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Cultural Close-Up: Why Statues in Bali are Drapped in Checkered Sarongs


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