Bali, Offerings and Squirrels

Canang Sari offerings are well-known symbols of Bali, but alongside these daily Hindu offerings to the Gods, other older traditions remain in place. Ancestor worship and animist beliefs are sometimes separate from the cosmos of Hinduism, or are incorporated into it. Offerings of cigarettes, biscuits, coffee and alcohol are commonly seen on these shrines, things you might need in the afterlife. These offerings may also be strategically placed under trees to appease the mischievous underground and evil tree spirits who may play havoc with your business and lives. I’ve also seen some Balinese sprinkle cheap alcohol around the base of large trees to keep these naughty spirits at bay.

Early morning offering under a shady Banyan tree

While capturing the above offering, a cute looking squirrel arrived to take a sip of coffee. Perhaps a re-incarnation of Kak or Nini (grandfather and grandmother in Balinese).

Later that morning, the little tray had been engulfed by canang sari, the floral offerings bought to this spot by the young women who work here or live nearby.

Canang Sari, Rosetta’s restaurant, Sindhu Beach, Bali
Canang sari- by the sea.

“The plantain squirreloriental squirrel or tricoloured squirrel, is found in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand in a wide range of habitats: forests, mangroves, parks, gardens, and agricultural areas. Fruit farmers consider them to be pests. Its diet consists mostly of leaves and fruits, but it also eats insects and bird eggs. It is known to break open twigs that contain ant larvae to eat them. It can eat fruits much bigger than itself, such as mangoes, jackfruit or coconuts. It is very quick and agile in trees, able to jump a few metres between trees, and rarely wanders on the ground.”

Also partial to a sip of coffee.


7 thoughts on “Bali, Offerings and Squirrels”

  1. Maybe due to some lingering vestiges of past life or ancestral paganism but I find appeal in a modern culture that makes the effort and time for daily offerings to Gods and ancestors. Such tangible evidence of belief in the intangible somehow resonates and reassures me. Yup, gotta love -me and everyone else in the world- a coffee drinking squirrel, a YouTube clip could be your ticket to fame and fortune ☺

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I feel the same way Dale- that despite massive urbanisation and modernisation in Bali, these beautiful rituals continue. Flowers, incense, ancestors and gods, animals and nature, the Hindu cosmos with its floral and spiritual world swilrls around us everywhere here, and I get caught up in it.
      I could go back for that youtube moment, and the squirrel might never appear again, just like that exotic priest.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Such a wonderful custom. I wonder what items would be offered here to our Scandinavian gods should we have such a custom?
    Your image of the squirrel is a joy to view. I’d like to think we all have something or someone from past lives in us.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The custom is a joy to watch and to be tripped up along the foot paths by small baskets of flowers, made from palm leaves, then arranged in twos or threes in front of businesses and houses is lovely too.
      Yes, I agree, sometimes past lives and people sneak up on you. Or that sense of deja- vous you feel in a place.


    2. Ron – I actually took my thoughts to Mr Google and he assures me there are none such . . . ‘Taara’, a name with which you are familiar, simply means something basic from nature, be it trees, boulders or plants to which we should refer to base ourselves . . . that said I remember the most fierce fights with my very favourite squirrels as a child they always wanted the chestnuts I did: well, I was bigger !!!

      Liked by 1 person

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