Indonesians must know some spell, to separate Indians from a crowd of tourists from the rest of 194 countries or may be My face is way too predictable to shout for my country or for a better notion, may be Indonesians prefer Indians a lot!! I will prefer to depend on the last excuse more, though the same is subject to any genuine evidence and not to mention, any verification as well! And after all these, there remains few who still haven’t mastered the spell yet, if gets to know that you are an Indian, ta-da! they have loads to tell you even then!
So far I have gone head over heels about my Bali trip way longer than I had actually planned, but I can’t help, you see.. Humanity has been quite flattery to me, that I couldn’t stop spilling the tiny cauldron of my-first-ever-solo-trip-to-Bali-experience. And without bothering to foresee the future at all, I already know that this will even continue in future with the same quotient of my spirits intact. No big deal for me but the powerful Amen-Ra should have some mercy on those avid readers of mine! (**How many followers do I have by the way!!)
So back to the subject, Indonesians are truly quite fond of Indian tourists, there are ample of reasons to stand for it and the amazing part is that the locals love to talk. You, in particular don’t have to think of what to talk, how much to tell and all that though.. They have the topics of discussions ready, you being an Indian just have to add into their knowledge on the same.
‘Hello, are you Indian?’
‘Yes, I am form India.’
‘We love India. You know Mahabharata?..’
‘Yes, of course I do.’ Hey if an Indian won’t know then who will!!
‘We watch them a lot.’
‘Yes, they come on TV, and we have DVDs as well.’
‘Wow, I didn’t know Indian mythology is so popular in here!’
‘It is, not only these, we watch Bollywood movies, we love Shahrukh Khan!’
It’s true that Ramayana and Mahabharata are telecasted on the TV channels in Bali and both are equally famous and has a large number of audiences in Indonesia. Both India and Bali in particular has many cultural similarities in between, having the major population of Hindus, Balinese worship almost all Indian Gods. Rituals may be different but cultural beliefs hold us on the same string. In general it’s Lord Vishnu who resides in the temples, but I had seen idols of Ganesha, Garuda and Shiva at many houses. Apart from this, the popularity of Bollywood, is greater than their own film industry. Incredible! isn’t it?
‘Where are you from?’
‘I’m from India.’
‘Oh, you look Indian!’ What does that mean!
‘We watch Bollywood movies a lot here.’
‘Yes, Hrithik Roshan?’ Ok I forgive him, after numerous Amitabh Bachchan and Shahrukh Khan, here’s someone who understands me!!
‘You like Hrithik Roshan?’
‘Yes, very much, then we also watch movies of Shahrukh Khan, Sahid Kapoor..’ Oh he really watches a lot of movie!!
Even I was amazed to know that many Balinese names are the same Indian names we use, rather we used to use till 90s; now-a-days Indians prefer fancy western or some rarely used Vedic names for their kids.
‘So you are form Mumbai?’ This one is quite advanced!
‘Hey a country cannot have just one city!’
‘Yes, right.. so where are you from?’
‘I am from eastern part of India.’ I purposely never mention ‘East India’, reminds me of the old time which I witnessed never.
‘I have friends in India.’
‘Really? So have you been to India?’
‘No no, I was in the Navy before, there I had two colleagues from India. Then I left and started my business here.’
‘Oh India? Do you listen to ‘Om’ chant? I listen to it every-day. I even have it in my car. It keeps the mind calm.’
‘No, I don’t but I know this chant.’
‘I do meditation and Yoga every-day. It’s very good for health! It also came from India, it’s a great country!’
‘It is.. Thank you.’ I am always three inch taller to such compliments, not that I can’t handle more vertical growth but this shortage of 3” could have given me my desired height!!
‘Indian culture is very popular in Bali. We love your mythologies; do you worship Shiva, Ganesha?’
‘Yes we do. Do you?’
‘Yes, many people keep their idols in the house.’
‘So, are you vegetarian?’
‘No I am not.’
‘But, I knew Indians are vegetarian. Is it like you eat non-veg?’
‘Not all Indians are vegetarian. There are many religions present in India; among them some are vegetarian and some non-vegetarian.’
‘Oh, I see.’
‘You have festivals like us?’
‘We are so much alike then!’