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What is Kebaya and Sembahyang

Posted under: Bali in General

A Kebaya is a woman's blouse worn with a sarong. It is a traditional Indonesian costume and is considered formal wear for women. What is known as the kebaya today is said to have originated in Java in the 17th century. Kebaya is a common dress in all Java teritory: East Java and Central Java, as well.

Until today, kebaya is still related to use in any accosionals. Especially a formal occasional event such as attending a wedding ceremony, an invitation from a government office, graduation ceremony, etc. It is still quiet popular among the woman (adult and young) in Indonesia. For for the men, they can use for any formal cloth, such as batik or coat.

After the 19th century, Dutch women who came to Indonesia during the Dutch colonial era liked wearing the kebaya with a sarong which helped to make the dress sophisticated. After Indonesia became independent, the kebaya was made the formal dress for the women of Indonesia.

The style differs from region to region. In Bali, which is dominated by Hindus, it is worn with a shawl tied around the waist. This is said to mean that you are facing a god. As the material, until now a thin and see-through polyester cloth with embroidery, has been generally used, but recently cotton cloth has also become popular.

As the kebaya is tailored to fit each individual by taking very detailed measurement, it accentuates the women's body, as women in Bali compete with each other in beauty by wearing the kebaya. Regarding the quality of the cloth, it is depend on the material choosen. More expensive the material price, more comfortable and nice the kebaya will look. The colour itself is vary, from natural colour until the one which is eye catching like red colour.

What is Sembahyang
Sembahyang means to pray in Indonesian. Balinese women visit a temple to pray wearing a formal dress and carrying an offering. When they pray, they have canang and incense sticks ready. By putting their hands together, reciting a mantra, they face the Gods.

Another word of sembahyang is Offering. Balinese doing some offering almost everyday. We can easily see Balinese are doing this (usually in the morning) along the road, near the office or home, at the market, etc. The offering can be done in a group, like in the temple, or by his/her self such as in the house. In some event, we can also see a child is doing the offering activity, alone or accompanied by their parent.


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