After twenty minutes of ‘you are so beautiful’ and ‘you are my most favorite surfer girl ever’, my instructor laid a big smooch on my cheek. ” I didn’t feel threatened, since I am larger than most Balinese men, but his persistence was hilariously irritating.
LGBTQ orientations are slowly becoming more accepted on the island of Bali, but is unfortunately still thought of as unnatural.
Cheating is rampant, and it is not uncommon for a man to have a wife/girlfriend back in his village and/or a relationship with someone else overseas.
In the long term, the woman is expected to convert to the man’s religion, the two main religions in Bali being Hinduism and Islam.
Tourist areas are more open and there are a few gay bars in Seminyak, which are amazing.
Outside of the tourist hub, acceptance of LGBTQ people diminishes and becomes significantly more taboo.
Balinese women tend to be very modest and reserved.
Indonesians are not confrontational and are very passive.
Women tend to join in social activities like going to the mall or the cinema, but often refrain from going out on the town for a wild night of drinking.
Women don’t usually drive cars, and when on a motorbike with a man, the man usually drives. My mind was rocked when I passed a local woman on Nusa Penida who was driving a motorbike one handed, not wearing a helmet, and breastfeeding a tiny infant.
Birthdays, marriage, loyalty and religion are all topics that came up during discussions.
To many Balinese men, birthdays are not a big deal.
So, take a stroll down memory lane to remember all of our past Word of the Year selections.