Sakura Bloom Sling Diaries – Tradition

IMG_2827Tradition is everything in Bali. It’s the reason we live with my husband’s parents in a small village, rather than getting a place of our own. It’s the reason my children’s first names are the same as all the other children in Bali – Putu and Made, meaning first and second child. Tradition has governed our lives here in everything from our wedding to the birth of our children.

Every home in Bali has its own family temple and every day offerings are placed around this temple and the family compound. Every day – rain or shine. The normal everyday offerings are simple trays made from palm leaves filled with flowers and a sweet or biscuit. On auspicious days like full moon and new moon or on ceremony days, much more elaborate offerings are carried out.

I first learned to make these simple offerings a few months after our wedding and I did them every day when I was pregnant with Maya. After having children, my ability to carry out tasks like this in solitude was greatly reduced and I tended to leave it to Made’s mother while I rocked and entertained my babies. Recently though, I’ve taken to popping Kiran in a sling and doing the offerings myself in the morning. It’s a lovely meditative way to start the day and fills the compound with the scent of flowers and incense smoke.

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IMG_2839The offerings are usually topped with small cookies or crackers and Kiran was rather indignant when I didn’t give him one.

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Biscuit in mouth and all is right with the world again!

IMG_2863Today was also a special day for Kiran – in addition to their Otonan ceremony every 210 days, a small blessing ceremony is held for children every month with offerings of fruit and cakes. Kiran could barely contain his excitement at the shiny red apples

IMG_2992One of the places where we make offerings every day are the stones outside the entrance to our home that mark the place where their placentas were buried after birth. These stones receive special treatment during the first few months of life, being washed with the baby’s bath water and given a small sweet or cake offering whenever the baby is taken out of the house. Today Kiran’s stone received special offerings.

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Now Kiran is walking everywhere, I don’t know how much longer he’ll be content to be carried around in a sling but I enjoy these little moments while they last.

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I wear Kiran in a Sakura Bloom Essential Silk Sling in Aubergine/Fig

This post is part 5 of a 6 part series for the Sakura Bloom Sling Diaries. We are one of 15 families documenting our babywearing experience over a six month period. You can follow the Sling Diaries on Pinterest, Facebook or Tumblr. You can read all my other blog posts for the sling diaries here.

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6 Responses to “Sakura Bloom Sling Diaries – Tradition”

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  1. Simply beautiful! I can just feel the peacefulness of the morning.

  2. Angelica says:

    these photos and words are absolutely gorgeous. so many beautiful ways to honor tradition. you and your sweet baby boy are just lovely. i am so happy to have found your blog.

  3. Rachel says:

    Thank you so much Jessica :) I love the photos on your blog too!

  4. Rachel says:

    Thanks for your kind words and I’m just in awe of the photos on your blog – your little girl is beautiful

  5. Lisa says:

    What a beautiful and special experience you and your children are having. I admire your ability to adapt to another, completely different, culture so well. So inspiring.

  6. Rachel says:

    Thank you Lisa :) I don’t feel like I’m adapting very well some days but I try!

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