If you spend any time in Bali you’re sure to have noticed black, white and grey checker sarongs, especially if you’ve ever seen a Kecak Dance. But they’re not just something to wear, because you’ll also see them as ceremonial umbrellas, adorning many shrines in temples, on roadsides, in houses, in the middle of rice fields and even wrapped around the sacred Banyan trees often found outside temples.
There is a reason for this. Balinese culture is deeply rooted in Hinduism, and the checker sarongs are a representation of the duality of nature. They are a symbol of balance, harmony, and peace, and have been used in religious ceremonies, dances, and everyday life for centuries.
The black and white checks are said to represent the duality of the world, light and dark, good and evil, masculine and feminine. This duality is at the core of Balinese Hinduism, and the checker sarongs are a physical representation of this concept.
The grey check is a reminder of the need for balance between the two extremes, and that peace and harmony can be achieved when all aspects of life are in balance.
The checker sarongs are also important to Balinese dance, where they are used to express emotion. The black and white checks are said to represent the movements of the universe, while the grey check is a reminder of the need to stay balanced and centered.
During religious ceremonies, the checker sarongs are used to express the power of the gods and to honour them. In everyday life, the checker sarongs are worn by both men and women. They are a symbol of respect and dignity, and are a reminder to always strive towards balance and harmony in life. They are also believed to bring good luck, and are often worn as a sign of protection.