Here are yet more Balinese and Indonesian words with complex ideas behind them which are unique to that part of the world. Vacationers in Bali, no matter how casual, would benefit from getting to know some of these concepts, because they express ideas that are both uncommon to the Western world-view and indelibly embedded into Balinese society.

Rasa – The feeling evoked by a work of art.

Arts in Bali and most of Indonesia have a trait that is peculiar to Western thought: they may be overwhelmingly sad, scary, erotic, or humorous, to the point of making the work itself a caricature. Don’t be confused by this over-bold statement; this is actually the “rasa”, a Sanskrit word that’s seen as a quality to strive for. There’s some dozen of them, and they’re meant to invoke different Hindu gods and even have chakra colors associated with them. For instance, a statue of a conquering warrior might invoke the “viram rasa”, associated with the deity Indra and the color yellow.

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