Mixing tradition with fashion: Kebayas in Bali

In Bali, there is no day going by without a ceremony somewhere. This can be a temple ceremony, a ceremony at home, a wedding, a cremation or another life cycle ceremony. Every ceremony comes with many colourful offerings and decorations in both the temple and the family home. Balinese are dressed in their traditional clothing when going to a ceremony, whether they are attending one, helping in the preparations or just coming as a visitor. 

As you probably have seen around Bali, Balinese people are dressed very beautifully when going to a ceremony. Women wear a very colourful kebaya (a traditional blouse-dress often made from lace), a sarong (a length of fabric wrapped around the waist) and a selendang (a scarf to put around the waist). These three items are usually colour-matched, and women follow the recent fashion trends regarding colour and models. 

If you ask an average woman in Bali how many different kebayas they have, they probably can’t answer that, as there will be so many! Same as in modern fashion, trends are changing very quickly, and it is, of course, desirable for Balinese women to wear an up-to-date colour and model.

There are so many colours to choose from. The fabric is bought by the meter, and a tailor will then make the kebaya of your choice, and you can decide on the model yourself. 

For attending a temple ceremony, the preferred colour to wear is white. Orange is often chosen when going to a house ceremony, a wedding or other social activity in the community, among with a matching sarong and scarf!

Volunteer Programs Forever is also often attending ceremonies. As a community, this is of utmost importance for the organization, and the team members are often invited to a ceremony. This can be a temple ceremony in the village of one of the programs, a wedding ceremony or a more significant temple festival in the area of the office. VP Forever usually goes to these ceremonies together as a team and, of course, wears colourful kebayas and sarongs themselves.