When Cultures Collide

Ubud is much more than a confluence of two significant rivers that historically joined together to create the town named for its healing powers (Ubad = medicine in Balinese). It’s also a confluence of radically, radiantly and wildly different styles and cultures.

IMG_9962Take the pint-sized Asian woman that crossed my path this morning as I strolled through the rice fields of Sanggigan on my way to the pool. I’d been talking with the rice farmer, observing him corral his ducks onto another paddy with nothing more than guttural sounds and hand gestures. So I missed seeing this petite woman approach from afar.

But as she came closer, half a dozen luminous or striped hula hoops slung over her shoulder, outfitted in pink and purple stretchy, gauzy, princess-for-a-day fairy wear, I noticed that her lips were gleaming and her lowered eyelids were sprinkled with fairy dust. My seven-yeIMG_1200ar old niece would surely have oohed and aahed. She glided by as I bid her good morning, and when I turned around I am almost certain I saw the rice farmer look her over in awe (or was that bewilderment?).

Oh, how our worlds collide, here in Bali.

As I walked on, I grinned and realized that this otherworldly apparition must have been on leave from the Sacred Circularities Hooping retreat… and lost her way.

I returned home and tracked down a posting on Facebook: The hoopers are here! After tomorrow, there will be 55 amazing hoop movers swirling up a love storm in Ubud.

And then, I noticed that FaceIMG_1940book postings, in Bali at least, do a good job of reflecting much of this really wide cultural divide:

Does anyone have experience training monkeys?

Any pole dance artists out here??!

Anyone in the ubud area wanting support in form of a physiotherapeutic breath cleanse to get the mucus out and release the diaphragm is very wellcome (sic) to contact me

Does anyone have any knowledge/experience with balancing systemic candida?IMG_2724

Less surprising if you learn that people with names like Optimum and Lotus live here.

You can buy vegan footwear, bamboo sheets and shots of wheatgrass.

Facebook tells you where you can find: A West african dance workshop w/ Baba. Healing and Refreshing juices. Two hours of yummyness at Alchemy at the Ark. BREATH-LIGHT BLISS Activation – Pre-Full Moon Eclipse Focus. Beautiful Full Moon Kundalini Yoga Group Meditation by Donation followed by Durian & Raw Chocolate Picnic.

Imagine one week of: sacred sound journeys with crystal singing bowls, chanting, toning, kirtan, dance, DNA regeneration and healing, meditation, yoga, uplifting heartsong gatherings, Divine dance exploration, colonic irrigation, crystal light bed treatments, Chinese medicine, structural bodywork, homeopathy, naturopathy, kinesiology, Reiki, life coachinIMG_7806g, holistic yoga therapy, Tuina (Chinese massage and manual therapy) for infants & children, Japanese facelift massage, ozone steam sauna, and/or ozone therapy. You could also consult a Jungian therapist that occasionally runs Love Retreats aboard the… ummm… Love Boat.

If you wanted to, you could do an entire week’s worth of therapeutic/healing/loving self-work just by working yourself through the alphabet. Week One: Ayurveda, Acro-Yoga, Access Consciousness,™ Akashic Record channeling and acupuncture.

Ubud, a place where rice farmers till the fields and shoo away birds, where women braid their daughters’ hair while braiding palm leaves into offering baskets; a place where priests intone devotional chants and ring bells, where children fly kites and play video games. It is also a place that holds festivals of hooping, human beauty, devotion, let go and love. 

What an adventure.. of kaleidoscopic proportions.*




  1. I love this post Amit. You could earn a small fortune by being an ambassador for Ubud! We all love Bali for different reasons and I think that’s what makes it such an interesting place – it really does have something for everyone 😀

  2. Beautiful picture, pulled me right into the article. Love your writing style, then realized that my old friend John de Kadt is there with his chanting troupe and is probably one of the hula hoopers. His new music video is called One Hoop, a lovely video and beautiful music. I haven’t been to Bali in over ten years and it sounds like it has become even more out there then ever! How fun. Glad you are there and glad for the confluence of experiences that brought me to your post.

    1. Dear Deirdre, What a pleasant surprise, thanks for your comments. Although I’ve heard about John, I haven’t met him. Indeed, SO many fascinating people and stories in this town… maybe it’s time for another visit 😉

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