At Bali Wedding Ceremony

Congratulating Anak Agung Gede Raka Isnawa,Villa Sabandari‘s gardener, and his bride in his father’s compound.

A Balinese home is the result of a complex interweaving of various elements – a kind of feng shui (the interaction of the physical world with the spirit one), economic wealth, caste, kinship ties and practical social requirements. 

To begin with, Balinese compounds are surrounded by high walls and have only a single small entrance, called the angkul-angkul, at the side bordering the street. Entrance-ways define the threshold between inside and outside and are viewed ambivalently by Balinese: on one hand they admit welcome visitors, while on the other hand they can allow malign spirits to enter. Thus it important that the entranceway be small, and that immediately inside one faces another smaller wall called the aling-aling, placed specifically to baffle uninvited spirits who are normally only capable of traveling in straight lines. 

As a further safeguard a small shrine is often built just in front of the house facing the road. Offering of flowers and coconut leaves are placed in it to make spirits pause and reconsider any intention of entering.

fromLinda Heaphy – Balinese House Compounds: a Microcosom of the Universe