Many were the experiences for our students on tour from attending language classes at the Wisma Bahasa School over 5 days and supporting this learning with activities encouraging our students to practise their Bahasa whilst interacting with the locals. We visited a number of villages where we were welcomed into people’s homes and social spaces. Activities ranged from shopping at the local markets for ingredients later required for their cooking lesson to traditional dance classes where they explored the use of movement and costume in telling a story. Everyone tried their hand at making a piece of batik, toiling with hot wax to create their own design. Then we tested our fine motor skills attempting jewellery making and silversmithing.
Bali was all about colour and rituals reflecting peace in life. Here we explored how Hinduism arrived in Bali with the early traders and entwined itself with local animist beliefs. Students learnt about the structure of the little offerings we see everywhere in Bali. We learnt the meaning behind the particular colours of the flower petals and how there is relevance and symbolism in the positioning of these petals in the little trays. We pondered on how such a simple beautiful thing can be so complicated and carry such deep spiritual meaning.
Travelling to Indonesia with the 2019 group was a pleasure. The students embraced every activity and tackled each day with fresh energy and positivity. They were willing to learn, to explore, give things a go and more importantly to engage in reflective conversations. I am sure they have come home with wonderful memories and experiences which they will share with their peers and enhance our learning in the classroom.