If the kitchen is the heart of the house, then perhaps the market is the heart of the town or community.
I love walking through fresh markets and supermarkets – looking at local ingredients and supplies. Find out what gets shipped across continents and become a necessity in a foreign land. Mostly finding out what is locally available and locally made.
When in Ubud, make sure to visit the main market. It is at the South-East corner of Jalan Raya Ubud and Jalan Wenara Wana, with the Ubud Palace across the street. It is very busy in the morning with a mixture of regular store owners and mobile hawkers. All happy to help with a smile.
Ready made food can also be found – it’s great to snack and shop!
Spread out all over the market are vendors catering to the important supplies necessary for the daily offering ritual called Canang sari. Balinese are very spiritual and respectful of their Hindu Gods. Every morning little trays of offerings are placed in various locations of their home, vehicle and temple. The trays called ceper are made from palm leaves. Flowers, food, spices, incense and money are offered. Each item has a meaning.
For instance, Shiva is symbolized by lime, Vishnu is symbolized by betel nut and Brahma is symbolized by gambier. As much effort and time is dedicated to the making of these offerings, it is a sign of self-sacrifice for the Gods. It is said a large portion of their monthly earnings are spent on offerings.
After all the shopping is done, when people bought all they can carry home – they have to remember where they parked their scooter!