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Balinese Culture

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Balinese culture and the people put themselves in a particular role in Indonesia with their culture and nature which lead them as the number one tourist destination in Asia. Balinese is an Austronesian ethnic group and nation native to the Indonesian island of Bali. The Balinese population of 4.2 million (1.7% of Indonesia’s population) live mostly on the island of Bali, making up 89% of the island’s population. There are also significant populations on the island of Lombok and in the easternmost regions of Java island (e.g. the municipality of Banyuwangi).

The Balinese originated from three periods of migration. The first waves of immigrants came from Java and Kalimantan in prehistoric times and were of proto-Malay stock. The second wave of Balinese came slowly over the years from Java during the Hindu period. The third and final wave came from Java, between the 15th and 16th centuries, about the same time as the conversion to Islam in Java, causing aristocrats and peasants to flee to Bali after the collapse of the Javanese Hindu Majapahit Empire in order to escape Mataram’s Islamic conversion. This in turn reshaped the Balinese culture into a syncretic form of classical Javanese culture mixed with many Balinese elements.

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Balinese Culture

A DNA study in 2005 by Karafet et al., found that 12% of Balinese Y-chromosomes are of likely Indian origin, while 84% are of likely Austronesian origin, and 2% of likely Melanesian origin.