Few neighbours love and visit Bali as much as the antipodean Aussies and Kiwis, expats and holidaymakers alike. And few national moments are as patriotically significant as the upcoming ANZAC Day anniversary, the 100 year commemoration of the Gallipoli landing at Anzac Cove.
So with the centenary celebrations just around the corner, many Australians and New Zealanders that will be in Bali on the 25th of April 2015 are feeling the urge to show their respects this year, more than others. Whilst there’s not a lot of official options naturally like back home, here’s a few options to help pay homage to your country and servicemen from the island of the Gods. Traditional, or not quite so traditional.
The Australian Consulate General holds an official dawn service and breakfast, with representation from back home. Bookings are necessary and details won’t be released until closer to the day, so contact the Consulate General directly for more information:
e. firstname.lastname@example.org, p. +6 2361 241118, ext. 119.
If this is too hard, we’ve heard that a few Aussies and Kiwis are planning to hold their own sunrise services to silently remember those who lost their lives and those who returned with the wounds of war. So the bush telegraph is your best option to check in with your local networks on this one.
Bali is full of beaches after all, and anywhere east coast will be first up with sunrise. Make it a weekend away and head to Komune, a fabulous Australian owned resort and beach club overlooking the ocean at Keramas on Bali’s east coast. Though they’re not yet doing anything official themselves, it’s a great reason to check in and be up for a sunrise reflection or before heading out for a surf.
Toast a respectful two or few
The island isn’t short of drinking holes owned (or frequented) by Australians and New Zealanders. Old Man’s, Mexicola, Piggys Bar, Sea Circus, Lucky Day, Petitinget, the Plumbers Arms and The PUB Kuta are just a few of those likely to draw a crowd on the day. But wherever you go, swap your Bintang for Crown Largers, VBs, Tui or Monteiths (if not an Aussie or NZ bottle of wine), and raise your glasses with respect.
Two thoughts for Two-Up
We know the temptation to get one-up on your mate in a round of Two-Up is a big part of the Anzac tradition. But remember that gambling is strictly prohibited in Indonesia, so be sure that it’s only the right kind of fun and games on the day. And good luck finding a penny! Many venues include a charity element, and it’s always to good spread the goodwill locally wherever you may end up.
Fly your fashion flag
If nothing else, and obviously not even close to the official formalities of this day and its significance, but at least do your bit for the mother country by supporting your own local designers on this day. Wear them with pride! If you’re wanting to hit the streets of Seminyak for a special antipodean purchase, you can visit Carousel, Mister Zimi, Gail Elliott, Deus Ex Machina, Bali Boat Shed and Drifter Surf Shop (One Teaspoon) to name a small few. It’s a small gesture, but something to remind you of home.
Beyond the consulate event here in Bali, the closest Anzac experience of a more formal kind may involve a quick flight over to Singapore. Hosted by the Australian and New Zealand High Commissioners, the official dawn service to attend is at the Kranji War Memorial Cemetery, commencing at 6.15 for a 6.30am start. The official breakfast following the service has already sold out.
You can then finish the day with the ANZAC Day Beach Party Night at the World’s Top Beach Bar (as lauded by Conde Nast), Tanjong Beach Club on Sentosa Island. ‘Just head down to the sand’ to rock out to one of the most legendary Australian rock bands of the 80s, Mondo Rock, and a line up also featuring Angry Anderson, of Rose Tattoo. Tickets can be purchased here or at the door for $88.
“Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.”
Either way, ANZAC Day is a day to celebrate the past, be grateful for the future, and have fun with a mate or six. And that’s the easiest part when in Bali.
Top image: Pinterest.