The Balinese People Love Their Coconut Tree

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Living in Bali, you will see coconuts galore. No social distancing for these wonderful chaps 😁

Is a coconut a fruit a nut or a seed?

Botanically speaking, a coconut is a fibrous one-seeded drupe, also known as a dry drupe. However, when using loose definitions, the coconut can be all three: a fruit, a nut, and a seed.

Out of all the nuts available in Bali, the coconut is hands-down the best nut on the island. Not only does it serve as a refreshing drink (which by the way I have every day) it has many other practical uses! In fact, the Balinese use coconuts a lot in their daily lives from ceremonies to serving up an icy cool cup of coconut ice to tackle a long hot day.

The coconut’s ubiquity has made it an essential nut in the lives of the Balinese, where the entire coconut tree can be used for different purposes.

Let’s start with the nut. Coconuts are famous for their refreshing and nutritious water. Coconut water is high in potassium and sugar which makes it a great drink to quench thirst. In Bali, coconut water is often believed to have spiritually cleansing powers therefore it is used in purification ceremonies.

The young green coconut is a favorite for making a cool drink known as es kelapa muda. It’s basically the flesh of the coconut submerged in coconut water and given some palm sugar. Sweet!

Yellow coconuts are often used in ceremonies as the water can be used for purification and a basis for holy water.

Brown coconut shells can be used for kindling while the fibers can be used to make rope or other crafts.


Coconut shells also make fun toys for children! Aside from drinks and toys people also extract coconut oil for a lot of uses by creating it into cooking, perfume, or massage oil.

Coconut leaves are an integral part in Balinese religious life as a majority of offerings are crafted with coconut leaves.

Young green coconut leaves are used for a wide variety of offerings, from the small canang to the larger penjor;

Old coconut leaves can be used to construct ceremonial structures. They are also used to make baskets that men use to carry around their roosters or chickens.

Trunks of the coconut tree (or as the Balinese say) valuable timber. Timber from coconut trees can be used in construction, arts and crafts, and in many other areas.

Seeing that the coconut tree has so many uses in Balinese life,

It’s no wonder the Balinese just love their coconuts!

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