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Bali

Bali is an island and a province of Indonesia. The province covers a few small neighbouring islands as well as the island of Bali itself. It is located at the westernmost end of the Lesser Sunda Islands, between Java to the west and Lombok to the east. One of the country's 34 provinces, Bali has its capital at Denpasar towards the south of the island. With a population recorded as 3,890,757 in the 2010 census, and currently 4.22 million, the island is home to most of Indonesia's Hindu minority. According to the 2010 Census, 84.5% of Bali's population adhered to Balinese Hinduism while most of the remainder followed Islam. Bali is also the largest tourist destination in the country and is renowned for its highly developed arts, including traditional and modern dance, sculpture, painting, leather, metalworking, and music. A tourist haven for decades, the province has seen a further surge in tourist numbers in recent years.
Bali was inhabited by around 2000 BC by Austronesian people who migrated originally from Southeast Asia and Oceania through Maritime Southeast Asia. Culturally and linguistically, the Balinese are thus closely related to the people of the Indonesian archipelago, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Oceania.
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Stone tools dating from this time have been found near the village of Cekik in the island's west. In ancient Bali, nine Hindu sects existed, namely Pasupata, Bhairawa, Siwa Shidanta, Waisnawa, Bodha, Brahma, Resi, Sora and Ganapatya. Each sect revered a specific deity as its personal Godhead. Balinese culture was strongly influenced by Indian, Chinese, and particularly Hindu culture, beginning around the 1st century AD. The name Bali dwipa ("Bali island") has been discovered from various inscriptions, including the Blanjong pillar inscription written by Sri Kesari Warmadewa in 914 AD and mentioning "Walidwipa". It was during this time that the complex irrigation system subak was developed to grow rice. Some religious and cultural traditions still in existence today can be traced back to this period. The Hindu Majapahit Empire (1293–1520 AD) on eastern Java founded a Balinese colony in 1343. When the empire declined, there was an exodus of intellectuals, artists, priests, and musicians from Java to Bali in the 15th century.

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