Neo Colonialism in Bali

Feb 6th, 2008, in Opinion, by

Patronising neo-colonialist attitudes by westerners in Bali.

I once read a section on Bali in a guide book popular among backpackers and low-budget travellers. I won't state which guide book, because I no longer have it in my possession and thus cannot give the exact quote. But I can assure you, I did not misread it. I was so taken aback by it I read it over and over again aghast at the mentality of the author. There was a paragraph which seemed to be lamenting the fact, or the author's perception rather, that these days more and more Balinese would rather sit in front of the television in cafes (warung) or at home, rather than partaking in traditional Balinese pursuits such as gamelan music and dancing. The tone of the lament was one that seemed to imply that the author considered such modern luxuries as products of the West, having negative impacts on society and as such represented indirectly a sort of neo-colonial intrusion on 'The East'.

I couldn't help but gain the impression that this author represented a different kind of colonialism - I suppose you could call it something like "reconstituted colonialism" or "implied colonialism" for want of a better suggestion. It is not limited to this one example. I hear similar sentiments all the time - "colonial" sentiments such as -

  • "They are such peace-loving people, so warm and generous..." (Who isn't? Think about it; why do you feel the need to patronise other 'quaint' societies?)
  • "It's such a shame that these people are letting go of their traditional culture..." (Doesn't every society? Do you still wear corsettes and play harpsichord music in the drawing room?)
  • "It's good that someone has finally published a (insert name of endangered language) dictionary. Who will help to preserve these people's language if we don't?" (Honestly, I read this one on a western forum for traditional Indonesian music). Language death is a natural part of life. Get used to it.

By this I mean the mentality among sections of western society who feel legitimate concern for the effects of traditional colonialism - 18th and 19th Century colonialism - and who then confuse it with technological progress which brings about natural social change.

To me this sort of attitude translates into -

"You are Balinese. You have a rich traditional culture. We are tourists who bring money. We don't want to see you sitting around watching television. We are coming to your country to experience "The East". If you sit around watching television, you are victims of the West. Go...get back into your traditional costumes and play us some gamelan music."

Related to this emerges the -

"We consider you to be wonderful, generous, peace-loving people. We can't have you being exposed to western technology which will bring out your badness... (we will study your country for you, using our paradigms and theories, we will preserve your language if you can't or don't want to, we will decide where you sit on the morality spectrum...)"

Exaggerated? On the face of it, yes. But if you really think about the absurdity of the sentiment represented by what was in that guidebook, then really, what else can it possibly mean?

It is unfortunate that tourism has brought this about. It is unfortunate that the West has come to view Bali as "Paradise". Do the Balinese see it as Paradise? Does the struggling rice farmer contending with water shortages and hotel development see it as Paradise? Does anyone see their own land as Paradise?

How would a full-time Bank Clerk in Australia manage if he or she were expected to leave the office, go home, change into traditional costume and be at the tourist venue on time, on a regular basis, in order to show off that little bit of "Paradise" to cashed-up tourists? Yet we expect the Balinese to do it all the time.

Am I wrong if I say that the Balinese are in between a rock and a hard place? On one hand they are expected to contribute to the economic development of their nation, trying hard to catch up with the developed world, and on the other hand they are expected to find the time to maintain their traditions to a suitable degree that will keep attracting the tourists.

Some may ask at this point "Isn't that the benefit of tourism?" Perhaps. But what about harga diri, personal dignity and self worth?

Must every Balinese conform to this cultural stereotype?

Must every Balinese be forced to go against human nature to preserve an unnatural façade of the friendly, peace-loving, non-violent utopian inhabitant of the paradise that The West is not?

Must all Balinese be banned from watching television in the cafes, to be encouraged back into the traditional music and dance studios?

Must every Balinese be dependent on tourism and thus forced to conform to the desires of the modern nDoro Tuan (colonial master)?


47 Comments on “Neo Colonialism in Bali”

  1. avatar spew-it-all says:

    “We consider you to be wonderful, generous, peace-loving people. We can’t have you being exposed to western technology which will bring out your badness”Β¦ (we will study your country for you, using our paradigms and theories, we will preserve your language if you can’t or don’t want to, we will decide where you sit on the morality spectrum”Β¦)”

    This sounds like comments coming from an anthropologist. Oh i remember when western scientists raped the virgin land, exposing the originality of the culture to the wide world, then constructed a knowledge of the Orient.

    Tourism is kind of cultural voyeurism really. I am shocked to know that the way of people dealing with poverty can be an object of voyeurism, or to some extent, contesting their philanthropic idea.

  2. avatar wayan sudirta says:

    Tourism brings good thing and bad thing…time will tell.

  3. avatar Achmad Sudarsono says:

    Hi Ausdag,

    More like a cock (rooster) and a hard place for the men, no pun intended. Or was it ? πŸ™‚

    Adrian Vickers has a fantastic book on this about the creation of the idea of paradise. Let’s not forget though, they’ve been lamenting the decline of Balinese culture since the 1930s. (Remember that steamy foto spread — (Borat voice) isss nice !).

    But tourism’s only been good for Balinese culture. More money for offerings, bigger market, more opportunities. They’ve got their sh*t sorted. Drugs, transmigration, bigger threats in their eyes.

    Salam Blogging !

  4. avatar Susi says:

    Ausdag’s posting is excellent. Plenty of truth there. We’ve heard the same insight voiced in various ways over the years, and IMHO it’s great to have it voiced again.

    I think, however, it’s not necessary to use the “neocolonialism” label. Maybe better to just say how things appear, without using the label. It clouds the issue. We’re not talking about a colonisation, or anything like one. What are we talking about?

    The benefits of “performing” for pay? The cost of “performing” for pay? The indignity of “performing” for pay? The value of behaving with “real” authenticity as opposed to behaving with “faux” authenticity by putting on funny clothes, using non-mechanised implements, singing and dancing, etc, when you might actually prefer to be zapping villains on the playstation?

    What we are talking about perhaps is this: What are the costs and benefits to various parties of gradually transforming a society into a living theme park? And what about the people who didn’t have a say in the decision to do so, and are in some way coerced unwittingly into playing their role in the theme park? (Coerced or convinced or ignored into “staying traditional”?) Is that a free and informed choice? Or are they being persuaded by voices from within their society to “stay traditional” because of a benefit which will accrue to those doing the persuading and not to them?

    Is the call to “be more Balinese” arising from a correct analysis of the costs and benefits of doing so? Or is it arising from delusion, propaganda on behalf of those who stand to benefit, or just plain foolishness?

  5. avatar Achmad Sudarsono says:

    Why can’t the Balinese women start going topless again ? (I mean the ones under 90). To me making the Balinese women wear clothes was the most oppressive act. No doubt some grumpy Dutch woman was responsible.

    Who wins ?

    The only possible benefit is bras might stop a certain “decline of structural integrity,” in later years.

  6. avatar David says:

    it’s not necessary to use the “neocolonialism” label

    Susi you can blame me for that one, I write the post titles, Ausdag in the article I think used

    a different kind of colonialism – I suppose you could call it something like “reconstituted colonialism” or “implied colonialism”.

  7. avatar spew-it-all says:

    At the beginning I was confused as well whether the label neocolonialism is appropriate or not. As far as I am concerned the words colonialism and imperialism, which refer to domination, are used interchangeably. Yet in the history discipline, these two words have utterly different meaning.

    One scholar with Palestenian background, Edward Said once wrote his theory on the Orientalism in which colonialism produced truth about colonised through science, museum and history. Although I am not a big fan of his theory which is simplifying historical processes and antagonising East and West, his view is still interesting, particularly his attempts to look at how representation of the east is produced.

  8. avatar falcon says:

    The travel guide to the new world was discovered and created by Marco Polo, Captain Cook, Vasco De Gama and others who were Caucasian European centuries ago. Eventually they came to conquer places such as Australia, United States, and South America. Most of the custom/culture of the Aborigines, American Natives, the Mayans mostly disappear despite preservation are attempted, while some blended in. Power and force to the extreme were used to conquer. Travelers of the past were for an example; in Australia first came the prison criminals later followed by the fortune seekers, in the US individuals revolting from the monarchy in Britain sought improved living environment, in South America the fortune seekers robbed the natives wealth, while in Indonesia the Portuguese, the Dutch and the British came to seek fortune as well. The editors of today’s travel guidebook utilized rephrase words in order to attract those travelers with spending money to discover ex-colonial places. The authors probably attempted to use nibbler words in order to the avoid the dilemma of the past “extreme force and power “.

    Were are going to through a period of faster transition because the availability of efficient infrastructure therefore the blending of custom and culture is accelerated. while single civilization barrier is disappearing. Around the world, in Australia, the Greeks, Italians and recently Asian population numbers increased, In the US more Latinos and Asians, in Western Europe more Asians and Eastern Europeans, while in the middle East the local population is overcome by the invited workers. Eventually blending of custom and culture bound to occur and we need not necessarily to stereo type each one them by their renewed habit/custom/culture knowingly they are now living in a different part of the world. The Bali is no different, its culture is a blend of local and Hindu culture, for this reason it is developed uniquely and it will continue with outside influence.

    Unique and virgin places are countable nouns or may be disappearing in today’s efficient infrastructure therefore with knowledge and money, the discovering of the universe is in progress and we should wonder how those aliens are going to think of Earth People and how Earth people is going to use their vocabulary in writing their guide books about the aliens. Welcome to the developing world culture while authors of travel guide may be needed to have a new Guru as how to write the changing of traveling and mobile society.

  9. avatar ausdag says:

    Hi all and thanks for your input. Forgive me if I don’t respond to all comments individually.

    I guess I suggest ‘reconstituted colonialism’ as a possible term because I see in this sort of attitude nothing different from traditional colonialism except that ironically it takes the opposite form – no longer exploitation and an insistence on the ‘civilising’ of the colonised, but a western insistence that things ‘western’ now be shunned and an insistence that those in the East ‘protect’ their cultures from the west. So in essence, the arrogance remains, but in a different and opposite form, hence, reconstituted, so in a sense, ‘neo’.

    I don’t think it clouds the issue, because my point is more to do with the mental attitude that can be had without even setting foot in Bali; without even leaving one’s own armchair. Traditional colonialism was born from a particular mentality, and ‘reconstituted colonialism’ takes that mentality, and reshapes it into an outwardly different form. The result of that is a segment of tourism that comes to seek paradise, with the misguided notion that the Balinese (or any other ‘exotic’ people) are somehow in need of patronage (patronism).

    On the other hand, I know that in performing dances and what-not for tourists, Balinese take pride in knowing that their culture is appreciated. And that is good. But at what expense to ‘humanity’? ‘Culture’, or the outward colourful trappings of it that we in the West come to Asia to witness, is good, but underneath a thin layer of cultural ‘show’ lies a far more significant fundamental and universal humanity – a humanity which shares the same universal basic needs.

    So if in the pursuit of the fulfilling of those needs, certain elements of one’s own culture be abandoned and certain elements of western culture be adopted, what gives anyone the right to try to prevent it? Of course, many things that come out of the West aren’t necessarily conducive to the meeting of human needs, and anybody, east or west, would do well to shun those things – the same could be said for some things which originate from the East.

    I certainly would encourage anybody,east or west, not to sit around watching sinetron or soap operas, but my motives for doing so are very different from the motives behind the aforementioned insistence that Balinese get away from the TV and back to the dance floor. I would be more likely to encourage the guy in the warung to flick the TV over to The Achmad Sudarsono Ukulele Hour with Guest Star Reg Lindsey and his Country Homestead :D). Then we may both sit in the warung, enjoy the show and engage in conversation. That, to me, is true tourism. And boy! When Achmad gets goin’ on that uke, who cares about topless women bathing in the rivers πŸ™‚

  10. avatar Achmad Sudarsono says:

    Ausdag,

    Reg and I had a bit of a creative falling out when I wanted us both to do a dangdut album of Slim Dusty cover songs. Then he wanted to do Kris Kristoffersen to Keroncong and I drew the line. It’s sad, ew could’ve been great together. Maybe one day.

  11. avatar Lairedion says:

    Great piece. I like the exaggeration, it’s quite entertaining.

    Culture is not the performance of traditional dances etc. and cannot be experienced and judged by taking tours from hotels in Kuta and Sanur in a time space of 1 or 2 weeks. Culture is about the everyday life of people and how they adapt or react to ever appearing influences no matter what source from. It is an ongoing process and for centuries the Balinese have adapted quite successfully and created their own distinctive culture. Surely the challenges of the 21st century are much bigger but every culture is facing this.

    In the nineties I worked as a tour leader in Indonesia and I got to meet diverse types of Western tourists. Ausdag is referring to backpackers and low-budget travelers. Indeed these kind of travelers are keen on showing neo, reconstituted colonialism. Most of them are political left leaning, have very outspoken opinions and world views and are not big money spenders. These are the ones complaining most about Westernization of relatively unspoilt places but at the same time mocking about the lack of high speed internet terminals in their guesthouses.

    Tourists staying in 3-star hotels and more luxurious are not that demanding. They will embark on a tour to Ubud, Mas, Goa Gajah, Tanah Lot but some of them even choose to watch dance performances inside their hotels and spend most of the time shopping, relaxing on the beach, bars or at the hotel swimming pool. Back home they will organize evenings to show their holiday pictures and videos to relatives and friends and tell how satisfied they were to experience local cultural treats.

    So in a sense your story is true, considering my own experiences, but it’s not that serious to be bothered about. Anyway I found it fun to read and brought back some memories of my past as a tour leader.

  12. avatar Anita McKay says:

    Last December I went to Bali with my mother, who visits Bali very often. She keeps saying that one thing she misses the most from Bali was the sound of rindik. Over 30 years ago, rindik was used to be on every corner, wherever you walked, from gangways to big hotels. But now it was replaced by CD playing soothing spa-type songs, if that.

    Just my two cents.

  13. avatar Achmad Sudarsono says:

    Anita, Laideron,

    Yes, it’s true, New Age musicians and patronizing politically correct, Burkenstock-wearing, backpackers are amongst the most annoying people in the world. They should probably die.

    For some reason they seem to think Bali’s some sort of energy portal on the New Age map. God — there’s some dreadlocked, global gypsey who does “sound healing by the didgeridoo” in Denpasar.

    The only question is should people like Enya, said hippie, Yanni, and Vangelis, be given a merciful execution, or die a slow and painful death ?

  14. avatar Janma says:

    I think the Balinese hold very strongly to their culture. Tourism and westernization have very little impact on it except to give them more money to spread around between modernization and developing their culture and traditional ceremonies.

    I even know most balinese are multi taskers…. they can dance, play gamelan and watch tv and nobody gets hurt! πŸ˜‰

    Often new age type westerners living in Ubud have a go at me for living here so long and not ‘going to temple’ or putting on my sarong and going to upacara…. They love to go ‘to temple’ and carp on about the ‘spiritual energy’ and so on….. drives me mad… mostly because they use the excuse that if we live in Bali then we should absorb ourselves in the local culture. And I know for a fact that if they were in Java you couldn’t get them inside a mosque with two wild horses and a crow bar! Why? Cause it’s not as pretty…. there aren’t as many kodak moments inside a mosque. (well not in Indonesian mosques anyway…)
    The temples and ceremonies of the balinese are picturesque, colorful and exotic. So the reason they want to save balinese culture is cause it’s pretty… so they’ll have something pretty to look at on their holiday. Or maybe so they can feel like a pseudo Margaret Mead? Who knows….. but I personally think Balinese culture is alive and well and needs no help from anyone to adapt to different cultures it comes into contact with. It may change as time goes by, and those changes may not please the outsiders, but it’s not theirs to crow about is it? Besides that change and adaptation is dynamic, a static culture is a dead culture.

  15. avatar Aluang Anak Bayang says:

    Re

    To me this sort of attitude translates into –

    “You are Balinese. You have a rich traditional culture. We are tourists who bring money. We don’t want to see you sitting around watching television. We are coming to your country to experience “The East”. If you sit around watching television, you are victims of the West. Go”Β¦get back into your traditional costumes and play us some gamelan music.”

    It was exactly what I would have wanted when visiting Oz land. I am a tourist who bring in money. I certainly do not want to see sloppy ‘biggest loser’ Ozzies and their barrel shaped ‘whale’ sheilas lazing on beaches, and hanging out in cheap pubs. I am here to experience “The convicts’ haven”, and the place to go is Sovereign Hill.

    Maybe Bali should build a ‘time travel’ zone like the Sovereign Hill where you can go back to the good old convicts days where blackies were chained, Wogs hunted and Chongs hanged.

  16. avatar Janma says:

    Ok Aluang, which part of Australia did you go to? Tenant creek? I am australian and I know there are some serious pockets of humanity there still screaming for opposable thumbs… there are those pockets of humanity everywhere, but seriously most of the Australians I know are not like that?
    and seriously????? the blackies were chained the wogs hunted and the chongs hanged???? More white people have been chained in the history of australia than black people, the wogs did so well they converted entire suburbs into palantine hills…. and the chongs were hanged? They worked for wages as coolies…. they wanted to.

  17. avatar Achmad Sudarsono says:

    Janma,

    Glad we feel the same way about those intellectually challenged (dumb) new agers. I wonder how they feel about the caste system, division of labour between the sexes, Bali’s history in ’65-66 ? They don’t – ‘coz when you ask them about it they change the subject or go off to their enema appointment or whatever. Balinese taxi driver summed it up nicely: in Calong Arang, good and evil do battle and no one ever wins.

    On Australia, c’mon. The Chinese caught the wrong end of the stick. Lambing Flats riots ? The Bulletin’s cartoons of “evil celestials,” fan-tan and gambling ? Australia’s no worse, but no better than any other country.

  18. avatar dewaratugedeanom says:

    Achmad said

    But tourism’s only been good for Balinese culture. More money for offerings, bigger market, more opportunities.

    That’s not entirely true. More money, bigger market, more opportunities, yes. But for whom? Mostly for the Jakartan or international investors and hotel chains, and lately the private villa owners. And don’t forget the hundreds of thousands of pendatang flocking in from other islands and abroad vying for a peace of the cake which the Balinese and their culture spread out almost for free.

    If the situation doesn’t change and the Balinese don’t take matters in their own hands they risk to end up like the ethnic Hawaiians. Sidelined in their own habitat, good enough to entertain the tourists, becoming houseboys and maids or sitting down by the road shouting “transpot” or “massase”. What else is there to conclude if you see complete groups of gamelan orchestra players loaded on trucks like cattle being carried from hotel to hotel? And worst of it all, they are still proud of it and don’t realise what’s going on behind their backs.

    I could go on ranting for hours about this, but the biggest problem is the fact that the Balinese culture and lifestyle isn’t cocok with the demands of modern work ethics and time management.

    Why can’t the Balinese women start going topless again ? (I mean the ones under 90). To me making the Balinese women wear clothes was the most oppressive act. No doubt some grumpy Dutch woman was responsible.

    It wasn’t the Dutch who prohibited Balinese women from going topless. In fact they saw the potential of it in creating the image of ‘Paradise’. They only ordered them to cover up in front of Dutch soldiers, for obvious reasons. It wasn’t until kemerdekaan when the Indonesian government required Balinese women to cover their breasts for fear of being ridiculed in the eyes of the ‘civilised’ world. And of course Islamic morals will certainly have been of influence too.

    a different kind of colonialism – I suppose you could call it something like “reconstituted colonialism” or “implied colonialism”.

    It is in fact a continuation of the Baliseering policy started by the Dutch in the 1920’s with the purpose of making Bali into a living museum in accordance with romantic ideals that emerged in the interbellum and which the Dutch, being excellent businessmen, used as an opportunity to promote tourism in a colonial area that up till then didn’t financially contribute very much.
    In other words keep them stupid but happy. The results of this policy are to be seen even up to these days.

  19. avatar pj_bali says:

    I find it a bit of a stretch to go from a paragragh in a guide book to a 80 year old conspiracy to keep the Balinese stupid but happy. Really I do. So what if one writer reminisces about how nice it was 20 years ago? Its a common line in travel books anywhere. You can meet lots of people who were here 20 years ago and enjoyed it more then than now. They may be romantic or mawkish but patronizing or colonial they are not. Perhaps the writer was having a sentimental moment. And why slag off the backpackers? Of course they are young and naive but not everyone can (except Achmad -perhaps due to his years in the cabarat) can become worldly and cosmopolitan on their first trip abroad.

    Do have to agree about the new agers though – I try to avoid them where possible.

    Ausdag I don’t suppose we can get this neo-reconsti-patronizing-colonialistic quote can we? No offence mate but I like to read such subversive propaganda first hand.

    Dewa the timeline and key players from the Baliseering program to the present day guidebook publication would also be appreciated. Must be quite the conspiracy.:)

    PJ

  20. avatar Achmad Sudarsono says:

    Dewa,

    Many thanks. Interesting comments. Do you know of any histories of Bali that go into the living museum and creation of paradise bit, other than Adrian Vickers’s (which I’ve read).

    Also, aren’t the Balinese are better organized than the Hawaiaans, but I take your point. Still, you can’t put firewalls around prosperity. Sure, there’s been a wealth transfer to Jakarta and there are pockets left behind in Bali. But, for example, the Villas have to buy rice and coffee from somewhere, ‘kan ?

    But yes, aside from the women, the work ethic leaves a little to be desired. Few Balinese men could never be accused of being stressed out workaholics. πŸ™‚

    Soekarno – what an old hypocrite. There are stories of him hovering over fields in helicopters to check out glisten brown boobs as their owners took a mandi. πŸ™‚

    Even so, can’t they take off their kebayas now that it’s merdeka ? What could piss off the Islamists more ?

  21. avatar dewaratugedeanom says:

    However clumsy and gullible the reactions of the guide book’s author described in Ausdag’s article may be, they also translate a feeling of uneasiness with the unitary and global McDonalds-culture that has taken over a great part of the world. Many people of the ‘developed’ world are disappointed with their one-dimensional paradigm and are looking for an escape. Bali, or at least it’s projected image, offers this escape because it represents the contradiction of everything which is purely rational. In this respect it was, and to a certain extent still is, ‘Paradise’.
    Pandit Nehru called it ‘The Morning of the World’ because it is able to kick the world a conscience and show us that even in the daily life of common people not everything has to revolve around practical logic and economic pragmatism.

    As to guide books popular among backpackers and low-budget travellers, thanks to them the places they describe become infested with hawkers, beggars and all kinds of low-life we better do without.

  22. avatar Janma says:

    That’s not entirely true. More money, bigger market, more opportunities, yes. But for whom? Mostly for the Jakartan or international investors and hotel chains, and lately the private villa owners. And don’t forget the hundreds of thousands of pendatang flocking in from other islands and abroad vying for a peace of the cake which the Balinese and their culture spread out almost for free.

    I disagree….. I there are many Balinese that are very rich from the tourist trade…. In Ubud anyway, they own plenty of hotels, villas, handicraft places, galleries etc etc… They drive around in bloody Hummers and Alphards for christsakes! And from what I remember in Legian Kuta many places are owned by the balinese, except the huge chain hotels.
    Not only that but they force all hotel owners in their areas to pay huge subsidies to the desa, plus they make them take on half the population of their villages as staff, qualified or not…
    And sorry to say I’ve had staff here for 20 years and I’ll have a javanese anyday over a balinese…. (tho i have both…) the balinese have a real tendency to skip work, they are always having days off, or not turning up for work, plus they are spoilt…. and if you have a high caste working with low caste then you can have real teamwork problems.

  23. avatar ausdag says:

    Hello PJ

    No I can’t give you the quote, hence the footnote. It is, after all, an ‘opinion’ piece, not an academic treatise. But if you read it again you’ll notice I don’t base my impression on this one item alone. It was merely the catalyst for the article after years of hearing similar sentiment from not just backpackers, but supposedly educated people too on university campuses and online forums. The dictionary quote above being a prime example in reference to the Javanese language, as if the Javanese were not capable of preserving their own language without the help of an western-produced English-Javanese dictionary.
    Bali just happens to be a case in point for something that is directed at ‘exotic’ cultures the world over.

  24. avatar dewaratugedeanom says:

    pj_bali said

    Dewa the timeline and key players from the Baliseering program to the present day guidebook publication would also be appreciated. Must be quite the conspiracy.:)

    Let me quote an excerpt from a booklet ‘Kelemahan dan Kekuatan Manusia Bali (Sebuah Otokritik)’ – Weakness and Strength of the Balinese People (a self-criticism) – by Made Kembar Kerepun (alm.), Balinese freelance journalist. I suppose you are BI-savvy, so I skip the translation.

    Baliseering yang diperkenalkan pada tahun1920-an oleh Pemerintah Kolonial, adalah sebuah rekayasa untuk membelenggu orang Bali, dan mensterilkannya dari kemajuan jaman. Orang Bali hanya dibolehkan berpakaian adat Bali saja, membangun rumah seperti yang diwariskan oleh pendahulunya, hanya boleh mempelajari seni daerahnya saja dan berpegang teguh pada aturan ketat berbahasa Bali sesuai dengan anggah-ungguh berbahasa yang mengacu pada konfigurasi kasta yang berlaku pada jaman itu, yang pelanggarannya, – dikenal dengan wak parusia – dapat dihukum denda dan/atau penjara atas keputusan Raad Kerta.
    Dalam bidang pendidikan, Baliseering mengharuskan orang Bali hanya boleh mempelajari seni tradisionalnya saja baik seni sastra, seni tari, seni ukir, seni suara, seni lukis, dll.nya, sementara sejarah dunia, matematika, teknologi dan ilmu pengetahuan modern lainnya dan bahasa-bahasa selain bahasa Bali dihalangi. Mempergunakan celana panjang bagi laki-laki dan kebaya bagi perempuan dianggap perbuatan subversif, karena merusak budaya Bali yang “adiluhung”.

    To pretend that this policy is still valid today would indeed be an overstatement. An entire generation however has been steered into the direction of compliance with this tourism image and the next generations have become overly dependent on it, to the extent that in the present Bali without being a tourist attraction is considered an oxymoron. And Bali having become a brand name has also lead this guide book writer to lament about the fact that not all Balinese are the picture-book people from yore.
    The neo-colonist policy of today lies in slogans like ‘Bali for the World’, as if the rest of the world owns Bali and the Balinese have a responsibility to maintain the image bestowed upon them. Of course tourism is here to stay – it would be preposterous to think it will go away, even Amrozi and his scum-brothers didn’t succeed in destroying it – but if so then under a new motto ‘Tourism for Bali, not Bali for Tourism’.

    Janma said

    I disagree”Β¦.. I there are many Balinese that are very rich from the tourist trade”Β¦.

    Sure there are, I know many of them too, but in terms of general human potential, how much do they represent?

    the balinese have a real tendency to skip work, they are always having days off, or not turning up for work,

    That’s why I said earlier

    I could go on ranting for hours about this, but the biggest problem is the fact that the Balinese culture and lifestyle isn’t cocok with the demands of modern work ethics and time management.

    They are having days off and don’t turn up for work because they have to fulfill duties that makes tourism bloom and without which this place would be a place just like any other, upacara, temple festivals, parades, the list is endless.

  25. avatar Aluang Anak Bayang says:

    Re

    Janma Says:

    February 7th, 2008 at 1:19 pm
    Ok Aluang, which part of Australia did you go to? Tenant creek? I am australian and I know there are some serious pockets of humanity there still screaming for opposable thumbs”Β¦ there are those pockets of humanity everywhere, but seriously most of the Australians I know are not like that?
    and seriously????? the blackies were chained the wogs hunted and the chongs hanged???? More white people have been chained in the history of australia than black people, the wogs did so well they converted entire suburbs into palantine hills”Β¦. and the chongs were hanged? They worked for wages as coolies”Β¦. they wanted to.

    Kinda unclear. Please elaborate. Are you saying the Ozzies are not racists?

  26. avatar Janma says:

    Every nation has racists….. not just the Aussies…. of course there are racists in Australia! Not all of them are Australian though. πŸ˜‰ I admit I don’t know that many Australians, but most of the ones I do know are so PC they are afraid to make any kind of racial distinctions.

  27. avatar Odinius says:

    Well, many of the Aussies in Kuta are bottom feeders. Sorry, that’s not PC but I call it as I see it. Same as Americans in Mexico or Brits in Spain. Dumb drunk package tourists who think they own the place, the women and only eat the food they’re already comfortable with. Bules, through and through. Luckily for me, the comparison makes Bali one of the few places where Americans generally appear cultured and refined πŸ˜‰

    I also find the patronizing anthro types irritating. But at least they bother to figure something out. That’s more than I can say for the Jakarta kids who just sulk around as if they’ve never walked before, go to double six and maybe play golf on what used to be a village or farm land. But the “ooh I’m getting such an authentic experience” attitude is indeed a turnoff. It’s not authentic if the women have shirts on and some poor Javanese transmigrant isn’t been chased out of the village while bodies are being dug up to be burned πŸ˜‰

    All jokes aside, let the Balinese decide what they want to see happen to their land and how (or if) they want to sell their cultural and material goods to Jakartans and foreigners, bules and anthropologists.

  28. avatar Janma says:

    All jokes aside, let the Balinese decide what they want to see happen to their land and how (or if) they want to sell their cultural and material goods to Jakartans and foreigners, bules and anthropologists.

    You say that as though the balinese are all of one opinion as to what should happen in ‘their land’ and the non balinese who live in bali also have a right to decide what should happen, it is afterall, still Indonesia.

  29. avatar Odinius says:

    “The Balinese” would be represented by the pronoun “they,” wouldn’t it? So why should that imply they are all of one opinion? ;:

    …and of course the non-Balinese living there should have a voice when relevant. But surely they can’t be the ones deciding whether or not a troupe of Hindu Balinese play gamelan for fat, pasty bules or whether land belonging to a traditional village in Buleleng gets turned into a golf course for equally flabby, if not so pasty, Jakartans? That’s what I was getting at. πŸ™‚

  30. avatar Janma says:

    “The Balinese” would be represented by the pronoun “they,” wouldn’t it? So why should that imply they are all of one opinion? ;:

    I asked that, because say 30% of balinese (fat and thin ones) might say they want to play gamelan for bules….. and asian tourists etc…. they might think it’s their big break to get that job…. 30% might say that it shouldn’t be done and gamelan should be reserved for trad ceremonies and 30% might think it’s ok to play for pay as long as it’s a mundane repotoire not sacred…. so then who gets to decide? They are all Balinese, but they all have a different take on it.

    About golf courses etc…. that could be the same thing…. 50% yes, 50% no….. all I’m saying is that the statement “the balinese should decide’ just doesn’t sound practical to me….. because obviously they don’t all want the same things.

    Also I think it’s a bit schoolyardish to keep putting people down as ‘fat’ or ‘pasty’ simply because of their race. It doesn’t really have anything to do with whether or not they ‘deserve’ to watch gamelan performances or not.

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