|SAVING THE EARTH FROM GLOBALWARMING - Bali Hindus offer an alternative of vRt to shut down the earth for a day........|
Posted by Vishva News Reporter on January 6, 2008
Sunset over Gunung Agung,
Bali's highest and most revered mountain © Photographer: Andrew Lubran -
Lonely Planet Images.
Bali has been inhabited since early prehistoric times firstly by
descendants of a prehistoric race who migrated through mainland Asia to
the Indonesian archipelago, thought to have first settled in Bali around
3000 BC. Stone tools dating from this time have been
found near the village of Cekik in the island's west.
Balinese culture was strongly influenced by Indian, and
particularly Sanskrit, culture, in a process beginning around the 1st
The name Balidwipa has been discovered from various inscriptions,
including the Blanjong charter issued by Sri Kesari Warmadewa in 913 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.
A brief demographics of Bali is given below to under the historical
background as noted above and nature of the current population which
spoke at the UN Global Warming Conference in December 2007
The population of Bali is 3,151,000 (as of 2005).
Religion of Bali
Unlike most of Muslim-majority Indonesia, about 93.18% of Bali's
population adheres to Balinese Hinduism, formed as a combination of
existing local beliefs and Hindu influences from mainland Southeast Asia
and South Asia. Minority religions include Islam (4.79%), Christianity
(1.38%), and Buddhism (0.64%). These official statistical figures do not
include immigrants from other parts of Indonesia.
Immigrants from other parts of Indonesia have drastically changed the
demographics in Bali. Although the majority of the population of Bali
adheres to Balinese Hinduism, recent years have brought an influx of
people from other islands seeking to benefit from the tourist industry,
export of local handicrafts and other factors, making Bali the most
affluent island in the region. The bombings in Bali by Muslim militants
and the numbers of wealthy Muslims from Jakarta with political
connections buying prime real estate for development has started to
create Hindu-Muslim tensions where none existed before.
Language of Bali
Balinese and Indonesian are the most widely spoken languages in Bali,
and like most Indonesians, the vast majority of Balinese people are
bilingual or trilingual. There are several indigenous Balinese
languages, but most Balinese can also use the most widely spoken option:
modern common Balinese. The usage of different Balinese languages was
traditionally determined by the Balinese caste system and by clan
membership, but this tradition is diminishing.
English is a common third language (and the primary foreign language) of
many Balinese, owing to the requirements of the large tourism industry.
Staff working in Bali's tourist centres are often, by necessity,
multilingual to some degree, speaking as many as 8 or 9 different
languages to an often surprising level of competence.
Tourism is now the largest single industry and Bali is as a result one
of Indonesia’s wealthiest regions. The economy, however, has suffered
significantly as a result of the terrorist bombings of 2002 and 2005.
The United Nations Global Warming Conference in Bali in the two
weeks of December 3 to 12 , 2007, hosted by the Government of Indonesia,
took place at the Bali International Convention Centre and brought
together more than 10,000 participants, including representatives of
over 180 countries together with observers from intergovernmental and
nongovernmental organizations and the media to review Kyoto Protocol.
At this conference
Hindu priests on the island of Bali, where the world’s nations are
gathered to come up with an answer for global warming, think they have
one solution - /em> a day of silence for
the entire world with all activities coming to dead stop for the entire
24 hours day......
The next page also has copied a
internet based research on how historically western civilization
promoted tourism in Bali....it is a sad story of "marketing" but
true...and thus published here to learn from history how our collective
humanity has affected its evolution of its varied cultures in the last
millennium or so ......
Please click on the next line to
continue to read about this interesting news about how vEDik lifestyle
spirit never dies ...in conformance with the vED TRUTH that everything
is created, sustained and re-created out of sciences of vED.....and thus
vEDik lifestyle will survive when all others will recycle with birth and
Bali Hindus Offer of
"Silence to save the world" for Global Warming Conference at Bali
Dec 05, 2007: By Sebastien Blanc: Nusa Dua, Indonesia:
Hindu priests on the island of Bali, where the world’s nations are
gathered to come up with an answer for global warming, think they have
one solution - a day of silence.
The proposal harks back to a traditional Balinese festival when
everything is switched off and shut down for 24 hours, to try to
persuade demons that the island is uninhabited and thus without fresh
souls for them to steal.
“We learn from our ancestors to respect the wishes of nature,” said
Bhagawandwija, a 63-year-old priest who has been handing out leaflets
outside the international climate change conference taking place here.
“Imagine if all the countries in the world observed one day of silence!”
Indonesia’s Tourism Minister Jero Wacik said many locals on this resort
island, which has long attracted visitors from around the globe, believe
the world should copy the festival’s silence.
“Many people in Bali propose that if possible the world has a silent day
- not working, all electricity off,” he told reporters. “We save one
In the island’s rich Hindu heritage, the Nyepi festival is the time when
evil spirits return to Earth. To persuade them there are no souls left
to haunt, Bali shuts down almost entirely.
|All restaurants and discos close, to the great annoyance of tourists
who do not realise they are being protected from malignant forces.
Airliners are grounded and the roads are deserted. It is forbidden to
turn on lights, make a fire - or even make a noise.
If that seems too drastic a measure to take, local newspapers have been
stressing to conference delegates the concept of “Tri Hita Kaarana,” or
the need for harmony with the environment.
According to another Balinese custom, anyone who cuts down one tree is
obliged to re-plant 10, said Ida Pedanda Gede Ketut Sebali Tianyar
Arimbawa, president of Indonesia’s highest Hindu authority.
He too is convinced that ancestral traditions can provide solutions to
the woes of global warming - and points to the subaks or traditional
irrigation systems which have watered Bali’s rice terraces for
The 1,200 subaks on Bali allow water, which comes mainly from four
high-level lakes, to flow gently downhill between paddy fields laid in
terraces and bordered by irrigation channels.
“The subak is the best irrigation system in the world,” he says.
And even after our lives have ended, we can still make a difference.
Cremation, he says, is simply “the best way of returning to nature.”
Prambanan Temples of Shiv & Ganesh at Bokoharjo Village, Prambanan, east
of Yogya built by Cailendra Dynasty and/or Sanjaya Dynasty.
HISTORY OF BALI .....WITH HOW WESTERN TOURISTS WERE DRAWN TO
The First European contact with Bali is thought to have been when Dutch
explorer Cornelis de Houtman arrived in 1597, though a Portuguese ship
had foundered off the Bukit Peninsula as early as 1585.
Dutch rule over Bali came later, was more aggressively fought for, and
was never as well established as in other parts of Indonesia such as
Java and Maluku.
In the 1840s, a presence in Bali was established, first in the island's
north, by playing various distrustful Balinese realms against each
other. The Dutch mounted large naval and ground assaults first against
the Sanur region and then Denpasar.
The Balinese were hopelessly
overwhelmed in number and armament, but rather than face the humiliation
of surrender, they mounted a final defensive but suicidal assault, or puputan. Despite Dutch demands for surrender, an estimated 4,000
Balinese marched to their death against the invaders. Afterwards the
Dutch governors were able to exercise little influence over the island,
and local control over religion and culture generally remained intact.
Japan occupied Bali during World War II during which time a Balinese
military officer, Gusti Ngurah Rai, formed a Balinese 'freedom army'.
Following Japan's Pacific surrender in August 1945, the Dutch promptly
returned to Indonesia, including Bali, immediately to reinstate their
pre-war colonial administration. This was resisted by the Balinese
rebels now using Japanese weapons.
On 20 November 1946, the Battle of Marga was fought in Tabanan in
central Bali. Colonel I Gusti Ngurah Rai, 29 years old, finally rallied
his forces in east Bali at Marga Rana, where they made a suicide attack
on the heavily armed Dutch. The Balinese battalion was entirely wiped
out, breaking the last thread of Balinese military resistance.
the Dutch constituted Bali as one of the 13 administrative districts of
the newly-proclaimed Republic of East Indonesia, a rival state to the
Republic of Indonesia which was proclaimed and headed by Sukarno and Hatta. Bali was included in the "Republic of the United States of
Indonesia" when the Netherlands recognised Indonesian independence on
Dec. 29, 1949.
In 1950 Bali officially renounced the Dutch union and
legally became a province within the Republic of Indonesia. (From
Civilization Came to Bali and Keep Coming As Tourists.....
From the website published in September 2007 by People & Community by
The photographs displayed in these two exhibitions are from the
collection of Maurizio Rosenberg Colorni, who has been searching for old
Balinese photographs since 2003.
They are mostly from anonymous sources with a few exceptions. These are
the first of many exhibitions of early Bali photographs to be shown on
Bali by Rosenberg Colorni.
The art of photography has undergone incredible transformations over the
past century. What began as a replacement of sorts for painting, with
the subjects sitting for several seconds in a contrived setting has
turned into the photo-shopped images of today.
Photography was important for Bali as it was the early photographs of
the German Gregor Krause (Bali 1912, published in 1920) that titillated
the foreign populace prompting the droves of tourists to Bali’s shores
in the 1930s. Not only tourists, but anthropologists and historians were
also influenced by these early photographs wanting to know more about
this exotic isle.
It helped that many of his photographs showed Balinese
maidens and lads bathing and in the nude, giving the (false) impression
that Bali was a sexual paradise.
This was in accord with the prevailing
mood of the time in Europe, where a “back-to-nature” movement was
happening, with people longing for the natural, the innocent, as well as
the exotic. Bali became a symbol of all of this for the foreigners who
came to visit.
THE GAZE OF THE OTHER
Bali was brought to the attention of the Western world through
photography. Krause’s provocative black and white shots of maidens and
lads bathing, topless women going about their daily business and posed
half naked women amid coconut palms evoked an island paradise where
women easily gave out favors, the fruit and juices flowed and the cares
of the world could be forgotten.
This perpetuation of an island paradise continued throughout the early
twentieth century with the publication of Miguel Covarrubias’s
encyclopedic (and romanticized vision) Island of Bali, Gotthard Schuh’s
Insel der Gotter, Beryl de Zoete and Walter Spies’ Dance and Drama in
Bali, Hickman Powell’s The Last Paradise and many more. Many of these
early writers and photographers extolled the beauty of Balinese women
and their breasts.
What is interesting to note is that when Balinese look at these images
from 80 years ago, they see the malnutrition and weariness in the faces
and bodies of their ancestors. Where the European saw harmony and peace
and of course, the “lost paradise” they had been seeking after their
countries had been torn apart by World War I, the Balinese saw the
ordinary—an island filled with hard-working and poor inhabitants.
The Tourist Gaze
Photography, by its very existence, puts up a wall between the object
being photographed and the person taking the picture. Usually the
tourist photographer is taking pictures of the “other” to show to
his/her cohorts back home. The tourist gaze tends to focus on
difference, the exotic.
The Bali of the 1930s – 1950s was one of (male)
fantasy: golden maidens and lads in various stages of undress conjured
up a dream island of unlimited sexuality, when in fact the Balinese
culture was nothing like the image represented. In the early
photographs, we see little of daily life if there is not a (often posed)
topless young woman involved.
Bali had been virtually ignored by its Dutch colonialists until 1908
when it became fully annexed. Yet the Dutch wanted to keep it as a
“living museum”. Most of the Westerners who had been in Bali up to that
time were government officials, with a sprinkling of naturalists and
social scientists. The publication of Krause’s book started a new
movement of people coming to Bali. Now it was voyeurs, travelers and
tourists – all burdened with their cameras and their world weary bodies.
At that time, uncovered bodies were seen as heathen and primitive, but
also exotic and a fulfillment of a (primarily male) fantasy.
Balinese, the breast was and still is an object that nurtures and gives
life and is not branded as sexual as it is in the West.
Europeans in the
early part of the 20th century looked on nakedness either as
representing “primitive savagery” and “wanton sexuality” or the epitome
of the paradise of Eden, with all the innocence that such nakedness can
HERE THEY COME
Tourism began in earnest in 1924 with weekly cruises on Dutch ships from
major ports in Indonesia to Bali.
In 1928, the Dutch opened the still
extant Bali Hotel (now called the Inna Bali Hotel on Jalan Veteran,
In 1938, as many as three flights a week began to land near Denpasar (and of course, with the opening of the international airport
in 1974, a whole new brand of mass tourism began).
And the tourists came in part because of the lure of the breast.
Balinese breasts gained such fame worldwide that in 1927 a couple made
famous the Bali bra brand (the bra was actually only invented at the
turn of the 20th century and was seen as a “liberating” garment compared
to the earlier corsets).
As a 1937 ad noted, ‘“A beautiful bust line is
the heritage of the women of Bali… the modern woman achieves the same
lovely countour—youthfully rounded, definitely separated—in perfect
comfort.” (As if anything could be more comfortable than no bra at
all!).’ (Margaret Weiner, “Breast, (Un)Dress, and Modernist Desires in
the Balinese-Tourst Encounter” in Dirt, Undress, and Difference:
Critical Perspectives on the Bodys Surface, ed Adeline Masquelier,
Indiana University Press, 2005).
Many Balinese women today sleep fully
clothed, including wearing a bra!
BEYOND THE BREAST
Women began covering up even before the onslaught of tourism in an
attempt to look “modern”.
Some of them wanted to identify with their
colonizers (the Dutch) and bared breasts were considered “savage” and
Yet at the same time, in the 1920s there was a growing
nationalist movement happening throughout what is now Indonesia and part
of that movement was to retain what was traditional and reject the
Therefore, wearing a kebaya
(now the national traditional dress
of Indonesian women even though in all of the Indonesian indigenous
cultures the kebaya is not a part of traditional dress)
anti-colonial statement, at the same time aligning oneself with the
Dutch custom of covering one’s breasts!
There is a myth that the Dutch military imposed a rule that Balinese
women must cover up their breasts so as not to arouse the Dutch
soldiers’ sexual energies, but there is no written evidence that this is
The women (and the men) impersonated those in power by wearing
European dress styles.
Educated Balinese started to protest the obsession with photographing
and gawking at Balinese women’s breasts.
In 1938 the Bali Dharma Laksana
group urged the Dutch colonialists (still in power at that time) to ban
the sale of such photographs and to prohibit tourists from photographing
bare breasted women.
The covering up of Balinese breasts was therefore
not the Dutch imploring the women to cover up, but more from the
Balinese themselves who were tired of being featured as “exotic
The kebaya comes to town
The kebaya is a sewn garment that covers not only breasts, but also the
shoulders and arms. It was originally tailored by Eurasians in Batavia
(Jakarta) in the early 19th century. By the end of the l9th century,
European women were wearing the kebaya with a sarong in the comfort of
their homes in Batavia.
When the kebaya came to Bali in the early 20th
century, it was more associated with the Javanese than with the
Europeans and was worn more by the upper classes.
"Educated in colonial
schools, this class internalized notions of dress and undress forged
originally through Christian piety, bourgeois respectability, and
historicist narratives of progress and translated these for local
consumption” (Margaret Weiner “Breast, (Un)Dress, and Modernist Desires
in the Balinese-Tourst Encounter” in Dirt, Undress, and Difference:
Critical Perspectives on the Bodys Surface, ed Adeline Masquelier,
Indiana University Press, 2005, page 63).
The photographs that we find from the 1950s on do not feature the breast
as had their predecessors. The times had changed, another World War had
occurred and photography had also developed into a form that was
accessible to more amateurs.
Tourists of the 1970s romped around in singlets and bikinis.
modern Indonesians look upon the scantily dressed (or undressed!) as a
symbol of Western loose morals and values.
Yet to a Westerner, the more
of the body that shows, the more the wearer is at leisure (and thus the
wearer is in a more powerful position as s/he can afford to be at
So we have come full circle from the undressed breast
symbolizing primitivism to the nearly undressed Western body symbolizing
wealth and leisure.
It is interesting to note that for the last 50 years the Balinese women
have been covering themselves up whereas the European women who flock on
Bali’s beaches are topless and have the “tourist gaze” of Indonesian men
Today the modern Balinese woman prefers to wear a see through lace
kebaya that shows everything underneath—her arms, shoulders and whatever
she is wearing to cover her breasts, whether a bra, a long corset or a
colored tube top that complements her kebaya. In this sense, she is
returning back to the earlier times when women covered their breasts
(but not their shoulders or arms) to enter a temple.
Concepts of dress and undress, and the power that inherently goes along
with body images, will continue to be something that we all must deal
with on a daily basis—it happens every day when we have to decide what
The Balinese now use their traditional clothing (pakaian adat)
as a statement of identity—it is not only worn now for rituals but also
at state functions and to perpetuate their idea of difference, to both
Europeans and other Indonesians. Whether used to perpetuate the idea of
power or to maintain an identity of “the other”, clothes or the lack
therein, as they say “make the man” (or woman).
EARLY PHOTOGRAPHERS IN BALI
Prior to Gregor Krause, most of the photographs the outside world saw of
Bali were posed, many of these were of nobility or people in power who
could afford to have their pictures taken or had connections.
photography was in fact about power—only those who had it were able to
have their images immortalized in black and white. One had to sit still
for a long period of time while the photographer was hidden under the
black cloak of the large format camera. Some of the photographs here had
to have the eyes retouched as the model blinked too many times.
The subjects in the earliest photographs are all photographed outdoors
and not in a studio setting. The negatives are made out of glass and the
photograph was contact printed, i.e. not using an enlarger, and was the
same size as the glass negative.
As we move into the 20th century, the cameras become smaller and lighter
and negatives were no longer made of glass, but of celluloid providing
the photographer with the ability to “catch the moment” and giving the
photographers (and their subjects) much more freedom. The photographers
were often social scientists and had more of a “documentary” eye,
therefore the subjects were from all classes and in all kinds of
settings, as opposed to the royal portrait settings of the late 1800s.
A. Thienneman, a German geologist came to Bali in 1935 and was given the
“Tropical’’ version of Leica camera to try out. Even though he was not a
professional photographer, he was able to capture many images – most of
them had to do with volcanoes (he was a geologist, after all!) but he
also took many pictures of daily life in a more casual context.
A few years later, the now well-known Swiss photographer Gotthard Schuh
came to Bali and lived in the villages, where he took innumerable
photographs. The contrast between his style and Thienneman cannot even
be compared, but each has contributed to the history of photography in
Bali in his own way.
In 1938-1939, another artist, Arthur Fleischmann, came to Bali. He
sculpted and took superb photographs as well. These are some of the
earliest images we have of the daily life of the Balinese—many unposed
and quite candid (he is not represented in this show).
And the tourist’s gaze also brought us many anonymous, yet equally
We hope that this small collection of photographs will show you the
early development of photography in Bali as seen through predominantly
amateur and unknown eyes. This is the first in a series of this kind of
rucina at indo.net.id
The photos below from early 1900's are part of the above noted
web site reported facts of how tourism developed in Bali
from western civilization perspective..... Some of the photos are published here
from the website of the report as it is felt that without them the writing above
will be incomplete....
The photos and writing is a rare direct report from
Bali peoples themselves to show an example how in the human history on this
planet Earth......some cultures appears to have been "used" by those who wished to be "users" ..... The photos show Bali women with exposed
upper torso and may
conflict with your view of morality and ethics....but they are for showing only
the reality of daily lives of Bali peoples over hundred years ago when their
culture was interfered with other cultures.....
But they are published in
vEDik frame of mind
similar to a lot of vEDik sculptures and art
in all of ancient history of India
which is the only place on earth preserving the language, writing, art, culture
of vEDik lifestyle.....to show Bali culture's original lifestyle at daily work time and how women were
accepted in the culture which appears to have a
vEDik ancestry as noted in the preamble to
this news item.....
Worship offering procession recent now
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