Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Balinese Lucille Ball?

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Bungklang Bungkling : DISPUTE

Taken from ‘Bungklang Bungkling’, ‘Siat’, featured in Bali Post, Sunday, 26th April 2009,
a column by I Wayan Juniartha

Translated by Putu Semiada


Why do you think the Balinese men like fighting when they have dispute among themselves? Sometimes a small dispute is solved by fighting. When a dispute can not be solved by discussion, it happens that they fight and even burn their enemy’s house.

“We have never been taught to solve a dispute by discussion or debate since we were children,” says I Nyoman Bungut Dogen.

That’s why when we have a dispute, we wouldn’t talk to each other. No dialog, only suspicious left.

“They think that solving a dispute by discussion is no good. When a man prefer discussion in solving a dispute with his enemy, he is considered has no gut or girlish.

That’s why nobody like dialog. They prefer not to talk to their enemy instead. When they see each other on they street, they wouldn’t even say hello. Instead, they would busy gossiping each other. They will also ‘curse’ their enemies and ask the gods to take their life.

As we all might note, the gods would never be on one’s side against the other, so any wish made for hurting others, will fail. If it does, they will talk something bad about their enemies and seeking partners to join them. Most of Balinese are afraid to fight alone, that’s why they need friends to join.

When ten people are talking something bad about others, we can not say it’s a dialog nor a discussion. The result would be just swearwords. The situation would be worse when they are drunk at the time. It will make them easier to run amuck.

Consequently, they will attack their enemy violently and even burn their houses. The people will get injured and the police will bust the doers. But the problem is not solved indeed, it might be getting bigger as there is a chance the enemy will take revenge. And when it comes, more people will get involved (family, villagers, etc.).

No matter how small the problem is, but when revenge involves, things become worse.

“Also the world now is full of bad temper people. When you are kind, preferring dialog to violence, they will take advantage on you,” says I Ketut Engkah Naga.

Today, when you want people listen to you, you have to show your ‘strong arm’. They might be afraid of you when they know you have ‘strong arm’, firm fist and temperamental.

“The problem is that when two strong but less educated people discuss, there is a possibility they will fight,” I Ketut says further.

Today nobody wants to be said ‘weak’. The world is full of bad people, everybody wants to show off. May be that’s why every dispute is solved with fighting, instead of discussion. And it’s difficult to discuss with such people.

It’s better for us to stay away from such people.

Wedding of Santhosh Kumar with Anju On Sunday, 19th April 2009



Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Bungklang Bungkling: POLITICAL PARTY

Taken from ‘Bungklang Bungkling’, ‘Partai Gerang’, in Bali Post, Sunday, 19th April 2009,
a column by I Wayan Juniartha

Translated by Putu Semiada

Political Party

We have seen so many funny and silly things recently. You do not really read newspapers to find out.

Some people returned the gamelan instruments to a legislative assembly candidates who failed to get considerable votes in that area. In other case, a failed candidate asked for the carpet, woven bamboo, and television that he had donated to the people. It happens that when a candidate loss, he would ask everything back what he has given without feeling guilty. And he wouldn’t think he needs to pray in the temples anymore.

“Money politics” is all behind this. Every candidate did “money politics”. But nobody could approve this. Even the police can do nothing nor the Panwaslu (The Committee for Election Monitoring). They are just sitting in their office waiting for reports on the election violations. They are not trying to be active. They think it might be too risky if they are. They will be active only when there is money involved.

The experts who used to very ‘vocal’ before the election, are very quiet now. They think that only when they become legislative assembly members, they can do something for the people.

“Nowadays, nobody wants to work for public service for the people’s own good. If you want, many field you can work at to show your devotion to the people, like you can do cleaning for public areas or work at nursery home to serve the old people, or give scholarship for unprivileged children, etc.” says I Made Geleh Brebeh.

‘You know, when you work as volunteer, you don get paid. But if you are a legislative assembly member, you will earn a lot of money,” says I Made further says.

They all are hunger for money. And when they loss, they all hide so nobody ask them for money.

“The funny thing is the small political parties who gained votes less than the minimum limit, they will not be allowed to join the next general election. If they want to join again, they have to change their names,” says I Ketut Patut Aud.
This would give a headache to the party chairmen; how to give new identity to their parties without taking out their former names, that their supporters still can remember.

“If so, PNI Marhenisme can change their name to PNI Marhenisme Perjuangan, PNI Marhenisme Pembaharuan, and PNI Marhenisme Jilid 2 (Part 2), or the best name might be Shri Shri PNI Marhenisme,” says I Made with smile.

Barisan Nasional can change their name to Partai Baris-Berbaris Nasional, Partai Republikan to Partai Republiku, PNBK Indonesia to PNBK Indo (to get voters from expatriate (indo), Partai Keadilan to Partai Keadilan Bersungguh-Sungguh, Partai Kedaulatan to Partai Kedaualatan Rakyat. What about PIS (Partai Indonesia Sejahtera) and Partai Buruh? What are their names supposed to be?” asks I Ketut.

PIS and Partai Buruh should be banned. PIS got no significant votes and Partai Buruh will never win as nobody will vote them because nobody wants to be a ‘Buruh” (labour). Everybody wants to be a civil servant.

The problem is that the people are getting smart now. No matter how you change your names, but they know what is going on. Once you made mistake, it would last forever.

Around the Region

Published in NOW! Jakarta - May 2009

Famous N.Y. artist Julian Schnabel and actress du jour,
star of Slumdog Millionaire, Freida Pinto.

In Singapore last month, Tante Betty got to meet her two favourite creative geniuses: artist-filmmaker extraordinaire Julian Schnabel and fashion maestro Christian Lacroix. Le tout Jakarta had tripped to the Lion City to see the retrospectives.
In the crowd at the Schnabel show at HT Contemporary Space, Tante Betty spotted artists Astari and Pintor Sirait, and I.H.T. art critic Sonia Kalishnikove-Jessop. At the Lacroix retrospective at the National Museum of Singapore I saw Patrick Bensard and Agnes Montenay from Paris’ Cinémathèque Française de la Danse who flew in from Bali are doing a film on Christian Lacroix. Bensard had just been in Jakarta interviewing pop-singer Rebecca.

Julian Schnabel tells how it is to loving disciples,
(left to right) Pintor Sirait, Sonia Kalishnikove-Jessop, Astari.

The Christian Lacroix show at National Museum of Singapore

LEFT: left to right: Andrew Jessop and Sonia Kalishnikove-Jessop, Patrick Bensard, Agnes Montenay,
Astari at the “Christian Lacroix Costumier Exhibition” at the National Museum of Singapore.
RIGHT: A Lacroix drawing for a dress design.

* * * * *

Last month I also followed Gus De Surya and Komang Bebek, Bali’s answer to the Hilton Sisters, to the Sydney opera house for the state memorial for Danish architect Jorn Utzon, the iconic building’s architect. The Balinese duo had been invited to represent Indonesia by Lin Utzon with whom they had worked on various art projects in East Bali. During their stay in Sydney the pair also served as hosts at the Australian book launch of “The Best of Stranger in Paradise.” Held at Palm Beach Studios, at which former Australian ambassadors to Indonesia Bill Morrison and Dick Woolcott were joint guests of honour, and placed offerings at the Bali bomb memorial in Coogee on Kuningan, Balinese all souls day. Indonesia-Australian relations were much enhanced by the stellar press fleshing of this engaging duo.

LEFT: Former Australian Ambassador to Indonesia Bill Morrison and daughter Melanie.
RIGHT: At Sydney’s Botanical garden – a Hilton Sisters’ pose.

Pressing the flesh: the Balinese doing what comes naturally.

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Bungklang Bungkling: STUPID

Taken from ‘Bungklang Bungkling’, ‘Lengeh’, in Bali Post, Sunday, 12th April 2009,
a column by I Wayan Juniartha
Translated by Putu Semiada


The result of the election has been known. What do you think of it?

“First, I would think that Balinese have forgotten their ancestors, says I Made Pawah Congah.

Everybody is smiling. The palm toddy ‘warung’ is getting quiet once the campaign session ends. No more donations from the calegs (parliamentary member candidates).

“What do you mean by forgetting our ancestors? Look! How high cremation tower (badé) and how big cremation wooden sarcophagus we make. And we are always proud of our ancestors. How dare you say that?” asks Doktor Shri I Gusti Ngurah Bingin Polé Celagi Gendong III.

I Shri is a kind of person who respects his ancestors very much. Even his name is full of his ancestors’ names. If his friends hadn’t warned him not to have too long names, he would even have had longer. He says that he often receives divine revelation from the gods.

“My conclusion is based on the situation that not many people voted the political party that claims to preserve Balinese culture. If they had done so, many people should have voted,” I Made further says.

As he always thinks of divine revelation, he might have forgotten one thing: the gods have no ‘voting right’ nor included in the voters list.

“The second conclusion is that Balinese are lazy. They like the money but do not want to do the job,” I Wayan Basang Bangbang interrupts.

I Wayan is a smart person. During the campaign sessions, he approached all the calegs and the political party. He told them that he had a lot of potential voters.
But during the election day, he didn’t even show up at all.

“I was sleeping during the election day. I didn’t really think I need to vote. I got their money though. And there was an interesting football match on television too,” he further says.

Everybody is laughing. Even they are lazy, but Balinese are getting smart. Formerly, it was the calegs that cheated the people, but now they cheated each other. It is all because of money. It makes the situation getting worse. The more the calegs spend their money on ‘money politics’, the more the people abstain.

In Bali, it is estimated 35% of the people abstain, which exceeds the vote percentage gained by Demokrat and Golkar.

“The third conclusion is that shaman and doctors will get lots of patients,” says I Made.

Before the election, the calegs usually visited the temples and prayed but after the election, there will be many of them visiting the doctors and shamans.

“The calegs in Bali are about 5000, while there will be only 300 parliamentary seats available. So there will be more than 4000 thousands people will suffer from stressed, depressed, stroke, heart attack, high blood pressure, etc after the election” I Made further says.


Pura Besakih Temple Festival Visit (Bhatara Turun Kabeh/ Panca Wali Krama), 14 April 2009.




Br. Tjeluk Sukawati Baris Tekok Jago Troupe