Thursday, 23 June 2011

Bungklang Bungkling: Dagang (Vendor) by Wayan Juniartha

Taken from ‘Bungklang Bungkling’, ‘Dagang’, a column by I Wayan Juniartha, published in Bali Post, Sunday 19th June 2011. Translated by Putu Semiada.

Dagang (Vendor)

It is said that two professions that Balinese do not like are to be a worker or a vendor because they represent the two lowest castes in Hinduism, wesia and sudra. It seems that nobody wants to be in lower status.

“That’s why most Balinese want to be kings or kstaria, or in kstaria positions, princes (dwagung putra), princesses (dwagung istri), or priests (pedanda and begawan),” says I Made Gengsi Kanti Mati (Prestigious is at any cost).

“If you look at our traditional operas (drama gong, sendratari, prembon and arja), the main characters will be always the king (raja), the queen (ratu), the prince (pangeran) or princess (putri). A ‘farmer’, a ‘worker’, a ‘fisherman’, or a vendor is considered inferior roles.

The above justifies that Balinese are still not interested in being a worker or vendor. They don’t like to do physical jobs.

They prefer to be ‘Brahmana’: from sulinggih to professor, or to be ‘king’ (read ‘leader’): from governor, Legislative Assembly member, mayor, district head or village head or civil servant.

“They want to be ‘leaders’ in spite of their corrupt mentality,” comments I Ketut Tenges Merenges (Cheeky Ketut).

“The high ranking officials are busy ‘selling’ permits, the Legislative Assembly members are busy making recommendation.

“Look at what happened to ‘Space Planning’ Draft (RTRW). All the mayors say that they reject the draft in the name of people. Actually their hidden agenda is that if they agreed with the draft, they would be forbidden to ‘offer’ land, river bank or beach to investors.”

The point is that, if one is money-oriented, they will sell anything they can, including temple’s property or the temple itself. If so, one should not claim themselves ‘kstaria pinandita’; or if a high ranking official always thinks of money, no matter how one will get it, he should never claim that he makes any good for people.

“Once one sees an investor, one bends down begging, and ready to be a ‘slave’ and ready to offer anything he can.”

“So, most Balinese now, mentally, are slaves.”

Most of them are like ‘vendor’ now, they always want to sell anything they can, to get money, but they don’t realized it. That’s why you should never surprised to find Bali like what it is now.

One might even offer his sarong he wears or his kris. When you have sold everything you have, how would you manage your life?