Taken from ‘Bungklang Bungkling’, ‘Kalendar’, a column by I Wayan Juniartha, published in Bali Post, Sunday 8th January 2012. Translated by Putu Semiada.
“Do you think ‘traditional calendars are still useful these days?
“I think all calendars are the same, either traditional or modern, it doesn’t do any good to me,” says I Made Daki Dibawah Ketiak Istri (A Coward Husband).
Everyone quite understands that I Made often gives controversial comments. He is the kind of husband who is too scared of his wife.
“No matter how auspicious the day is, in terms of ceremony, when his wife wants to go shopping, he can’t do anything.”
“Whatever she wants, she must get it, especially when there is a sales in the shopping mall.”
People are shopping-addicted these days. They easily just spend money for things they do not need.”
“I totally agree. In another case, I can see now if we are too attached to the traditional calendar,” says I Ketut Pangus Mayus.
I Ketut used to work in a villa. He often took days off due to various village religious ceremony activities. Consequently he was fired. He breeds ducklings now.
“We Balinese are too busy with ceremonies while our bosses are too money-oriented.”
“They hate us for asking too many days off. We are doing the ceremonies to preserve our culture and that’s what make tourist come to visit Bali. Our bosses are happy we are doing this but they don’t want to contribute or take part.”
“The point is that if you want be financially better, you shouldn’t be too attached to traditional religious calendar, instead you follow the normal calendar which doesn’t have too many religious holidays,” concludes the palm toddy association chief.
Ni Luh Makin Digosok Makin SIP (The more you rub the more she likes it) has been following the conversation become mad.
“You all talk too much: you talk about a duty you never do.”
Nobody dares to comment. Everyone knows that if they do, they might be in trouble as there will be nobody to serve palm toddy for them anymore.
“If you think that our traditional calendar is no longer useful, you think you will stop celebrating your Full and Dark Moon ceremony, or “Galungan” or you think you won’t plant rice anymore? You just talk but it is us the Balinese women who do the ceremonies. It is us who stand for the Balinese culture. If we didn’t exist you would be finished.”
Everyone claps their hands and they completely agree with what Ni Luh says.