the old culture from balinese and all i know will show in this blog

Thursday, 28 January 2010

The Balinese Girl

This tourism advertising image shows a young Balinese girl wearing an elaborate floral crown headdress. Such crowns are characteristic of Balinese classical dance costumes. The girl’s portrait is shown on a black circle within a purple background, and the word “bali” is written above the girl’s head in white letters.

The Background on Ballinese
The Balinese Island in eastern Indonesia is most widely known as a tourist paradise offering exquisite tropical landscapes, luxury beaches, fantastic shopping, ancient Hindu temples, wonderful arts, and beautiful smiling people. Bali also is a place of great social and historical complexity, much of which remains unseen by foreign tourists on brief holiday visits.

With a population of about 245 million, Indonesia is the fourth most populous nation in the world, after China, India, and the United States. Geographically, Indonesia is an archipelago comprised of over 17,000 islands, only about 4,000 of which are inhabited. Indonesia extends across the Pacific Ocean for about 3,500 miles along the equator between the mainland of Asia and Australia. Most of the population live on just a small number of main islands, especially the densely populated islands of Java, Madura, and Bali.

Bali is a very small island, located just east of the most populous island, Java. Only about 50 by 90 miles at its greatest diameters, Bali can be circumnavigated during a single day’s drive. Yet Bali’s unique tourist attractions and artistic products have led this small island to be a major economic powerhouse within the Indonesian economy.

Part of Bali’s fascination for Western visitors stems from the fact that, whereas most of Indonesia now is Muslim, Bali remains Hindu, with contemporary residents practicing colorful public rituals at carved stone temples. Bali also is a compact center to observe a wide range of talented local artists: musicians, dancers, painters, carvers, goldsmiths, and weavers, to name just a few of Bali’s well-developed arts idioms. Bali is particularly attractive to Europeans and Asians interested in Hinduism and Buddhist history, as well as to young Australian surfers who live only a few hours away by plane.

During the first millennium C.E. most of Southeast Asia, from the regions of Burma in the west to Vietnam in the east, came into contact with Indian religious ideas and material culture. While there were no major conquests by India in the region, and no large migrations, Southeast Asian traders and rulers adopted Hindu and Buddhist religious practices, temple structures, art styles, epic literature written in Indic scripts, and the idea of kings as reincarnations of gods.

In what is now Indonesia, Hindu and Buddhist kingdoms flourished on the islands of Sumatra and Java from the sixth to the fifteenth centuries C.E. Beginning in the 1200s, however, the newly arriving religion of Islam attracted royal interest. Southeast Asian city states trading with Muslim India and the Middle East began to challenge the rulers of Hindu and Buddhist kingdoms. Hindu and Buddhist temples in many areas were abandoned or fell to ruin. In 1527, the Hindu-Buddhist Javanese kingdom of Majapahit was conquered by a Muslim center on Java’s north coast. Balinese tradition claims that Hindu Javanese royalty under attack fled to Hindu Bali, which then was able to remain Hindu until Dutch invaders arrived to conquer the island in the early 1900s.

Dutch military attacks resulted in the death of most members of Bali’s royal families, but the Dutch quickly became intrigued with the island’s beauty and the artistic skills of its population. Bali has attracted foreign artists from the 1930s to the present although many Balinese remain rice farmers as well as skilled craftsmen. Like Java, Bali’s soil is volcanic and very fertile, producing two crops per year from irrigated rice terraces.

Although tourist guides will describe the island as a perfect tropical paradise, Bali also has experienced troubled times, especially during the Dutch colonial period, the anti-Communist purges of the late 1960s, and the 2002 and 2005 bombings by Muslim jihadists.

Large-scale tourism, beginning with an expanded airport in the 1970s, put heavy pressure on native Balinese to cope with rapid development as well as their own self-identity in the face of millions of foreign visitors.

Tourist development uses many valuable resources, including scarce land and water, and it generates much plastic garbage. Not all Balinese benefit equally from the tourist influx, and tourism can be an unreliable source of income. The nightclub bombings of October 2002 and 2005 brought great financial hardship to many Balinese although it was outsiders who exploded bombs to target foreign tourists.

In the face of repeated social, political, and economic challenges, the Balinese historically have proved resilient in re-assessing and adapting their cultural identities. Despite intense contact with outsiders, they have preserved many facets of their ancient architecture, Balinese-style Hinduism, village social organizations, and the artistic creations and performances that they understand as offerings to their gods and community.

Monday, 18 January 2010

History Bali culture

History of bali

(Bali - Indonesia )Although there are no artifacts or records dating back to the Stone Age, it is believed that the first settlers in Bali migrated from China around 2,500 BC, and by the Bronze era, around 300 BC; quite an evolved culture existed in Bali. The complex system of irrigation and rice production, still in use today, was established around this time.

History is vague for the first few centuries. A number of Hindu artifacts were been found dating back to the 1st century (AD), which suggests that the main religion, around 500 AD, was predominantly Buddhist.

It wasn't until the 11th century that Bali received the first strong influx of Hindu and Javanese cultures. With the death of his father around AD 1,011, Airlanggha, a Balinese prince, moved to east Java and set about creating unity. Having succeeded, he then appointed his brother, Anak Wungsu, as ruler of Bali. During the ensuing period there was a reciprocation of political and artistic ideas, and the old Javanese language, Kawi, became the language used by the aristocracy.
With the arrival of Islam in neighboring Java during the 15th century, a large number of courtiers, artists, musicians and craftsmen fled to Bali. As such, the Balinese have always been creative.

With the spread of Islam throughout Sumatra and Java during the 16th century, the Majapahit Empire began to collapse and a large exodus of the aristocracy, priest, artists, and artisans fled to Bali. For a while Bali flourished and the following centuries were considered the Golden Age of Bali's cultural history. The principality of Gelgel, near Klungkung, became a major canter for the Arts, and Bali became the major power of the region, taking control of the neighboring island of Lombok and parts of East Java.

The European Influence
The first Dutch seamen set foot on Bali in 1597, yet it wasn't until the 1800's that the Dutch showed an interest in colonizing the island. In 1864, having had large areas of Indonesia under their control since 1700's, the Dutch government sent the troops to northern Bali. In 1894, the Dutch sided with the Sasak people of Lombok to defeat their Balinese rulers. By 1911, all the Balinese principalities had been defeated in battle, leaving the whole island under Dutch control. After World War I, Indonesian Nationalist sentiment was rising and in 1928, Bahasa Indonesia was declared the official national language.