Yes indeed, if a dream tells about an island with all-year-round idyllic climate, dramatic scenery, deep and varied culture, and an oasis of quiet beauty, then Bali, a Hindu island within Muslim Indonesian archipelago, has it all. A place where religion is the source of traditional customs in everyday life, Bali and the Balinese are extremely devout and no day goes by without making offerings to the gods. Made primarily of flowers, these offerings are given to the good spirits in hopes of continued prosperity and to the evil spirits as an appeasement. With a spectacular scenery, vibrant culture, unique arts and ceremonies, a gentle and friendly people, it’s not difficult to understand why some of the foreign artists who arrived in Bali in 1930th stayed on, thoroughly seduced and inspired by the island’s breathtaking physical beauty and cultural complexity, deeply impressed by the warmth and the hospitality of the Balinese, and the amazing breadth of artistic expression that pervaded their daily life (ref.)
It is for all the same reasons why Bali became one of the hottest tourist destinations in the tropics, a must-visit place namely for the discerning traveler in search of distinctive and authentic experience. For those that discovered Bali in the 70s, as late as mid-80s, Bali retains unforgettable images of paradise. But with more and more tourists non-Balinese had started to change Bali and with more money to be made the once romantic island had also become victim to rife civil and human rights abuses of the corrupt Indonesia. There is no shortage of good sources of information about Bali when it comes to images of paradise. Certainly the Balinese dance and the haunting percussion sounds of a Balinese gamelan orchestra can captivate and hypnotize (ref.), easily rendering Bali as “idyllic” from the outside, but the fact is Bali also knows poverty and since 2002 the world has taken notice of Bali also being a breeding ground for Islamic terrorists. For all the ills that have befallen Bali doubly more so it is important to support genuine Balinese and Bali friendly hotels and other businesses only. There are definite and valid reasons to either outright boycott Bali , or with utmost care make sure one can practice ethical tourism by ensuring that the money one spends on vacation in Bali goes to the Balinese and not the people who suppress and use them.
1 thought on “What about Bali?”
I agree that the natural wealth of Bali should benefit the Balinese. While many Westerners are growing rich off the island, poverty is achingly real here.
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