A cry for Bali

Bali is not paradise in the classical sense. However, it is an island that nurtures, sustains and perpetuates an enchanted existence disconnected from a reality that many have to live with in other parts of Indonesia.

As the years roll by, development continues to race towards incomprehension. It is slowly leveling the vibrant ethos and in some areas replacing verdant surroundings with concrete monstrosities that are flaccid in nature. These contorted aberrations on the Balinese landscape are desecrating the island of the gods and one wonders whether the day of reckoning will come when Goddess Bali awakes from her slumber to return her home to a pristine land.

The surreptitious inroads into sacred areas is alarming and deeply saddening.

A beautiful people being corrupted by insidious consumerism with the all pervasive motto – In God we trust, rest cash – being the recurring theme.

Ancient Balinese architectural concepts like Asta Kosala Kosali have been swept away by those that seek to transform the isle into the ultimate paradise for the rich and famous, while education standards,  minimum wage is wanting and the lives of ordinary folk being increasingly intruded upon and disrupted by groups of carpetbaggers who seek Avalon in the east.

Village folk still cling precariously to their language, Balinese, to float on the surface of cross fertilization of cultures that is flooding homes with street jargon from all over the world including other parts of Indonesia. Children who once spoke their mother tongue fluently are now being enticed into the ever growing circle of hip youngsters. A circle that is pretentious in word, dress, music and morals, all this borrowed from visitors.

And as the dilution of a beautiful ethos continues, the deteriorating state of the environment is best reflected in reports emanating from Udayana University – statistics that are revealing, disheartening and prophetic.

So how long can this  enchanting isle sustain the juggernaut of avaricious progress? Some assume that this will carry on ad infinitum. Others believe that the boiling point or breaking point is a few years away.

But who is listening?

Who will draw the line and prevent further maiming of the sensual evocative senses of Bali and its gracious people?

Om Shanti Shanti Shanti Om