Bali New Book - Information

 Bali Information - Whether it be the charm of a young girl dressed for a festival or the mischief in the eyes of a comic storyteller, in Bali every new look is a surprise. For decades the island has startled the world with a fascinating and vibrant culture, born in deeply rooted cults of ancient magic and fostered by the guiding ritual of a strong religion. Ever since the fall of medieval empires when the spread of Islam drove nobles, priests and intelligentsia from Hindu Java to seek sanctuary in Bali, the island has been a haven for the arts, rituals and classics that were the pride of the Eastern Islands.
Through centuries of isolation, the people viewed the lofty volcano Gunung Agung as "Navel of the World" and nourished their philosophies in temples and palace courts of small kingdoms. The rule of native kings ended violently with the Dutch conquest of Bali early this century. After brief colonial rule and later liberation as part of a new country, Bali has emerged a lively, dynamic community, where past traditions are preserved, yet where styles are forever changing and new contrasts emerging. To understand the character of the people, one must see the island in its true perspective-as an oasis of undying ceremony and quiet beauty, yet as only one of over three thousand islands in Indonesia, fifth largest nation in the world and third richest in natural resources.

The earliest rumors of indonesia to reach the West-rumors of jewels, Mountains of gold the white monkey and even the phoenix-arose from the distant realities of a huge archipelago surrounded by eight seas and two oceans. An immense region of six million square kilometers of land and sea, Indonesia is still growing. One fourth of its four hundred volcanoes (including two in Bali) are still active today, ever changing the country's contours to new scenes spectacular in their contrasts.
Islands to the Far East and west are remnants before the sea rose hundreds of meters during a last glacial period, Sumatra, Kalimantan (Borneo), Java and Bali were all linked to Asia; while in the east, Irian was joined to Australia. The treacherous strait that separates Bali from its neighboring island Lombok is an important landmark, believed to, be the dividing line between Asia and Australia in geologic times. Contrasts between the two islands are obvious. Bali is lush, equatorial, smothered, with the luxuriant vegetation of tropical Asia.Lombok is more wind-blown and dry like the Australian plain. Animals too are different. Rate, marsupials, cockatoos, parrots and giant lizards that roam the arid regions of the eastern islands are nowhere to be founding where tigers, orangutans and pythons range the dense tropical forests.

The people of this varied land share in its diversity. The famous discovery of Pithecanthropos erectus, or Java man, established Indonesia as home of one of the earliest races of mankind. Since then, migrations of many races have swept through the archipelago -aboriginal tribes of hunters which once occupied all Asia primitive Negrito peoples who still inhabit inland wilderness; and advanced Proto Malays who brought from Yunan, in southwest China refined implements of stone. The early Christian era brought sailors, warriors, priests and craftsmen from India in a sudden outburst to Hindu Buddhist expansionism.
No wonder. Then, that no Indonesian island, however small, has a population that is not racially mixed Languages of the archipelago total about one hundred and seventy, with the national language bahasa Indonesia bringing unity of Expression to widely divergent cultures. Ninety Percent. Of Indonesia's one hundred and twenty million people are Muslims, with minorities Of Christians, Hindus and Buddhists. All people off different faiths. Have lived side by side in harmony. This tolerance has endowed with a resilience to sustain centuries of foreign influences, and at last to incorporate them into her own society.
The first European to set foot in the country was none other than Marco Polo in 1292, while serving as an ambassador to the Great Khan of Mongolia. The first Europeans to alight in Bali were a group of Dutch sailors manning a small fleet headed by Cornelius Houtman in 1597. The difference of discoveries being that Marco Polo continued his voyage; the sailors just couldn't leave Bali. Their reaction was a natural one. The captain and all his men fell in love with the island and soon befriended the king, a jovial fatman who surrounded himself with dozens of wives, owned fifty dwarfs as retainers, and drove a chariot drawn by white buffaloes. After numerous postponements, Houtman set a date for his departure. But much to the captain's chagrin, some of his men refused to go, and lie was obliged to sail for Holland with only part of his crew. When news of discovering a new "paradise" reached Europe, it created such a Sensation that the Dutch trader Heemskerk was promptly sent to Bali laden with gifts for the king.
The rapport between voyager and islander remained. For the next two hundred years, Dutchmen and other Europeans continued to visit but not to stay. With the beginnings of Dutch colonization in the 19th century, scholars wrote the first monographs on the culture of Bali. It wasn't until the late 1920s that the remote little island made its debut in the Western world through a series of documentary films, inspiring an elite circle of world travelers and celebrities to adopt Bali as their isle at the rainbow's end and to build villas in Sanur and Ubud. During the thirties, a group of visiting artists, musicians and anthropologists devoted themselves to the study of the culture, leaving some memorable volumes and photographs behind them.
Nowadays Bali is the magic touch to world travel. Though many country sides still linger where an automobile seems to disrupt the quiet solitude of the landscape, the island can now boast of a new international jet airport, a luxurious international hotel (seen for kilometers around as being the first and only building over four stories high), and big plans for further developing beaches as holiday resorts. Yet the years his fortunes reversed; he was murdered and his kingdom destroyed. His son later founded the Javanese dynasty of Majapahit.
With political dissension in Java, Bali temporarily regained its independence. The last king of the Pejeng dynasty in South Bali, the legendary Dalem Bedulu, who was a semi demonic ruler said to have had the head of a pig and the powers of a magician, refused to recognize Majapahit supremacy. He was defeated by the great general Gajah Made, chief minister of Majapahit, whose armies brought much of the archipelago under the rule of the dynasty he served. Ancient chronicles in Java briefly recorded the campaign: "In 1343 Bali, against whose vile and base-hearted ruler an expedition was sent. was overthrown and everyone slain."
The triumphant Gajah Made appointed Sri Kresna Kapakisan, a Brahmana from Kediri, as king. Kapakisan, accompanied by a number of nobles of Majapahit, came tc Bali and established his palace at Samprangan. The chronology of this period is unclear, but according to the traditional dating, towards the end of the 14th century the capital was moved to Gelgel, which for two centuries remained the seat of the Dewa Agung, the king of Bali.
The victorious campaigns of Gajah Made were the last military triumphs of the Majapahit empire. The new faith of Islam lured the princes of Java away from former loyalties to proclaim themselves Sultans Majapahit's glories dissolved 'in squabbles. As Majapahit waned, the Gelgel dynasty under its greatest ruler, Dalem Batur Enggong, waxed and expanded eastwards to Lombok and westwards to East Java. Among the nobles, priests and artisans who came to Bali from Majapahit at that time, the most important was Danghyang Nirartha, a Brahman who became the ruler's court priest. Nirartha had a profound influence on Balinese religion, both at court and in the villages. The complexity of death rituals, offerings and language were all probably introduced at that time. The palaces flourished with performances of plays, masked dances and the clangorous melodies of gamelan orchestras.
    When the Dutch arrived in 1597, the Balinese aristocracy was enjoying unprecedented prosperity, and, at first, relations were gloriously    friendly. In 1602 the Dutch East Indies Trading Company (Vereenigde Oost Indische Compagnie) was formed, the policies of which excluded most things but hopes for profits. But at the beginning of its penetration into Indonesia, Bali offered little of economic value and was therefore of little. Importance to the Dutch East Indies Company. The Company concentrated its efforts on capturing control of    the emporiums of Java and the spice islands of the Moluccas. By the 19th century, mismanagement and corruption had bankrupted the Company, forcing the Netherlands government to assume full control.
About the year 1710 the Dewa Agung of Gelgel moved his palace to nearby K!ungkung village, thereby becoming raja of Klungkung, still considered among the Balinese as the highest position of the Satrias, the ruling class in Bali. Meanwhile, the lesser rajas, descendants of the nobles of Majapahit who were given lands to rule as appanages of Gelgel, had grown increasingly independent, and the Dutch used their discontent to gain control.
The Dutch began directly interfering in Balinese affairs in the late 19th century. In 1846 the ancient right of the Balinese to claim shipwrecked cargo washed upon, their shores brought the first Dutch military expedition to Bali. After a series of battles, the northern states of Buleleng and Jembrana were placed under the direct administration of the Netherlands East Indies government'in 1882 A few years later, there followed the Lombok War. The Sasaks, vassals of the Balinese in Lombok, rebelled against their rulers and solicited help from the Dutch. In 1894 the Dutch landed a large expedition in Lombok and sent an ultimatum to the old raja there who agreed to pay a "war indemnity" of one million guilders. His decision was rejected by the younger Balinese princes of Lombok and they launched a fierce attack on the Dutch encampments. The attack forced the enemy to retreat to the sea with a loss of nearly one hundred men, including General Van Ham, second in command.
When news of the defeat in Lombok reached Holland, the press exploded with indignation against the "sinister treachery" of the Balinese. The Netherlands government immediately sent reinforcements and heavy artillery. A new Dutch offensive swept over the island, culminating in the capture of Cakra Negara, the last important city of the Balinese in Lombok. The Crown Prince, Anak Agung Ktut, the fiercest enemy of the Dutch, was killed and the old raja was exiled. He soon died of a broken heart.
To a Satria, particularly a Balinese king or prince, the ultimate goal of a warrior is to die in battle. If he has abided by the teachings of his' religion, his soul may then ascend to heaven without the ritual of cremation. To surrender and die in exile is the supreme disgrace of a monarch. This principle of honor characterizes events in the Balinese resistance to the Dutch Conquest of South Bali and the final downfall of the rajas. Most of the common people remained indifferent. Their lives were absorbed in the small communities under the peaceful guidance of Brahmanas, and their contact with the rajas consisted primarily in paying taxes.
In 1904 a small Chinese steamer was shipwrecked and looted off Sanur, five kilometers from Denpasar, in the region of Badung. The owners held the Dutch government responsible which, in turn, demanded that the raja of Badung pay damages of three thousand silver dollars and punish the culprits The raja refused. Two years later the Dutch' used this incident as an excuse to anchor a fleet of warships off Sanur. The opening clash took place on the beach where the Dutch militia of several thousand men landed. Battles raged along the road to Denpasar, but in four days the, Dutch reached the town's outskirts.
On September 20, 1906, the Dutch launched their final attack on the town together with a naval bombardment, realizing they were outnumbered and their weapons no match for cannons, the three ruling princes of Denpasar sought the only honorable solution a dignified death. Abiding by the tradition, the raja “scorched the earth” by commanding that everything of value be destroyed and his palace set on fire He told his people that anyone who wished could follow him into a puputan, “a fight unto death.” Thus the king, his priests and generals, and all his relatives, men and women, adorned themselves with jewels and dress of warriors (short white loincloths caught between the legs) and set out amidst the flame.
The procession was resplendent with the panoply of a great feudal lord. The raja, borne On the shoulders of a retainer, and holding a golden kris studded with rubies and diamonds, led his glittering retinue directly onto the rifles of the Dutch militia. The commanding officer. Astonished by such a spectacle of chivalry, sent interpreters to beg the Balinese to halt, but their pleas had no effect on an entranced people wedded to a code of valor. The battle was suicidal. One by one, the Satrias were gunned down at the enemy's feet. In the end the Dutch were left horrified at a cairn of bodies sprawled out before them. Wounded princes and princes crawled to die upon their king. Twice that day, outside the Denpasar palace and the pemecutan palace, the Satria code led to the massacre of altogether 3,600 Balinese.
Some days later the Dutch marched on Tabanan a disctrict west of Badung. Half way there they were met by the raja of Tabanan who was prepared to surrender on the condition that he retains his title and certain rights to his land. The commander, unable to give him a definite answer without an official reply from the government, took him prisoner. The following morning the raja cut his own throat.
The rajas of Karangasem and Gianyar, in the east, who had formerly pledged their loyaly to the Dutch, were allowed to retain their title and land. Those who opposed were destined to be exiled and their properties confiscated. Rather than face a debased death away from Bali, the raja of Klungkung held a puputan, giving the Dutch control of the island.
In 1914 the army was replaced by a police force and the Dutch reorganized the government along the lines it had had under the rajas. Although the remaining princes were deprived of political powers, they maintained much of their influence and importance as patrons of the arts. Thanks to a handful of devoted Dutch officials, Bali's culture was safeguarded and enjoyed a renaissance during the three decades of Dutch control.
When World War II struck Indonesia, the country was occupied by Japanese forces. After Japan's abrupt capitulation the people refused a return to colonial rule. On August 17, 1945, on behalf of all Indonesians, national leader Soekarno proclaimed Indonesia's independence. Four years of bloody conflict ensued before the Dutch formally relinquished the territory previously known as the Netherlands East Indies. It was during this time, on November 20th, 1946, that the famous battle of Marga was fought in West Bali. Led by Lt. Col. I Gusti Ngurah Rai, Bali's revolutionary forces refused to surrender until national independence was won. The Balinese commander and all his soldiers were killed in a heroic battle which included an air attack by the enemy.
When the Dutch officially recognized Indonesia at the Hague Round Table Conference in 1949, the nation was governed as a constitutional republic headed by President Soekarno. The attempted communist coup of September 1965 brought about far-reaching consequences in Indonesia's political life. Under General Suharto the army moved quickly to end the rebellion. The Indonesian Communist Party was immediately banned and Soekarno delegated wide powers to General Suharto. On March 1968, the People's Consultative Assembly appointed Suharto as President.

Publish : Bali Information

0 Responses to “Bali New Book - Information”:

Popular Posts