Staying Local in the Global Village

Staying Local in the Global Village: Bali in the Twentieth Century

Raechelle Rubinstein
Linda H. Connor
Copyright Date: 1999
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    Staying Local in the Global Village
    Book Description:

    One of the world's most intensively studied societies, Bali has hosted scholars and writers as renowned as Margaret Mead, Gregory Bateson, Miguel Covarrubias, Fred Barth, and Hildred and Clifford Geertz. Staying Local in the Global Village is part of a continuing tradition in which Balinese and foreign scholars reflect on the processes of transformation that link Bali to Indonesia and the world beyond. The chapters in this volume are based on research carried out in the early 1990s, when Suharto's New Order still enjoyed widespread legitimacy in Indonesia. Even then, political consensus in Bali was weakened by the inhabitants' view of themselves as an exploited minority of Hindus in a nation dominated by Islamic Javanese. As this book reveals, the ambivalent positioning of Balinese vis-à-vis the national and the global in recent decades has been played out in many different spheres of life. Contributors take up a number of themes that reflect different articulations of the local throughout the twentieth century. Early chapters provide a bird's-eye view of the public culture, local history, definitions of "Balinese-ness," and political struggles over land and sacred space. Later chapters explore specific aspects of Balinese participation in the transformations associated with the tourism-dominated provincial economy, the growth of communications and mass media, and the incursions of the nation-state trough its imperatives of economic development and rationalist discourses. New forms of traditional hegemony, status struggles over the priesthood, contestation about cultural authenticity by marginal groups within the island itself, women's work, the performing arts, and television watching, are all considered in this light, providing a highly nuanced and "local" perspective of global processes in Bali.

    eISBN: 978-0-8248-6446-0
    Subjects: Economics, History, Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. List of Illustrations
    (pp. vii-x)
  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xi-xii)
  5. A Note on Spelling
    (pp. xiii-xiii)
  6. [Map]
    (pp. xiv-xiv)
  7. Introduction
    (pp. 1-14)
    Linda H. Connor and Raechelle Rubinstein

    Throughout the twentieth century, Balinese, like other inhabitants of the planet, have ambivalently engaged with global processes that in various ways have been interpreted as opportunities and threats. This book is the result of efforts by Balinese and non-Balinese scholars to understand Bali in the light of recent social theory as the century draws to a close.

    The large and diverse international network of scholars interested in Bali, while perhaps not unique (Java and “Borneo” are other contenders in the Southeast Asian region), forms a resource for more intensive and long-standing interdisciplinary exchanges than might be expected in the “area...

  8. Chapter 1 The Discourse of Kebalian: Transcultural Constructions of Balinese Identity
    (pp. 15-50)
    Michel Picard

    In the late 1960s, when the Indonesian government decided to open the country to international tourism, Bali’s image as a tourist paradise made it the obvious choice to become the nation’s touristic showcase. As a result, the Balinese, faced with the prospect of ever increasing numbers of foreign visitors to their shores, began questioning whether their culture would survive the “impact of tourism”(dampak pariwisata). Indeed, they were faced with a dilemma. On the one hand, the artistic and ceremonial pageants that had made their island famous the world over provided its main attraction as a tourist destination—thus turning...

  9. Chapter 2 Making Local History in New Order Bali: Public Culture and the Politics of the Past
    (pp. 51-90)
    Margaret J. Wiener

    In a commonly cited passage, Walter Benjamin presents history as an important site of political struggle:

    To articulate the past historically … means to seize hold of a memory as it flashes up at a moment of danger. Historical materialism wishes to retain that image of the past which unexpectedly appears to man singled out by history at a moment of danger. The danger affects both the content of the tradition and its receivers. The same threat hangs over both: that of becoming a tool of the ruling classes. In every era the attempt must be made anew to wrest...

  10. Chapter 3 Democratic Mobilization and Political Authoritarianism: Tourism Developments in Bali
    (pp. 91-122)
    Putu Suasta and Linda H. Connor

    On 27 July 1996 there was a large demonstration in the city of Jakarta—the first of many internationally reported incidents that were to continue up to the Indonesian general elections in May 1997. Thousands of supporters of Megawati Sukarnoputri, daughter of the former president, Sukarno, and leader of the Indonesian Democratic Party (Partai Demokrasi Indonesia, or PDI), converged on the headquarters of their party, which had been taken over by government-supported political rivals. In their outrage and frustration at the ousting of their democratically elected leader in favor of a government-backed candidate, Soerjadi, they clashed with troops and police...

  11. Chapter 4 Acting Global, Thinking Local in a Balinese Tourist Town
    (pp. 123-154)
    Graeme MacRae

    Ubud: a name, a label, given to an entity defined differently by different people for different purposes: tourist destination, paradise of expatriate imagining, administrative village and/or ritual district, ritual village(desa adat), kingdom, palace(puri). All imply bounded unity of some kind. Yet the only boundaries easy to find are the administrative ones on the big, clumsily painted wall map in the district(kecamatan)office. “Where are you from?” I ask the blonde woman with the American accent. “From Ubud.” “I come from Ubud too,” says the seller of bamboo lamp shades in the Kuta sunset. “Whereabouts in Ubud?” “From...

  12. Chapter 5 People of the Mountains, People of the Sea: Negotiating the Local and the Foreign in Bali
    (pp. 155-180)
    Thomas A. Reuter

    Indonesia’s recent economic crisis and political turmoil are ample evidence of how the globalization of economic interdependence between nations may affect the lives of people in the developing world. Their participation in a global market together with advanced technologies of communication and transportation also confronts modern Indonesians with foreign commodities, ideas, and values. We cannot predict what consequences these changes may have for the cultural diversity of human civilization—particularly for the future of disempowered societies at the margins of the global system. Possible trajectories will be shaped, among other things, by the processes of cultural negotiation that transpire at...

  13. Chapter 6 Status Struggles and the Priesthood in Contemporary Bali
    (pp. 181-202)
    I Gde Pitana

    In July 1994, I attended a major ceremony at Ulun Danu Batur Temple in the village of Songan, Kintamani, in Bangli regency.¹ In addition to thousands of the faithful, the ceremony was attended by high-level civil servants such as the governor of Bali, the regent of Bangli, representatives of all the other regents in Bali, the chairman of the Indonesian Hindu Council (Parisada Hindu Dharma Indonesia, or PHDI, the officially recognized organization representing the interests of Indonesian Hindus to the state), and the chairman of the Council for the Development of Customary Institutions (Majelis Pembina Lembaga Adat, or MPLA).


  14. Chapter 7 “Eating Threads”: Brocades as Cash Crop for Weaving Mothers and Daughters in Bali
    (pp. 203-230)
    Ayami Nakatani

    Over the past two decades, scholars have begun to devote increasing attention to the problems of rural women associated with economic development in Southeast Asia.¹ This interest seems to have grown out of concern with the effects on women’s lives of the region’s rapid transformation through capital-intensive development, urbanization, commercial agriculture, and mass production. The declaration of the United Nations Decade for Women (1976–1985) did much to stimulate scholarly research in this area as well. The major problems revealed by this growing body of literature can be summarized as follows: a decline in female employment in rice cultivation due...

  15. Chapter 8 Education for the Performing Arts: Contesting and Mediating Identity in Contemporary Bali
    (pp. 231-264)
    Brett Hough

    An information brochure produced by the College of Indonesian Arts in Denpasar announces the following institutional aims:

    To form Indonesian man in accordance with the principles of Pancasila [the Five Principles of the official national ideology] and the Constitution, capable of performing his work in a pluralistic society professionally, skilfully and creatively as an expert in the arts, with a presence and competence that is scientific, responsible, and aware, with love for and desire to develop his culture in the context of duty to the development of his society and dedication to God. [College of Indonesian Arts 1988:1]¹

    The aims...

  16. Chapter 9 The End of the World News: Articulating Television in Bali
    (pp. 265-290)
    Mark Hobart

    A singular expression was being mooted about in Bali in the middle of 1997:gumi suba wayah, “the world is old.” Slipped into conversations, it elicited responses from quiet recognition to enthusiastic endorsement. Balinese had not developed a genteel passion for geology; nor had they suddenly appreciated their past as a step from immature traditionality to the fulfillment of modernity.¹ The expression itself (“the world is old”) is not new. It seems to have gained particular currency after the general elections in early 1997 because of people’s sense of political stagnation. While the phrase mostly made sense in context, it...

  17. Glossary
    (pp. 291-296)
  18. References
    (pp. 297-336)
  19. Contributors
    (pp. 337-340)
  20. Index
    (pp. 341-354)