The Breeding Grounds of the Begawan Foundation

Beginning with a mission to conserve the critically-endangered Bali starling, over the years the Begawan Foundation has itself grown alongside the population of Bali’s endemic bird. Their operations centred in Melinggih Kelod, Payangan, have become breeding grounds, not only for starlings, but for youth education and regenerative farming programs, all of which work in synergy

Edward Speirs

Ramadan, and the Upholding of Tolerance in Bali

The holy month of Ramadan begins on 23 March. So, it is a perfect occasion to ponder about the way religious tolerance functions (or mis-functions) in Bali. I am using these two words because it is part of conventional wisdom – or rather of conventional politics —to assess that religious tolerance is a given reality.

Mission Paws'ible 3

Mission Paws’ible: For the Love of Dogs

Driven by their love of animals, Mission Paws’ible has been, well, on a mission to change the fate of Bali’s many uncared-for cats and dogs. Taking a holistic approach to their work that engages communities as well as directly caring for these animals, the organisation is slowly building a long-term solution that ensures their welfare.

Duality & the Commercialisation of the Spirit

The commercialisation of Eastern spirituality began in the USA. “In America is the place, the people, the opportunity for everything new,” wrote Swami Vivekananda before he left India in 1893.  Vivekananda had learned from his guru, Sri Ramakrishna, that the world’s religions “are but various phases of one eternal religion”, and the spiritual essence could

Bali’s New Year Resolutions

This article is available as a Podcast episode. Listen here: 2022 was an important year of recovery for Bali and, with a sigh of relief, we can see that the economy has bounced back and that the business, communities and individuals are not only surviving, but thriving! How far we have come from the desperate


BASAbali: The Journey to Digitise the Balinese Language

BASABali – a registered foundation in Indonesia and non-profit in USA – are a collective of linguists, anthropologists, students and communicators who are driven by the same mission: to ensure the continuation of the Balinese language. Alissa J. Stern, Founder of BASAbali; and Ni Nyoman Clara Listya Dewi, Head of Communications for BASAbali and a

Nurturing the Next Generation of Indonesian Coffee Farmers

When the pandemic brought Bali’s tourism industry to a standstill, Mika, 29, left his job in guest services at a resort and returned to his home village of Pajahan in the island’s central-west highlands. After 11 years of working in the tourism sector — which accounts for more than half of Bali’s economy — he

War, Art and Peace: Bali as an Example of Balance for World Leaders

Bali is Indonesia’s window to the world. This role comes into full bloom with more and more global events taking place on the island, such as the the IMF and G20 summits. Whilst Bali participates in international affairs, on the other side of the coin, the world, too, participates in Bali’s affairs. In fact, Bali’s

A Reminder: Bali Bomb Survivor

I can vaguely remember the way the policemen blocked the access to Kuta in 2002. There’s been a bombing, they said. Whilst I remember the day, my memory is nothing compared to those directly impacted, or even indirectly, by the events of that fateful day. Once a year, on 12 October, they commemorate the tragedy

The Ubud Writers and Readers Festival is an Experience Beyond Books

From 27 to 30 October 2022, the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival (UWRF) will take over Bali’s cultural capital for its 19th year running. There will be 150 storytellers — from writers and poets to activists and musicians — descending upon Ubud over the four days, all of whom will feature on over 50 panels,

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