An Evolving Culture

One of the things that makes Balinese culture so sustainable is its flexibility and adaptability. It is not a rigid culture, intent Ghormenghast style, on preserving rituals in stone at all costs, but allows change to permeate and move forward. This is reflected in Balinese dance, dress and architecture which I can see and (to some

Alistair G. Speirs

Under the Keris (Part 2) : The Man’s Many Advantages

When people write on Balinese love, they like to underline the romantic side, often seen from the male’s perspective. People are said to elope out of love, to bypass the parents’ unwillingness to accept the union. This occurs of course, but there are also instances when parents force lovers to break their bond – which,

The Sea is our Life

Many years ago an intrepid adventurer called Thor Heyerdhal mounted an amazing expedition to cross the pacific on a raft called the “Kon-Tiki” to prove that people from South America, Peru in this instance, could have crossed the thousands of miles of ocean on rafts made with the basic technology of the time. He made

Before and After… Us

Do you have a personal goal? Or if you own or influence a company or organisation, a corporate goal? Grundfos the Norwegian (but Global) Pump manufacturer has one: “To deliver the world to the next generation in a better state than we inherited it” Pretty simple isn’t it? And you honestly know the consequences of

Staying Sustainable in Bali

Sustainability is one of the buzz words in business these days and it certainly should be . It’s closely linked to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) but not quite the same . CSR can be exercised by engaging with third parties who benefit from your company’s assistance (for example Ikea’s great program to put septic tanks

Under the Keris : The Social Constraints for Balinese Women

With tourism (and globalisation in general), women’s empowerment has certainly come to the Balinese table. We’ve seen the many Balinese women carrying heavy loads on their heads, noticed how their toplessness was exploited in Bali’s past, the expectations of family planning and ‘rearing’… yes, it’s certainly about time this member of society get some proper

A Life of Luxury

Everyone has a different vision of luxury: some like beautiful suites in elegant hotels, with fine linens and top quality amenities; others like personal service with butlers on call 24/7; others like privacy, with no intrusions into their reverie; perhaps everyone likes good food and wine as a symbol of “the good life”. I suppose

Well, Well, Well. What’s All This Then?

What is this strange thing called “wellness”? Is it the state of being healthy in body and mind (as a result of deliberate effort), as one definition would have it? Or is it an approach to healthcare that emphasizes preventing illness and prolonging life, as opposed to emphasizing the treatment of diseases, as another definition

The Magic of Language

Once upon a time in a mystical land some called “The Island of the Gods” there was strange and beautiful language called “Bahasa Indonesia” spoken, and all the brave adventurers who came to this unspoilt island, had to learn this difficult language or face serious consequences. They had to find phrase books, dictionaries and massage

Pride and Perspective: Comparing Scotland to Bali

I have just returned to Indonesia from Scotland for a short trip and once again feel compelled to compare the way in which each country approaches tourism. There are a lot of similarities between Scotland and Bali: each are a small part of a greater country, UK and Indonesia, each are filled with natural beauty,

Have You Heard Of The Spice Islands?

Did you know that part of Indonesia was the fabled “Spice Islands” from the pages of history? No? Well it’s a long and very interesting story of which I can only tell you a small part here. The rest you should find out for yourself. It’s fascinating. Right in the middle of this vast archipelago

Disturbing Facts

Way back in the nineteenth century an English philosopher called John Stuart Mill wrote an essay called “On Liberty”. This defined the individuals drive for self improvement, their desire to “better their station” in life, as the sole source of true freedom. But he qualified this by saying that these efforts must not impede the

Romance and a Great Holiday

When we are young and single, we sometimes go on holiday to find romance; when we get married, we go on holidays to celebrate romance; when we have been married for ages, we go on holiday to rekindle our romance! Whatever the reason, holidays and romance are inseparably intertwined.

Now Bali