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A Glimps on Caste Strugle in Bali part 1  

by on Tuesday, 19 February 2008One Comment | 2,003 views

Hierarchy in a society exists in some areas in the world and Bali is one of them. This island of gods has a special society order. Balinese adopted their society order from India. This order was developed between 2000 until 1000 BC in India by the Aryas (an ethnic group which lived in India at that time).


Indians, between 2000-1000 BC, had divided their society based on the divisions of labor into four parts.
1. Brahmana. This group was fulfilled by the people who have abilities in leading and managing the traditional ceremony (Pendeta).
2. Ksatriya. People of noble birth belong to this group, included the King and his family.
3. Waisya. Farmers and traders belong to this group.
4. Sudra. This group is the lowest and its members are the slaves and bondsmen.
Actually there are two possibilities to explain how caste system was spread to Indonesia, but a theory which stated that trading was the medium of spreading the caste system seems more acceptable. The trade made the adoption easier. The caste system was brought from Java to Bali and Balinese then applied it into their society.

Nevertheless, there is deviation on the caste system applied in Bali Formerly, the caste system was applied based on the kinds of labors. Later on, that system is applied based on the heredity. It means, if the father is working as Pendeta (high priest) and titled Ida Bagus (for the men) and Ida Ayu (for the women), the children also have the same title and belong to the Brahmana caste. Though, they are not working as Pendeta. This deviation is applicable to the others. Brahmana, Ksatriya, and Waisya are called Triwangsa. They have high position in the society. In contrast, Sudra is usually associated with position.

The Sudra felt that it was not fair. What did the Sudra do to make it fair? The answer was happened between 1919 until 1931.What was happened? We will see on the next posting.

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