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Balinese Cultural Congress I: Do not Let Bali lose its Identity  

by on Tuesday, 24 June 2008One Comment | 1,718 views

Many people agree that Bali has interesting culture and art. They love to see all the art and cultural products from the fine arts to the dance and from shadow puppet to traditional drama performance. Its ceremonies are always adored by local and foreign tourists alike. Besides, its friendly people draw lot of visitors from various countries and areas.

tenganan dauh tukad

However, Bali nowadays has changed because of globalization and penetration of other cultures. Balinese tend to be individual and the area that actually should be utilized for agricultural activities is narrowed. Many other changes have occurred. Then some people who care and want to preserve Balinese cultural heritage held a congress, named Balinese Cultural Congress I at ISI (Indonesian Art Institute) Denpasar.

On June 14-16, 2008, many local and international experts and people who have great concern for Balinese culture were invited to this congress. This congress, which was opened by Cultural and Tourism Minister, assembled representatives from UNESCO and other countries like: UK, Australia, India, and Japan. In addition, Balinese artists, press, scientists, expert in Balinese architecture, Balinese legislatives, and many more attended this congress that was held as a part of Bali Art Festival 2008. They shared their ideas together to find a preventive action so that Balinese do not lose their identity.

Unfortunately, the organizer did not invite the youngsters to join this congress. Many people who attended on those days argued that youngsters have to be invited on the next congress; since they are the next generation where the responsibility to preserve Balinese culture reside in. They have to know the problems and the way to solve them. Besides, the youngsters’ ideas cannot be ignored. The organizer promised that youngsters would be invited on the next Balinese Cultural Congress II that will be held in the next 5 years.

Balinese Cultural Congress I contained five panels to make this event effective. Every panel had a focus to discuss. The result of each panel was read in the final plenary session with the recommendations by the formative team. However, they gave a chance for the audience to give their critics and suggestion, and then the members of the panel renewed it after considering the critics and suggestions that were given by the audiences.

There are several points that can be highlighted in the result of this congress. One of them is Balinese are asked not to exclude their self since this action can stimulate the national feud. Other results are Balinese have to appreciate each other, copyrights of Balinese must be protected, concept of Tri Hita Karana must be applied wholly in Bali, etc. In addition, the formative team also created some recommendations such as: conducting revitalization for Banjar (Balinese community system), Subak (Balinese irrigating system), and Balinese language.

Well, it was a really smart way to prevent Bali from losing its identity because of penetration of other cultures and globalization. And we have to admit that this congress is really important in preserving Balinese culture as we do not want to see Balinese culture dies out.

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