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Balinese View toward Disaster  

by on Tuesday, 9 January 2007No Comment | 1,614 views

For Balinese disaster, unfortunate event, accident, bad luck etc are part of life. The concept of Rwa Bhineda (two different aspect of life -good and bad, day and night- but unite as one entity) runs in the blood of every Balinese. In Balinese view, joy and grief cannot be separated, when you share a joyful moment, you cannot avoid the sad one. An old Balinese saying said, ‘Fortune cannot be chased and bad luck cannot be avoided’. The occurrence of joy and grief in this life is like a never-ending circle, a joy will surely followed by a grief, and the grief is soon replaced by another joy, this circle will repeat until the end of life. But for Balinese the end of a life is a start of another life and this circle of joy and grief will start and keep on moving.


Balinese is an ardent believer of destiny. Like it or not every event which happen on the life of Balinese must be accepted since it is his destiny, Balinese used the word ‘paduman‘ which means ‘share’ for destiny. It means that destiny is a share given by God for every action he had done in his previous life. The disaster, which falls on the Balinese in this present time, is the result of his bad conduct in his previous life. Balinese believes that life and the events that are occurred in his life are already arranged by the God based on his action in his previous life. Since the fortunate and unfortunate event in life of Balinese are already set up by the God, Balinese seems to take lightly when a disaster falls on him. Ability to take lightly on the disaster is considered as an excellent character.


Blaming someone else when a disaster strikes is not a character of Balinese. When a disaster happens, Balinese tend to re-evaluate himself with some questions such as ‘what have I done wrong?’ ‘What is lack in my devotion to God?’ ‘Is there any misconduct on my part which offends the God?’ In Balinese point of view no disaster can be happened without permission from God. It is purely a business between God and Balinese and of course, God can do no wrong, so when a disaster strikes the guilty party is surely the Balinese.


Balinese believes that he must take all the responsibility of his action in the present and previous life. And disaster is a result of his action, so it is his responsibility to bear it. But a moment is a moment full of hope for Balinese since he believes that behind a disaster there is a joy awaits.

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