Mutual help in Balinese Society
Mutual help (nguopin) is an element of Balinese society that penetrates into every aspect of Balinese life. Among the individual, mutual help is applied in various activities from household duties (digging a well, building a house, fixing the roof, cutting a tree, etc), agricultural activities (ploughing, maintaining the water ways and water distribution facilities, planting, weeding, harvesting, etc), preparing and holding a ceremony in the temple, household compound, or rice field. The mutual help is based on the simple rule of reciprocation “I scratch yours, you scratch mine”. The aid of energy, time, sometimes material should be reciprocated by the same resources.
Mutual help also extent into traditional organization such as sekaa. For example in gamelan (Balinese traditional orchestra) group; when one of its member hold a ceremony that needs the service of this gamelan group, the group will perform in the ceremony for free or with less payment based on the agreement of the group’s member.
Mutual help serves to accommodate the need of manpower when one of the community’s members needs this resource since Balinese religious ceremonies need a lot of man power in preparation and performance. Mutual help also strengthen the sense of unity among the Balinese, and also contribute a great deal to the resilience of Balinese culture.