If ongoing efforts by a professor at Bali's Udayana University come to fruition, Jalan Sunset in Kuta may someday be known as Jalan Ni K'tut Tantri.
Professor Dr. I Nyoman Darma Putra is reported by the Bali Post to be busily lobbying the new Regent (Bupati) of Badung to name the major thoroughfare in honor of the Scottish woman who came to Bali via a stop in Hollywood where she adopted the island as her spiritual home.
Who was K'tut Tantri?
Born on the Isle of Man in 1899, she was variously known as Muriel Walker, Miss Manx, and by her broadcasting nom de plume of Surabaya Sue before finally adopting the name K’Tut Tantri during the Indonesian war for independence.
"Revolt in Paradise," a glamorous and free-wheeling portrayal of her arrival in a still-colonized Indonesia, recounts colorful episodes in which she courageously embarked as a single woman on a car journey across Java and Bali, served as a confidant to revolutionaries and future national leaders, worked as a war-time journalist, ran a hotel in Bali, actively fought in a guerrilla war, and had a mathematically-improbable romance with a handsome young Balinese prince. In her latter years, before relocating to Sydney in 1983 where she died in 1997, she lived a hand-to-mouth existence from the charity of friends, high government officials and hoteliers at 5-star properties in Jakarta while trying unsuccessfully to find funding for the movie version of her book.
While the line where truth separates itself from fiction in "Revolt in Paradise" will remain forever shrouded in mystery, there is no doubt that K'Tut Tantri's written exploits – now translated into more than a dozen languages – has inspired thousands of travelers and played an important role in spreading the fame of Bali to the world.
Presented with a posthumous award by the Indonesian government in 2002, the naming of a major roadway in Bali would forever cement her place in Bali's history.
According to Professor Putra, "by using the name of K'tut Tantri as a street name in the tourist area of Kuta, we will be seen by the world as a people capable of honoring those foreigners who have provided a service to Bali."
"Revolt in Paradise." written by K'tut Tantri (1960 & 1989) ISBN: 0-517-57373-3.
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