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A Road by Any Other Name is Still a Road

Debate Erupts Over Naming Rights for Baliís First Toll Road

(5/18/2013) A lively discussion is taking place on what would be the most fitting name for the new toll road suspended above the ocean connecting Benoa – Ngurah Rai International Airport – Nusa Dua scheduled to be open in June.

PT Jasa Marga – the developers and builders of the road have suggested the road be named Jalan Soekarno-Hatta in memory of Indonesia’s first President and Vice-President.

An academician from Bali’s Udayana University, Professor I Nyoman Darma Putra, however, is proposing the thoroughfare be called Jalan I Wayan Lotring, after a famous musical artist of Bali.

Quoted in detik.com, Darma Putra said: “I suggest that the soon-to-be-opened first toll way in Bali be named in the memory of I Wayan Lotring.”

Lotring, who lived from 1898-1983, was an esteemed teacher of Balinese music and dance who made significance contributions in popularizing the Balinese lively arts to the world. Originally from Kuta, Lotring is credited with teaching Balinese music and dance to a large group of both local and international performers.

Explained Darma Putra: “The famous ethnomusicologist from Canada, Colin McPhee, is just one of the people who studied music with Lotring.”

McPhee lived in Ubud in the 1930s and authored the book “A House in Bali” in which Lotring is mentioned togther with other Balinese artists. McPhee wrote extensively on Balinese music and composed several symphonic works based on Balinese musical forms.

Darma Putra complained that to date Lotring has only been remembered in the naming of a small roadway in the Kuta area of Bali. “Now is the time to honor Lotring’s names with a larger road – the first beautiful toll way in Bali,” he said.

Darma Putra warned that Bali should stop naming large roads without some clear foundation in the naming process. He described how the toll way is now being referred to by the initials JDP – an Indonesian acronym for the “road on top of the water.” Similarly, Bali has major roads with anomalistic names such as Jalan Sunset Road or Jalan Marlboro, named after a brand of cigarettes.

“Bali is a cultural tourism destination and the naming of its streets used by local and international visitors with names such as Jalan Wayan Lotring will instill pride in the Balinese for their local culture,” Darma Putra explained.

Other names that have been put forth for the new toll way include:

Badung Regent Selects Jalan Soekarno-Hatta

DenPost reports that the regent of Bali’s Badung province is pushing for the name of Jalan Soekarno-Hatta for the new toll way suspended along the Island’s southern waterfronts

Regent Anak Agung Gde Agung argues that the name Soekarno-Hatta is linked with the Indonesian struggle for independence. In addition to naming the toll way after the first President and Vice-president of the Republic, Agung also suggests a statue dedicated to the two men be built at one of the interchanges on the new road.