Museum Rudana - One of Bali's Treasured Fine Arts Museums Celebrates 10 Years of Preserving and Promoting the Island's Arts.
First opening its doors in 1995, Ubud's Museum Rudana is holding a exhibition running through October 1, 2005, to celebrate its first decade of promoting the work of Balinese and Bali-based artists.
An invaluable collection housing some of Bali's most treasured works of art, the museum occupies three well-presented floors in its premises located in Ubud's Peliatan sub-district. Representing the sacrifice and pain-staking acquisition efforts of Nyoman Rudana and Ni Wayan Olastini over the past 21 years, the museum's first two floor display the works of Indonesia's modern artists such as Affandi, Nyoman Gunarsa, Wianta, Made Budhiana, Nyoman Erawan and selected expatriate artists who have made Bali their home. The top floor of the building is reserved for Balinese fine arts drawn from the classical, Ubud and Batuan styles with works by the legendary I Gusti Nyoman Lempad and Ida Bagus Made among those on display.
The Museum Rudana is open daily with the special exhibition celebrating its first decade running through October 1, 2005. During the course of the anniversary exhibition a special showing of works by Srihadi Soedarsono, Sunaryo Sutono, Nyoman Gunarsa and Made Wianta will be featured.
Located at Jalan Cok Rai Pudak No. 44 in Peliatan, the telephone number for more information is ++62-(0)361-975779.
The Elephant Safari Park at Taro Celebrates its 8th Birthday with Friends, Music by the Australian Boys Choir and 27 Very Contented Pachyderms.
It started with a bold an imaginative dream eight years ago to create a safe sanctuary for the critically endangered Sumatran elephant. Nigel and Yanie Mason, the husband-wife team that owns and manages Bali Adventure Tours, took a dry rice field in the remote central Balinese village of Taro and transformed it into what has become without doubt a world-class homes to a herd of much loved and cared for elephants elephants.
Over the past 8 years and the investment of millions of dollars The Elephant Safari Park at Taro has become one of Bali's "must see" attractions. In addition to meticulously maintained safari trails where visitors are taken on elephant rides through lush gardens in the company of well-trained mahouts, the park also features a comprehensive museum including prehistoric mammoth artifacts, a 200-seat restaurant, regular elephant shows, orchid gardens, and an extensive gift shop selling an almost limitless supply of elephant memorabilia including works of art painted by the talented animals. In keeping with the Park's growing commitment to help sustain the endangered Sumatran elephant, the Park has celebrated its latest birthday by launching a breeding center that will eventually see Bali's first captive-bred elephants born in Taro.
A Birthday Party to Remember
Closed to the public for the entire day of Sunday, August 21, 2005, hundreds of government and travel industry guests were treated to lunch, an exciting show, and elephant rides to celebrate the Park's anniversary.
A brief speech by Nigel Mason followed by comments from the special guest of honor for the day, Indonesia's former Minister of Culture and Tourism, I Gede Ardika, prepared the way for a special musical birthday tribute. The world renowned Australian Boy's Choir, currently visiting Indonesia as part of an overseas tour, provided a brief but very stirring vocal concert singing the much-loved Indonesia melody "Begawan Solo"; followed by a song dedicated to Nigel Mason, "My Way"; and closing with a rousing rendition "Waltzing Matilda."
The Choir, one of Australia's oldest and finest secular boy's choirs, regularly tours the globe and has performed on numerous recordings and major film soundtracks. After traveling to Central Java for a command performance before the Sultan of Yogyakarta, the group will return for a special performance on Tuesday, August 30, 2005, at the Puri Santrian Hotel on Sanur Beach.
A Definite Lack of Market Diversity
Bali by the Numbers: A Closer Look at Arrivals January July Show Rapid Growth and Over Dependence on Certain Key Inbound Markets.
As reported at balidiscovery.com [ Bali's July Arrivals Set New Record Highs] foreign direct arrivals for July 2005 totaled 158,453 a 7% improvement over the same month one year before and an all time record high for the month.
That same report showed, that at least in terms of aggregate arrivals, Bali is achieving new highs albeit at the a cost in quality with visitors now staying for a shorter period of time and spending less on a per diem basis.
A Concerning Lack of Diversity
A closer, market-by-market look at Bali's foreign direct arrivals for the first seven months of 2005 suggests that the island's tourism industry may be at threat due to a pronounced lack of diversity in its inbound tourism markets. Bali top four markets Japan, Australia, Taiwan and South Korean constitute a whopping 61.46% of all arrivals. This over-dependence on only 4 market sources puts the island at instant risk of any hiccup in the market, such as the thwarted call for a Bali boycott from Australia earlier this year.
A closer look at arrivals over the past 5 years from Bali's key markets shows:
Japan remains Bali's top source market, comprising 24.26% of all foreign arrivals January-July 2005. Recovering of this market appears complete with numbers from Japan setting all-time highs.
Taiwan arrivals to Bali are down a dramatic 31.3% from just one year ago. Easier access for Taiwanese travelers to mainland China and lingering Tsunami fears are cited for this sudden shift.
Mainland China arrivals, although down slightly from an unexplained surge in 2004, are expected to climb dramatically with the introduction of a visa-on-arrival facility for PRC passport holders effective August 1, 2005.
South Korean visitors continue to demonstrate a steady growth curve with the potential in time to move into 3rd place in the ranking of top inbound countries, replacing Taiwan as a source of Bali visitors.
Australia's love affair with Bali continues apace, undiminished by threatened boycotts and negative travel warnings, setting new all-time records in tourists arrivals. 8.4% growth in arrivals over last year make a lack of saleable rooms in the Kuta-Seminyak strip and a shortage of available air seats ex Australia the biggest challenges to maintaining the current impressive growth in Oz tourism to Bali.
The Netherlands is managing to ignore the snubs embodied in visa discrimination and are back in Bali at numbers almost equal to 5 years ago.
U.K., Italy and Germany while showing respectable year-to-year growth in arrivals are still lagging badly behind business flows demonstrated 5 years ago.
Coming off a strong charter season in January 2005, Russian travelers are up considerably for 2005. Look for even more dramatic growth with the liberalization of visa polices for Russian citizens which became effective on August 1, 2005.
The Americas constituting all travelers from North and South America, has grown 16.6% since last year but is still 25.7% behind the numbers produced in 2001.
Singapore and Malaysia have emerged in the course of only the past few years to become significant producers of tourist numbers to Bali, due to their growing home economies and access to low cost air fares to Bali.
Night Spots Warned : Stay Clear of Drugs
Bali Tourism Boss Warns of Dire Consequences for Night Venues Proven to Be Used as Transaction Centers for Illegal Narcotics.
The Chief of the Provincial Tourism Authority for Bali, Gede Nurjaya, has put Bali's entertainment venues on notice to keep their distance from any involvement in the illegal sale of drugs.
Speaking on Tuesday, August 16, 2005, and quoted in the Indonesian-language DenPost, Nurjaya has warned local managers to make it their business to know what's taking place on their business premises, saying they will be held responsible if it is determined that narcotics transactions are a common occurrence at their night venues. "If there is repeated proof that an entertainment venue is the site of narcotics transactions, their permits can be revoked," Nurjaya warned.
Saying he supports the increasing frequent checks and raids on Bali's night spots by police, Nurjaya asked tourist visitors to not bring unhealthy habits and predilections to Bali that could potentially endanger the Balinese people.
Bali's top tourism official said the island stands shoulder to shoulder with the rest of the world in the war on narcotics.
Jalan Ni K'tut Tantri?
Balinese Professor Wants Jalan Sunset's Name Changed to Honor Scottish-American Writer.
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.
Focusing on Traditional Custom and Culture
MPI-Bali Chairman Sounds a Warning Call to Preserve Bali's Environment, Traditional Custom and Culture.
According to the Chairman of Bali Tourism Think Tank, Masyarakat Pariwisata Indonesia Bali (MPI-Bali), I Wayan Budarmaja, his group will focus on the preservation of traditional customs and culture as the foundation currency of tourism development in order to preserve the uniqueness of the island of Bali in the eyes of the world.
Quoted in the Indonesian-language Bisnis Indonesia, Budarmaja said, "thus far the problem of preserving traditional customs and culture has not received serious attention from the provincial government, despite the fact that Bali was chosen in 2005 as the world's best island destination because of the cultural traditions of its people."
As reported on balidiscovery.com, in July 2005, Indonesia's Minister of Culture and Tourism, Jero Wacik, traveled to New York to accept an award from Travel + Leisure Magazine naming Bali as the world's best island destination. (See: [ Bali's Better than All the Rest! ] )
Urging the people of Bali to maintain their image as a cultural destination, the Chairman of the MPI-Bali said it is essential that Bali develop a development strategy covering at least the next 30 years to help guide future leaders of the island in their work.
The Island of a Thousand Strip Malls
According to Budarmaja, Bali was once known as the island of a thousand temples, but is now becoming a concrete jungle due to the many strip malls (ruko) proliferating across the island. He challenged the government of Bali to demonstrate its commitment in preserving traditional custom and culture by establishing a master plan for the island.
Within the context of planning, MPI-Bali will include the people of Bali in a series of dialogues focusing on culture, traditional customs and how to overcome the increasing traffic congestion occurring on the island. Citing the growing problems of rapid growth and develeopment, Budarmaja, who also owns a national chain of restaurants, cautioned that if problems such as traffic and the intensifying water shortage, and electrical black outs and are not soon addressed, international awards for Bali may soon become a thing of the past.
Virtual Love for Bali Endures
Melina Caruso and Agoes Mulyadi: Local Couple Who Put Their Love of Bali on Line.
The August 18, 2005 edition of The Jakarta Post featured the story "Virtual Love for Bali Endures," by staff reporter I Wayan Juniartha, relating the personal histories and work of the founders of the www.bali-paradise.com and www.baliforum.com - Agoes Mulyadi and Melina Caruso.
This is the story of an Australian Balinese romance that has defied the odds, flourished, given birth to two handsome sons Putu Andrew and Kadek Aron, and created the leading Internet travel portal for Bali.
Their travel portal records over three million unique visitors every year while their lively and informative travel forum has 4,393 registered members.
Friends and colleagues in Bali marvel endlesly at Agoes and Melina's ingenuity, generous spirits and their very unique union that has somehow brought together a mild-mannered, soft-spoken Balinese computer expert with a no-nonsense, tell-it-like-is Australian with tempestuous Sicilian roots. Plain-spoken and resolute, Melina, who doesn't hesitate to calls a spade a shovel, serves as the indisputable mater familias of a household where a sexual ratio of 3:1 still leaves the men at an distinct tactical disadvantage. Meanwhile, the steadfastly wise and reticent Agoes operates quietly in the background, offering the perfect ying to his spouse's yang; managing to intercept Melina en route to the armory - successfully directing a woman on the warpath towards the negotiation table.
Those of us who are their neighbors in Bali cherish both their friendship and their counsel.
The Jakarta Post article recounts the pivotal role Agoes and Melina have played in working for Bali's recovery and their efforts to spread hope and a positive message for Bali in the dark days following the October 2002 bombing, countering those urging boycotts of the island.
Describing their inestimable contribution to Bali's recovery, the article says:
"Caruso, Mulyadi and scores of other Internet administrators, including the renowned Jack Daniels, the host of Bali Update (www.balidiscovery.com), fought hard to convince the international community not to abandon the island and its people in a difficult period."
Sanur Group Dedicated to Preserving and Protecting the Dance and Music Forms of Bali's Royal Courts.
Bali, the "Island of a thousands temples," is renowned for its unique and colorful performing art-forms. There is a huge variety of dance genres and styles as well as more than forty different types of gamelan ensembles, all with their own instrumentation, repertoire and tunings. Against this background of seemingly endless creativity, there are in fact a number of Bali's gamelan and dance styles threatened with extinction. Most of these art-forms originated in the great Hindu courts of the Majapahit Empire, the "golden age" of Balinese creativity.
With the decline of the courts in the early 20th century, and the influence of tourism, modernism and globalization over the last thirty years, these delicate and stylized genres, in particular the court genres of Pelegongan and Semar Pagulingan, have started to die out. Today there remain only a handful of active ensembles and a small group of young girls who have mastered the difficult dance style known as legong.
Over the years, the mass media has erroneously used the term "legong"' as a catch-all phrase for the gamut of Balinese dance-forms. Legong is, in fact, a very specific, highly stylized genre of female dance, once performed exclusively by pre-pubescent girls. Unlike simpler modern dances, it takes years of intensive training and dedication to master legong, and only a few of the most beautiful and talented dancers manage to make the grade.
Preserving Balinese Dance and Music - Mekar Bhuana
People are gradually becoming aware of the endangered status of these art-forms with a small and dedicated group of culturally concerned people now working together to revive them.
One such organizations is Mekar Bhuana, based in Sanur. Founded after more than eight years of intensive research in villages across the island, legong dancer Putu Evie Suyadnyani and her New Zealand husband, ethnomusicologist Wayan Pon Smara (Vaughan Hatch), have realized their vision of cultural preservation by providing a center where people can come, appreciate and be educated about the endangered performing art-forms in Bali. The center boasts five sets of antique gamelan, a performance space, as well as an archive.
The association members are drawn from a group of more than fifty musicians and dancers involving a specialist teacher or guru still conversant with the ancient repertoire. Mekar Bhuana's young dancers are talented and enthusiastic the result of years of intensive training and dedication to the near-forgotten classical legong style. Through practices, performances and audio and video recordings, Mekar Bhuana is working to preserve the classical music and dance, entertainments that were once performed for the exclusive entertainment of Bali's aristocracy.
While many Bali's palaces no longer have the power or authority to nurture the classical performing arts, Mekar Bhuana continues these rich traditions in special performance for modern audiences of tourists and locals staged in intimate garden settings, framed by flaming torches.
Cultural Tourism at its Very Best
The outreach programs of Mekar Bhuana are numerous. Courses are held for interested student to learn classical Balinese gamelan or dance. There are private and group courses for beginners, as well as workshop programs for larger groups. Special tours are conducted to visit workshops where traditional instruments are made. Presentations of the rich array of traditional dance and ceremonial costumes can be presented, with photo sessions for visitors adorned in Balinese finery easily arranged. But the true calling of the organization remains the presentation of faithful classical gamelan and dance entertainments certain to enrich any occasion.
Mekar Bhuana is located on Jalan Pungutan 19, Br. Sindu Kelod in Sanur.
Sedimentation, Illegal Forestry and Overpopulation Blamed for Deterioting Condition of Tabanan's Lake District.
Three mountain lakes in the Tabanan Regency of Bali are continuing to recede, estimated to have become 3 meters shallower over recent years. The lakes - Danau Beratan, Danau Buyan and Danau Tamblingan are all located in the areas bordering the two regencies of Tabanan and Bulelang in Bali's northwest highlands. Each of the lakes has declined from their officially recorded surface elevations in 1993 of 1,231 meters for Danau Beratan; 1,214 meters for Danau Buyan; and 1,214 meters for Danau Tamblingan.
The shallowness of the lakes is most evident when seen from the receding shorelines and the occasional appearance of the lakes' bottoms emerging above the water's surface in several parts of the lakes.
Sedmintation caused by over farming and illegal forestry surrounding the lakes, together with changing weather patterns are all blamed for the change in the lakes' natural characteristics.
Quoted in the Indonesian-language daily Kompas, Dr. Dedy Darnedi, a local expert fron the Center for Biological Research (LIPI) in Bogor, West Java, has called for the establishment of a protected biosphere in the areas surrounding the lakes to save the lakes and urgent further study into any possible further ill-effects plans to establish a geothermal energy project in the hills of Bedugal might have on the worsening conditions of the the three lakes.
It Aint Easy Being Green, or Blue, or Red
Bali Home to World Class Paintball Facility on Ungasan Peninsula.
The latest art form to come to Bali is the "art of war" practiced by warriors who participate in the exciting but harmless sport of paintball.
Full scale battles and military campaigns, fought with water-based paint balls shot from toy "rifles" and "handguns" over a thee-hectare field of battle, provide hours of adrenaline-pumping excitement while teaching participants team-building skills. With safety equipment provided to every "combatant" and conducted under the supervision of trained field commanders, Paintball Bali offers three separate, independently theme courses where the simple object is to shoot your opponents with paintballs before they shoot you. Along the way, skills of military planning, stealth, concealment and surprise determine which side eventually wins the battle.
As you might imagine, war is a messy business and the Park features completely equipped locker facilities, showers and changing rooms as well as comfortable public areas for relaxation and refreshment both pre and post battle.
Open daily from 9:00 a.m until 9:00 p.m. Bali Paintball has three sets of war games each day, starting with morning games at 9:00 a.m.; afternoon games at 3:00 p.m.; and night games commencing at dusk at 6:00 p.m..
Nikko Bali Resort Launches New Jungle-themed Facility Exclusively for Children.
Nikko Bali Resort & Spa has opened its Jungle Camp, a new facility exclusively for kids. Located at the hotel's cliff tower, the camp allows children to explore a fantasy-filled jungle environment.
The Jungle Camp has been designed and built using natural jungle materials in combination with modern recreational equipment brought together to provide kids from 4 to 12 years of age with an interesting, adventurous, fun and memorable holiday experience. Offering a wide variety of whole-day explorative activities, children can enjoy an indoor playroom or a realistic outdoor jungle playground equipped with a tree-house, jungle bridge, rock climbing and trampoline.
When miniature Tarzan and Jane's have had their fill of swinging from vine to vine at the Jungle Camp, there's more modern pursuits to keep their interests levels high including the latest electronic games, magnetic darts, mini-billiards, children's movies and a library of children books. Jungle Camp also places an emphasis on Balinese culture by teaching children basic Balinese language skills, allowing kids to dress up in traditional Balinese costumes, providing lessons in how to play Balinese village games, and providing a chance for the kids to create local arts and crafts.
Safety and trained supervision are keys to Jungle Camps operations with qualified Jungle Adventure Guides keeping a careful eye on all facilities and activities offered each day from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m..
Paintings and Hand-Painted Ceramics Exhibition by Anne van Borselen.
Descended from great artists, both from her Indonesian and Dutch ancestors, Anne van Borselen has studied at the Royal Academy of the Arts in the Hague and Rotterdam. Born in Surabaya in 1937, Anne's first exhibition was on the island of Ibiza in Spain where she lived for five years.
Dance Pieces at Jenggala Keramik
An energetic and spirited individual, Anne paints on canvas, rice paper, and panels using acrylics, oils, gauche or ink. Refusing to be bound by the limits of working in any one style or medium, Anne van Borselen's latest exhibition "Dance Pieces" at Jenggala Keramik in Jimbaran is dedicated to images of dancers rendered onto ceramic. The results are bold and provocative; bespeaking a humor and an edge to her style. Her use of color is graceful with Anne explaining, "I discover beauty in everyday things. There is no real separation between the observer and the observed. Dance movements, compositions with figures."
Dance Pieces an exhibition of paintings and hand-painted ceramics by Anne van Borselen from August 26, 2005 through October 20, 2005 at Jenggala Art Gallery in Jimbaran.
For more information, call Jenggala Keramik Bali at ++62-(0)361-703311.