Every time sanctions are imposed, bank accounts abroad are frozen. Is that an empty gesture or do all those types have considerable amounts stashed away? And if, found on the street I guess? If we would just stop to stall that blood money, wouldn’t that be a start?
Often the breaking part of breaking news is that it breaks your heart.
The weather is sunny, if feels like 36 celcius, water the garden quite often, 400 laps in the pool (be aware of the goldfish syndrome) and for the rest take it easy. For me every day is a Sunday, only small problems. Like the pond in front of the house that wasn’t leaking, then all of a sudden was leaking like hell and now is not leaking again. (???) Maybe the threat that the fish would have to camp in a plastic bucket during the repair made them do it themselves down there? Oh, and a mirror that’s obnoxious. Every morning it starts to lecture about gravity while I’m doing my utmost. (see swimming). 50 plus is what I say then but it corrects me right away; 60 plus, very 60 plus. And it’s true, soon it will be 62.
It’s Kuningan. The ancestors leave again to where they normally dwell, last week during Galungan they arrived and now it’s over. If it were nice and pleasant visits, I don’t know, it was all but very busy. You won’t be surprised that lots of ceremonies and offerings were needed, the penjor, high, decorated bamboo poles only a detail of the total of work that had to be done. It’s a ritual that occurs every Balinese calendar, that is every 210 days. In between Wayan had a small ceremony at home as well – very small you know – it only costed Rupiah 500.000,–, that’s half a month of salary.
A question I have that is still not answered is if the ancestors that are reincarnated do visit as well. Last week I thought I would get an answer, close by a Hindu priest gave a lecture and questions could be asked; it didn’t work out. It turned out to be an Australian full of himself and some other stuff, he answered a question with a monologue of an hour or more, using many Sanskrit words. Not only is my Sanskrit not wow, the risk of extending the lecture with another hour kept me from asking my question. ‘A fake, a fraud’, is what one of the attendants said to me when I met him this morning. Yeah, that’s what I think but frankly, I think that more often. In other words, is it really the beliefs of those priests or do they aim to keep people dumb and to safe keep their source of income? Are word and deed one is something I wonder, not only in Bali.
Maybe, just maybe belonging and do what you have to do according customs brings a feel of happiness. I is very possible, we all know that feeling when we did something nice and proper. It’s just a shame though that the priests here try to find the survival of their religion in isolation of the culture and more and bigger ceremonies. Promoting educating in it’s broadest sense, promoting better social conditions; it won’t come from them.
One day the revolution will start, keep people ignorant for ever won’t work, but by that time I’ll be on extended holiday for long already. Ah, maybe I’ll come and visit during Galungan.
In China they do it differently, there they force the Uigirs, muslims, to move to other places in order to mix with the Han. At the same time every one that might go and say something about Tiananmen square, on June 4 it’s 25 years ago, is put in prison or sent far away. It never happened, history is re-written or rather said, erased. Building on quicksand. Communist China, country of Bentley, Audi, BMW and pushbikes. Lots and lots of rickety pushbikes and workers, working a thousand miles from home and living in a shack behind the factory. 10 days vacation a year.
Impose developments, surpres religion, it won’t work unless you’d like to create problems for the future. I’m from a generation that thought that we could make everything happen. I’m convinced now that changes only last if they come from within. It’s like the export of democracy and western values, see in the media how wonderful that worked out. Keep the conversation going, with respect, that’s the only way. And one day thing will change.
And till then, till the people themselves want it different, Bali will be Bali. One can only hope that the Balinese find enough happiness in how it goes. It is, in many respects, a blessed island, the income from tourism is substantial and with a more honest distribution everyone could have a good life.
Honest distribution, it doesn’t come easy. Asylum seekers – in times we still understood it was about people that needed help we called them refugees – so asylum seekers, we have enough of those now. ‘Give them a place in their own region’ and about who’s going to pay for it and take care of it, not a word of course. ‘Look at it’, Carolien Roelants said in the NRC, ‘as if 4 million Belgians would flee to the Netherlands’. I think that would stop our joking about Belgians… Yes I do understand we can’t accommodate them all but let’s not exaggerate Mr Rutte (prime minister of the Netherlands), the only problem we may have is the inability to see the need of others, that we even, here and there, start to call refugees gold diggers… Where have we landed if the total despair that makes people cross the sea in rotten little boats is something we don’t see anymore? How about starting to create real possibilities in those regions and after that, we’ll see again. You can’t send people to a hotel that doesn’t exist yet.