Bali Perspective

Bali Reality


Fact is, the Balinese do not descend from a long line of hotel clerks, spa masseuses, and waitresses.


Road to Bali really is a lot of fun. But it probably isn’t any more accurate than your guide book.

The real history of Bali and of all Indonesia is fascinating, complex, and often violent, but for most of the 20th century it was a forbidden subject, suppressed first by the Dutch and then by Suharto’s New Order.

The replacement history—of a happy island of dancers and artists—provides a wonderful basis for a booming tourist industry. But the easy spiritual paradise assumed by many New Age adventurers is an entirely different universe from the daily life or the Hinduism experienced by most Balinese.


But hey!

Who cares, right? As long as you’re going my way!

In the immortal words of Bob Hope when Dorthy Lamour (as Princess Lala) tells him that the friendly Balinese ceremony his friend Josh just innocently joined is a ceremony of marriage:

“Josh? Gosh!”

That’s Hollywood. But in the real world, ceremonies you take part in, documents you sign, and stories you believe can have the most serious consequences.

For anyone interested in the real history of Bali, I recommend:

A Paradise Created, by Adrian Vickers and other works by this author.

The Dark Side of Paradise - Political Violence in Bali, by Geoffrey Robinson

And check out all the books from Equinox Publishing, Jakarta