I’m a Balinese boy and I feel so unsure with what’s going on Bali right now. The old Bali I know was a peaceful place. Place where people live in peace and harmony. There are things that Balinese people always try to keep. We must keep the harmony with other peoples, the nature and the almighty God (Tri Hita Karana).
But somehow, people seem to forget about the harmonization with the nature. People try to exploit all the natural resources and use it for their own advantages. Right now, if you come to Bali, you won’t see the same things as you would see in late 70s. Most of the rice fields in Bali have been transformed in to a field of concrete. The photo shows what was the region between Kuta and Denpasar look like during the 70s. You didn’t know that they were rice field in 70s, aren’t you?
In my early days, about 10 – 15 years ago, I use to play kite with my friends during the dry season. There were so many open fields because people harvest their rice field. We use it a place to play, sometime we play football there, and at other time we play our kite there.
But right now, when most of the rice fields have been transformed, where would we go if we want to play our kite? I couldn’t imagine what Bali would look like in another 10 – 20 years. Maybe there will be no more rice field. There will be no more birds looking for seeds. There will be no more children running and playing with a big smile on their face.
The fastest transformation occurs in the Denpasar and Badung region. The tourism sector becomes the main factor that drives the transformation. As more people attracted to come to Bali, more and more investor will be willing to invest their money to Bali. As the result, a village called Kuta has now become village of people from whole over the world. Would you believe that this was Legian Street on 70s? Maybe you should come and see how it looks like right now.
When we give up and sell our land to some lunatic investors who just want to exploit the land without giving any advantages to the surrounding area, we have sold the future of our sons. One day we might have to buy some tickets just to watch the sunset.