24 June 2013

Rucina Ballinger – Rucina Ballinger is a member of Banjar Sengguan, Abianbase and this year she and her husband are the klian adat or traditional leaders of the banjars.  With her nearly 40 years of experience on Bali, Rucina will talk about some of the pros and cons of the banjar in modern Bali.

The banjar has generally been a good thing for Bali and during the riots in 1999 banjar Kuta patrolled to keep rioting youths from destroying tourist infrastructure. The banjar is the main force that prevents the Balinese from becoming a disenfranchised population like some other cultures in the developing world. It insists locals are used for construction and hired as staff. During religious events the banjar will determine what streets are blocked off and this is enforced by the banjar traffic cops, the pecalang. It is the one social group in Bali that has the respect (in some cases fearful respect) of most people. A couple of years ago banjar Seminyak decided to close down all bars and nightclubs for a weekend to make a point. They stayed closed and the point was made.

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