Bulletin 09 September 2013
Rotary Club Bali Ubud Sunset
District 3420 / No. 79571
Meeting every Monday at 5:30 PM at Maya Ubud Resort, Ubud
Bulletin September 09, 2013
ANNOUNCEMENTS, CORRESPONDENCE, REPORTS
REMINDER….Pres Sue’s opening comment…”Turn off those hand phones!!” (Followed by much surreptitious hunting for hand phones to comply with orders!)
Another potential Rotaract…Rtn Made Lesoh has a new baby boy. This is their first and Mom, Dad and baby are all well and happy.
For those of us who are chocoholics, JOY!!! Last week’s lucky winner of those delicious Ghirardelli chocolates brought them back to be raffled off once again. But it seems as the bag of goodies was being passed forward to Pres Sue, several hands were in the bag lightening the contents. Now would behavior like that pass the Four Way Test? (YES…if only chocoholics were asked!).
Rtn Dr. Antje was welcomed back from Germany…although sadly she’ll be with us for only two weeks. But that was long enough to recruit her expertise! Dr Antje will redesign and update the health data collection form we rely on for evaluating student medical examination results.
We are so grateful for the many guests who visit our club bringing exciting news or offers of their talent. Tonight Janita Himawati told about a special tour at Ubud’s art museum, Puri Lukisan. If you’re a Balinese art fan, get on Janita’s mailing list by e-mailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Janita’s partner, Wouter, offered his expertise to anyone doing water projects (there’s almost always one in progress!!). Returning to Australia were Pres Jane O’Reilly, and Rtn husband Brendan (RC Western Endeavor). They gave us a lovely thank you for our hospitality during their six-week stay in
Bali, and Brendan particularly noted how much he enjoyed watching VP Rucina’s dance class. We also bid good-by to Rtn David (RC Kenmore) and spouse Ann Locke who are returning to Australia after a not-long-enough stay. And last, but not least, guest Anna Marie generously offered to donate one of her stunning textile art pieces to a deserving school.
We welcomed a potential new member, Eli Leyoun, most recently from Singapore and new to Bali. Eli has happy memories of Rotary…in 1973 he was a Rotarian Graduate Fellow at the Sorbonne and as a project, sent 80 Sri Lankan women through medical school, supported by donations from two Sri Lankan clubs. These new doctors pledged to save 100 lives each year in repayment for their scholarships. We’re looking forward to spending a LOT more time with Eli.
Rtn Judith (RC Foster City) shared a Rotary Minute telling us the average Rotarian age is 60…and how we need young people who know about things like KEYNOTE presentations (an Apple product publicized to be more powerful than PowerPoint).
We’re waiting for PE Philip’s return from Jakarta so he can tell us about a conference he and Rtn Wayan Rustiasa are attending…the topic is ‘Non-Violent Communications.’ (And you could hardly find two more non-violent people!)
How would you like to have your employer ask you to take on a three-year project in Amsterdam? Our own Rtn Jody Bausch was actually asked this very question…and she said YES! (She’d previously been deployed to Shanghai for several months and loved it.) Following completion of the Amsterdam assignment, Jody sees retirement in her future and will become a full-time Bali resident…unless she gets a better offer.
President Sue told a story about the trials and tribulations of starting a project. Rucina had sent an email saying that a consulate in Bali was keen to give away money. Sue asked Kadek Gunarta of
Padang Tegal Recycling Centre if he needed money and he said yes, for a cutter for the compost. Rtn. Cat wrote and submitted the proposal. She was in Canada when the request to meet with her and Kadek came in and Cat passed the ball to Sue. Sue tried to find out where the environmental learning center was at the Monkey Forest site where the meeting was to take place and couldn’t get a hold of Kadek by phone and the ticket takers there were clueless. At the eleventh hour, Kadek showed up and all went well, and any day now the funds should be arriving!
Dr. Richard Fox
Our guest speaker was Dr. Richard Fox, Professor at the University of Heidelberg, who spoke about “THE IDEA OF PRESERVATION: THOUGHTS ON BALINESE LANGUAGE, SCRIPT AND LITERATURE”
Dr. Fox started off with an anecdote about cultural conservation. Earlier this year, the Central Government issued a decree that local languages, including Balinese, would be integrated into the Cultural Department and not be a separate discipline in the schools. This was devastating news to all the about-to-graduate Balinese language teachers. His question today was: to preserve the language do we need to preserve the script? (Balinese writing is different from Roman letters.) A movement began called KAMI MENOLAK or WE REFUSE (to integrate the language into other disciplines). In the end, Balinese language is back in the curriculum.
In 1990, a government decree was issued that all street signs had to be in Balinese and Roman script. Efforts to encourage the use of Balinese are strong now, as there is a belief that the use of Balinese is flagging. Therefore we find sections of the Sunday paper in Balinese, television news programs in Balinese, on ceremonial instruments used in religious rites, on cloth (for spiritual reasons, such as a shroud) and on the traditional lontar palm-leaf books. At weddings, a priest will inscribe Balinese letters (aksara) in honey on the couple’s chest and hands. When you build a new structure, such as a house, you have to have an “ulap ulap’ or piece of cloth with aksara on it to bring the house alive. If you sleep in a newly built/renovated building before it has been “brought to life”, it is akin to sleeping under a corpse, not a good fit. The building is considered to be a body.
The principle is that these things are representative of Balinese traditions, but how do these representations actually impact traditions?
What is Balinese script? It is derived from Brahmi script in India. It gradually transformed itself into modern Balinese as it made its journey through Southeast Asia.
Structurally Balinese script has no vowels, that is, the vowel sound of “ah” is inherent in the letter (of which there are 18). The other vowels, i, u, o, and e are called “clothing” and are written above and below the letter to give it sound.
These letters are called aksara in Balinese and they carry a lot of power, as words everywhere do. But there is an extra layer added on here whereby Balinese believe that by stating something it will manifest it (as in “there might be ghosts out tonight” or “so and so is in hospital and might die”) The aksara are considered to be “alive.” To speak the truth is efficacious, to speak arrogantly is dangerous.
Aksara correspond to different organs in the body, and when you are cremated you must call in the spirit of the person into a cloth with aksara before the burning.
In conclusion, Dr. Fox believes that preservation as representation is the opposite of living letters and we need to look at what we really are preserving.by