Bulletin 20 May 2013

Rotary Club Bali Ubud Sunset

District 3420 / No. 79571

Meeting every Monday at 5:30 PM at Maya Ubud Resort, Ubud

 “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.” – Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

Bulletin May 20, 2013


Click HERE to read about Balinese Wedding Etiquette!



Rotaract Ubud Sponsors Health Day and HIV Awareness and Prevention:
Rotaract Health Day in Pemuteran, Kintamani

Health Day at the Elementary SchoolWayan Sudanda and Ade talked about the Health Day in Pemuteran, Kintamani scheduled for Wednesday, May 22.  This community health event is being sponsored and put together by Rotaract Ubud under Wayan Sudana’s gentle guidance and supervision.  Wayan Sudana is a former member of Rotaract Ubud and is now a member of RCBUS.  He and the Rotaract Committee Members surveyed the village of Pemuteran, Kintamani, and met with the School Principal and consulted with the local midwife assisting pregnant mothers in the community. It was noted by these two leaders of the village that there was little access to medical care in Pemuteran, Kintmani, so the Health Day would be a welcomed opportunity for community members to visit a Doctor, some for the first time every.

Rotaract focuses on the HIV Epidemic in Bali:
Another focus ot Rotaract Ubud is HIV Awareness and Prevention.  Their approach is to have young Rotaract members speak to young community members about the HIV crisis in Bali and how to prevent the spread of the HIV virus.  The message is more relevant when coming from one young person to another. RCBUS members who are interested in supporting Rotaract with the HIV Awareness and Prevention efforts please write to wayansedana@gmail.com.

HIV Global Grant is Being Put Into Action:
The HIV Global Grant awarded to RCBUS has begun in earnest.  The Grant money has been put in our RCBUS special project account.  Renovations of the HIV Testing Facility have begun and needed equipment has been purchased.  We are anticipating to receive the balance of the project funds to come from the committed partner Rotary Club Sponsors in the US.  Sue has been in contact with those Clubs to expedite the cash transfers to us so that we will have the entire level of funds available to support the project. 

From Australia, a Fond Recollection of Tulikup, East Bali:
ChrisKempChris Kemp, now relocated back to Australia, wrote to RCBUS about the fundraiser that was done to benefit the students in Tulikup.  Chris focused his energy providing training for young students who are interested in exploring the Hospitality business as a possible future career choice.  The Tulikup community will miss Chris’s enthusiasm and support to bring better conditions to the youth in Tulikup.  

English PETS:
Sue mentioned that there will be a PETS Training (President Elect Training Seminar) in Sanur on June 8. This is the only PETS trainings conducted in Indonesia that will be presented in English, so it’s a first ever opportunity for English-speaking Members to hear the PETS dissertation in English.  Anyone wanting to know more about Rotary, please speak to Sue about Attending the PETS in our own backyard here in Sanur.

Salsa with Ernesto!

Janet arranged an exciting “Salsa Social” at Cafe Havana on Sunday, May 26.  At the event Janet will introduce her new Manager and Salsa Dancing aficionado, Ernesto.  Ernesto is from Cuba and is very excited to be joining Janet to give Cafe Havana even more atmosphere.  Oh – And not to mention that Ernesto is a rather good cook who will spice-up your favorite savories at Cafe Havana. AND NOT TO MENTION VERY EASY ON THE EYES!

RCBUS Club Dues are Due-Due-Duwap-Due-Due:
moneySue discussed the RCBUS Dues and explained that Dues for the 2013-2014 Rotary Fiscal Year will be Rp 1.3 million per Member.  Still among the lowest annual dues for any Rotary Club, Members who want to sponsor the club at a higher level can elect to give Rp 1.5 million and become “Additional Support Members”.  The additional Rp 200,000 donated will go to support discretionary small donations determined by the club including sponsoring deserving youth to the RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Award) Conference as we have done for the past several years.  RCBUS dues should be received on or before June 29, 2013

“Rotarian At Work” Spotted by Marilyn in California:

During her trip back to California, Marilyn was shopping at Nordstrom when she spotted a woman wearing a T-shirt printed in large letters – “Rotarian At Work”.  A curious Marilyn introduced herself to the woman and initiated a conversation about their mutual involvement in Rotary.  As it turns out, this woman is part of the Foster City, California, Club (Bill & Judith Schneider’s Club) and was delivery meals to home-bound seniors.   It’s a small world when you see other Rotarian members providing service to those in need while you are visiting the other side of the planet.

Traveling Light:
Gabe reminded us that she will be off-to-see-the-world for the next few months.  Her adventures on the

Gabe imparts Rotary wisdom

Gabe imparts Rotary wisdom

road take her as far as Morocco and she’ll be traveling-light to keep it easy.  She’s set-up with high technology on her new slim laptop and will create a journal of her travels posted on Google Air.  During part of her trip abroad, Gabe will team-up with her daughter to do some site-seeing together.  It’s Mom and Daughter boldly exploring the world and its wonders.  Have a great trip Gabe!

 OK.  A brief from Anje in Germany:

Bruce received an email from Antje, who is currently back in Germany, letting us know that her Husband, Ray, is OK now.  Ray had a potentially serious health incidence soon after returning to Germany but seems to be on-the-mend.  Many of our RCBUS Members had the pleasure of meeting Ray at the lovely fellowship brunch that Antje hosted at her home in Ubud last March.


Our own Rucina Presents “Ask Jero Ru” 
Balinese Social Etiquette 1.1 – Balinese Weddings

Bali Culture maven Rucina has lived on the Island for 39 years, married a Balinese Husband named Agung, raised two bi-cultural Sons, and is well respected among the local Balinese in her Banjar.  For the Expats living in Bali as “Guests of the Balinese” Rucina is perhaps one of the best conduits for us to begin understanding the nuances of Balinese Culture in a practical and respectful way.

Jokingly referred to as a “Klingon” (the pointy-eared race of aliens of which Spock from Star Track emerged), Rucina and her Husband have new roles this year as the “Klian” in their village of Abianbase.  In this role of Klian the couple have many community and religious duties that are an honor to undertake but are also often complex and time consuming. Rucina and Agung have two assistants assigned to them in the roles as Klian.  These two assistants often are more versed in the ceremony rituals than Rucina by admission, so she sometimes will discretely ask for their patient advice on these matters.   

One continuous responsibility is making offerings to the 11 entities in the Banjar Temple in a ceremony diligently conducted a minimum of 4 times every month.  Rucina advised us that the offerings are given to the gods and also must be given to the spirits of chaos; both the gods and the spirits apparently have a liking for coffee and sweet cookies.  The community makes a token reimbursement back to Rucina of Rp 35,000 (about $3.50) per month which makes it necessary for she and her Husband to underwrite the considerable difference in cost for the offerings.  The other key responsibility is to inform the community about meetings and attending the monthly Men’s Meeting and Women’s Meeting. 

On Marriage in Bali:
One of the pre-wedding rituals for the engaged couple is the taking of the bride from the compound of her own Father and Mother.  The Groom and his family & friends will go to fetch the bride-to-be as she takes leave of her Parents responsibility.  When married, a woman moves into her Husband’s household and will honor the patriarchal ancestry of her Husband’s Family.  

Receiving an Invitation to the Wedding:
Usually a wedding invitation will be hand-delivered to your home or office.  These invitations will include photos of the Bride & Groom in traditional Balinese Wedding Attire and makeup.  The invitation will mention the Parents and the Bride and Groom. There is no need to RSVP to a Wedding Invitation but do note the time frame written on the invitation for you to appear. If you are out-of-town or unavailable to attend the wedding, see if you can have one of your neighbors deliver the envelope with donation on your behalf. 

What is an appropriate gift for the wedding?:
Normally, nowadays people give money as a wedding gift and that is perfectly socially acceptable.  How much money to give?  Generally a gift of Rp 100,000-Rp 200,000 (US$10-$20) is considered appropriate.  Including a card with your donation is OK.  It may be best to give this cash gift directly to the Husband’s Parents or the the Bride & Groom directly.

In Rucina’s Banjar, one is obligated to bring 2 kilos of either raw or cooked rice which helps feed the many guests attending the wedding.  Other traditional gifts include coffee, sugar, tea, and incense.  There are also pre-packaged “mystery gifts” at incremental money values available at local Warungs to give the Bride & Groom as presents.  It doesn’t really matter what the gift is as long as you present one.  Chances are, that the Bride & Groom will pass-on this same gift at the next wedding that they attend as invited guests.  Rucina’s favorite gifts  are silver offering bowls, or books illustrating how to make all the different and varied religious offerings.  This book is appreciated by the young Bride as many young woman today have lost the art of offerings and will need to study this in order to perform those offerings that are an expectation of her new household. But note that the above gifts are something that local Balinese will give and are not expected from Expat guests who are invited to attend a wedding. 

What to Wear at a Wedding as a Guest:

Full temple clothes including Kebaya and Sarong with waist-sash for women and a Sleeved Shirt with Sarong and “saput” overskirt around the waist for men.  Men should also wear a batik headdress but not in white as that is reserved for special Balinese ceremonies and Priests.  Absolutely avoid attending a wedding in common casual dress as this will be interpreted as disrespectful to the wedding party.

Where to Sit at the Wedding Celebration:

Typically you will be welcomed and escorted to a folding chair or bench somewhere in the Family Compound in which the wedding takes place.  Avoid sitting at place higher than the Bride & Groom or higher than any of the noticeable higher seats in the compound because those seats would be reserved for High-Caste Balinese in the polite social order of the Balinese culture.

How Long To Stay at the Wedding Event:

The wedding events go on the entire day but your invitation will typically provide you with a time range to attend.  When arriving, it’s nice to say hello to the Bride & Groom if they are not preoccupied with the ceremony. If you’re not sure ask the Parents to take you up to see the Bride & Groom.  Make sure to say hello to the Parents as a polite acknowledgement of them hosting the wedding.  The Balinese have an expression called “SMP” which means sudah makan pulang or ‘go home after you eat’ so don’t feel that it’s impolite to eat and run.

You May Typically Be Invited to Just the Wedding Reception:
The invitation may specify that you attend the Wedding Reception as this tends to be the time at which friends are invited to join the wedding event.  The religious and intimate Wedding ceremony may be reserved for Family and extended Family Members.  When attending the reception, take an envelope with money as a gift (Rp 100,000 – Rp 200,000 is suggested) to help underwrite the cost of the wedding.  Note that it costs about Rp 35,000 to feed each guest so a wedding that often consists of hundreds of guests will be an expensive endeavor for the family.  Your cash gift will be appreciated graciously by the Family hosting the wedding.   The dress code is more flexible and you may even see young people in causal dress, but it’s still recommended to dress at the Reception as you would at the Wedding.

Fashionable Sarong Length for attending Weddings and Receptions:
While the young and rakish Balinese boys seem to be wearing their sarongs shorter to reveal more leg, it’s best for an Expat man to wear the sarong around or above the ankle.  Women go through fashion trends on sarong lengths also but it’s mostly kept at ankle length. Make sure you know the proper way to drape, tie, and secure your sarong so that it doesn’t fall off creating an unwelcome photo-op and a very awkward moment.

Photography at a Wedding: 
It’s OK to photograph the Bride & Groom and Wedding Party if you do so respectfully.  Avoid getting in the way or extensively utilizing flash when photographing at the wedding or reception.

Pregnancy and Weddings:
In Balinese culture it is often the case that the Bride is already pregnant at the time of the wedding ceremony.  Being pregnant shows that the couple are fertile and that “everything works” to bring forward the family lineage. It’s not so polite to talk about the pregnancy at the wedding so just ignore the Bride’s condition if pregnant.  

The Bride and Her Husband’s Caste:

When a woman marries a higher caste man than she was born into, the new Bride becomes an Ibu Jero.  This means she has ascended to a higher caste through marriage.  The man’s caste always determines his wife’s caste and the caste of their children.  It can often be upsetting to a Higher Caste family should the daughter choose to marry a man in a lower caste.  Her family would typically try to discourage such a marriage and there could be significant limitation of contact with her birth-family if she marries into a lower caste family. 

Caste Clash:
Janet told us about her adopted son, Nino, who married a high caste girl only to find out right before the wedding that his adopted Father wouldn’t acknowledge his son’s high caste status.  This led to confusion and stress among the two families as Nino was without any formal Balinese caste and his bride-to-be would technically abandon her high caste family status.  A creative solutions was found and Nino became designated as a “tourist caste”.  That seemed to suffice and the couple were happily married.


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