Bulletin 27 May 2013

Rotary Club Bali Ubud Sunset

District 3420 / No. 79571

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

 The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” -Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962)


Bulletin May 27, 2013



President Rosalind opened the meeting noting that there was a relatively small audience attending this evening.  She mentioned that over 50% of our Members are off-island traveling and that this is often the case.  She also asked those who were away from Bali to email to us and let us know what you’re doing.  We like to keep up with our valued members and we can read your email update at the next meetin.

Brits in Switzerland visit Rotarians in Ubud:
Guest visitors, Andrew and Penny Wells, joined the meeting and had an opportunity to discuss Andrew’s involvement as President of the British Residents Club in Switzerland, where he and his wife Penny live.  It seems like Andrew and Penny appreciate their lives in Switzerland but are a bit homesick for the UK.  They are frequent visitors to Bali so we may see them again.

A Tasty Carrot Samples Restaurants in Bali:
Another guest visitor named Ivan introduced himself.  Ivan is originally from Croatia but has spent several months recently in Kuala Lumpur, the federal capital and most populated city in Malaysia.  He is and Electrical Engineer by training with a focus on solar energy systems.  He has a website called “Tasty Carrot” where he is currently posting Bali restaurant reviews during his stay in Ubud.  

Educare: Encouraging Children to Have a Healthy Attitude for Learning and Living
Sue and Wayan Rustiasa reported on the Educare Graduation on Wednesday, May 22, at Neka Museum.  Educare works with children in primary school hosting a 4-month every Sunday program that integrates living values and a love of learning for the attending children.   The graduating Class for 2013 included the participation of over 200 children from 4 schools and their attending Teachers.  One very talented Educare graduate gave a storytelling dissertation to the audience attending the graduation ceremony that was well-studied and cleverly theatrical, and animated vocally.  Each School group had the chance to do a special presentation at the event.  One Class group sung the song, ‘You Raise Me Up’ and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.  Educare has inspired Children to ” love learning” in 23 participating Schools so far.  There are a lot more Schools who could benefit from the Educare program going forward.

The Karunia Bali Foundation, headed by Wayan Rustiasa, helps support young adults to attend Campuhan College which trains the students in computer graphic arts.  Upon graduation from Campuhan College, the graduates are in demand and benefit from employment opportunities extended from the community.

Bringing a Reliable Water Source to Dry Villages.  Water Projects #11 & #12
Rich Foss updated us that the 12th water project being in Gulinten is now competed.  In this village of 15,000 people there was no easy access to clean water, no schools for the children, and no healthcare available to the families.  To make matters even more complicated, no one in the village even speaks Bahasa Indonesian (the official language of Indonesian) so communication had to be accomplished in the Balinese language which required some interpretation from former Rotaract and new RCBUS member Kalar, a native Balinese. To provide water to the villagers, a pumping system was set-up in a large spring at the bottom of a riverbank that pumped the water to the top of the hill where the villagers could access the water being held in water-tanks.  One tank can provide water for 10 individual families. 

Water project #11 is still in process and Rich, Kaler, and Alan braved a challenging terrain to determine the best place to bore a water well for another village in desperate need for a reliable source of water.  To access the underground water supply the well will need to be bored-down 35 to 85 meters.  The water-well-pump is powered by petrol and each participating family pays Rp 20,000 per month for to underwrite the petrol cost and to continue to have the access to the clean water-well supply.



Emiko Saraswati Susilo: Tradition of Innovation in Balinese Performing Arts

Emiko has an interesting take on Balinese Performing Arts because she spent a great deal of her youth living outside of Bali, her place of birth, and studying in California.  Wanting to keep the Balinese traditions alive during her time in California, Emiko studied Balinese Performing Arts and continues to do so today.  Having returned to Bali some 20 years ago, Emiko formed a group in Pengoseken called Cudamani (www.cudamani.org),  with a focus on perpetuating the appreciation and evolution of Gamelon performances and preserving older forms of Indonesian music that would otherwise be lost.  Encouraging girls and women to be actively involved in the Gamelon orchestra is also an important goal of Cudamani.   Emiko hopes to encourage the Bali community to see more performing arts.  “If you don’t like the tourist shows, that’s a good sign!” touts Emiko.  She encourages us all to see things in context and to seek-out the authentic in Balinese Performing Arts.

Balinese Performing Arts and Religion:
Emiko explained that Balinese Performing Arts are tied in with the religious practice which give the performances a ritual focus.  Before Hinduism, the Balinese had a strong practice of Animism which is still actively integrated into the Hindu Culture of Bali today. Animism era dance and song movements were relatively simple and primarily focused on honoring the spirits of nature.  In the 15th Century, Hinduism spread to Bali via Java and it brought with it a different variation of religious culture than the Hinduism of India. Hinduism introduced to the greater culture of Java and Bali a more sophisticated and complex dance and music orchestration.  Throughout the Javanese Kingdoms there were patrons of the arts who sponsored the evolution of dance and the bigger and more studied sounds of instrumentation which included bronze instruments and drums to frame the rhythm.

100 Years of Balinese Gamelan:
Gong Kebyar, or what we would know as Balinese Gamelan, comes from this tradition of Court sponsored performances and in actuality is only about 100 years old in practice.  Gamelan has been facilitated for over a century as a traditional “offering to the Gods” in a communal religious spirit.  In more recent times the context of Gamelan and traditional dance performance has changed to become more entertainment oriented and a competitive opportunity to showcase high technical skills.  Today, you can attend the annual Bali Arts Festival and see 5,000 fans screaming for their favorite Gamelan groups.  This competition and others like it feeds the technical musicianship of the Gamelan Orchestras.  This evolution of technique is then brought back to Gamelan performances for the Temple religious practices.

Balinese Performing Arts Outside Indonesia:
Emiko is the Director of Gamelan Sekar Jaya in the San Francisco Bay area in California.  This group perpetuates the continuation of Balinese Performing Arts outside of Indonesia.  Emiko showed us a video of Kawit Legong, a dance, music, and visual presentation showing the origins of Legong Dance.  This video was taken from a performance at Zellerbach Hall in Berkley, California a few years ago.  The video demonstrated how theatrically rich the performance was by integrating dance, Gamelan, and Wayang Puppetry in a dramatic oversized context to help tell the story.  Emiko commented that the power of the story resonated in all communities in which Kawit Legon was performed. 

Innovation, Improvisation, and the Relevance of Perfection:
When Emiko and a Gamelon group were reconstructing a Legong musical piece, the Drummer playfully changed five strokes of the drum and asked the residing Teacher “if he could do that”?  The Teacher’s response was intuitive and rather innovative; “You must do that to pass-on the evolution of Gamalan to the next generation.”  Taking the risk to create something pleasing and new is worth the risk of making a mistake.  Absolute perfection is not a goal but rather experiencing joy in the moment.  So there is a permission and perhaps an expectation for improvisation within the Gamelon performance.  That’s how to keep it fresh and relevant to the culture, audience and religion. 



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