|Image from here|
I admired the lives they lead. Growing their own produce. Raising their own livestock. Working together as a community. Finding the happy in all the recent sadness.
Every plant is used from root to leaf tip. Every garden follows principles of organic gardening, companion planting and permaculture. Every animal has a place and purpose. Every person a role.
It isn't an easy life. It is manual labour of the back breaking kind. But there is beauty in the simplicity of it. Work to eat. Eat to live. Live to die.
Religion underpins the culture and the sense of completeness these lovely people have. They pray, they pay homage, they look for signs. God is everywhere in Bali. In the festivals. In the language. In the food that they eat.
I was struck by the lack of technology. The lack of obseity. The lack of processed foods.
I was impressed by the re-purposing and re-using (101 ways with bamboo anyone?) and the simple and sustainable cooking practices they have.
It is ironic, don't you think, that there are movements in first world countries to go 'back' to sustainability? We had it, but we lost it. Sure, improvements in healthcare, water purity and safety have made our societies better places to be in. But the 'improvements' are not necessarily all that.
The Balinese seek what we have. Technology. Processed food. White-collar work. They want an 'easier' life. Working 9-5 behind a desk is definitely 'easier' than farming rice in a paddy field all day in the boiling sun, raging winds and torrential rains. But what do you have to give up for this 21st Century life?
How many cars is too many? How much lack of connectivity is too much? How much money is enough?
The grass is always greener isn't it? There is so much to be learned (remembered?) from places like Bali. I wish I had had more time to spend there to gather more insights.
Don't you just love that travel wakes you up a bit?