So you’re having a holiday in Bali and you get talking about how nice the Balinese are, we are going to give you a bit of insight into how the Balinese interact with each other that helps shape the way they interact with you, themselves and the environment in which they live.
Balinese families living in a village will be part of this Banjar system, that helps create discussions, forms action, maintains traditional aspects, unifies religious events, as well as a raft of other aspects of Balinese life.
The Banjar system is the key to a cooperative lifestyle of the Balinese people. Each family is expected to send a representative to meetings of the village at the Banjar level, and members of the village make up the leading roles, which could be seen as similar to a counsel. The difference is that on many occasions throughout each month the whole village will congregate as a collective whole to tackle community issues. Much of the Balinese life is spent in Religious practice and the Banjar will prey collectively on big occasions at the village temples or on big spiritual events, but outside Religion, children learn traditional music and dance, exercise groups are formed, community rules are established and issues are tackled, so that the Balinese take control of their village and ultimately have a say in the way that they live within their communities. The Balinese are empowered and are able to address issues, ensuring that they are happy with whats going on in their life, as well as the community in which they live.
Territory sizes vary in Bali and some big villages can have more than one Banjar, in that area. For instance, Legian has 3 Banjars, Legian Kelod (South Legian), Legian Tengah, (Central Legian), Legian Kaja (North Legian). There is communication between the villages and rules are very much aligned both the communities in each area of Legian are able to organize themselves according to the decisions of the community.
Banjar system makes it easier for an individual to hold an event or initiate programs as one of the key principals is “Gotong Royong”, in which members fo the Banjar come together to help each other when they need to. There are further divisions in Banjars, but the whole principle is Bali is to help each other, and this community feeling really keeps the Balinese happy.
Tourists to Bali will actually use the Banjar for a lot of things at the local level, like organizing events such as weddings or birthday parties, helping with security and parking needs, as well as ensuring rules are adhered to. The Banjar is made up of the locals in the village so it will ensure that you have quick and effective action. If ever you think that you might need help and assistance, the Banjar here is here to help.
If you’re planning to stay permanently in Bali, you should get in touch with Banjar and ask about supporting them, if you show you are committed to the area and the betterment of the village you might even be invited to become a Banjar member.
So next time you think about an issue you’re having at your house in your country of residence, think about how Balinese will be able to act as a community at the village level, solutions for the issues. I am sure you will smile just thinking about how lucky the Balinese are to have such an amazing system at their disposal, and knowing that their neighbors are there to help them with anything that they need.
Empower your community and change the way you live for the better, do as the Balinese do, and form a Banjar for your village. Let us know how that works out, or if you have any stories about how your community or the Balinese in a Banjar have worked together to find solutions, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
First and foremost the Balinese family systems are more complex than your typical western family, and even Asian families (we will deal with this in another article).