Monday, 28 December 2009

Bali take away

It was my maiden trip to Bali. In fact, it was also my maiden step into Indonesia. And if there is one thing I can take away from Bali, it would be my impression on Indonesians. It has changed tremendously.

As judgemental as it may sound, most Malaysians (myself included) have got rather bad impression on Indonesians. If we are matured to admit it, we do not like to be in their presence here. There is a stigma about them. I believe I do need to elaborate why.

But the Indonesians in Bali are a totally different lot. They are so gentle, friendly and always carry a smile. And their command of English is quite impressive, from villa staff to restaurant staff to taxi drivers.

I guess one explanation of this phenomenon is that Bali is a tourist spot. But then again, KL is a tourist spot too. Are our people friendly and our taxi drivers give others an impeccable impression?

I know Hinduism influence is strong in Bali but I never thought that it would be that strong. 70%+ of the people in Bali are Hindus. You can see charms and offerings outside every store, hotel and villa in Bali. According to the driver, the balance of 30% non-Hindus only started coming in from Java in the past 3 years. So prior to that, almost 100% of Balinese are Hindus.

Another interesting point… the driver told us that Indonesian govt tried implementing Syariah law in Bali 2 years ago after the influx of Muslims from Java. But the Balinese people fought back and threatened to break away from Indonesia. They believe that the economy of Bali will suffer if that is to take place.

In the driver’s exact words, he said… “If tourists are not allowed to wear bikini or go topless at the beach, no one will come. We will all die…” He also sounded sore from the bombing that happened there, and of course, the reason behind those bombings.

And so they fought and the Indonesian govt gave in. The issue was not brought up again. Wow, don’t you just respect these Balinese people for their courage and strength on what they believe in?

And to close it up, I think one can forget about the food in Bali. Nasi Padang… Babi Guling… Bebek… not overly fantastic if you were to ask me. In true Malaysian spirit, I will say that our food beat them anytime.


2 years ago…
Are you prepared?

31 comments:

j_yenn said...

WHOA! What a picture LOL! I must try floating around like that in a swimming pool too.

suanie said...

I LOVE BALI! Where did you stay?

doc said...

thanks for the tip. i've been thinking of going to bali for some time.

our less favourable impression of them stems from our experience with the Indon maids & manual workers. so, can't really blame us, right?

like, what do you think is going on in the mind of a british immigration officer when he meets a couple of m'sian chinese men at heathrow airport??

Life for Beginners said...

"In true Malaysian spirit, I will say that our food beat them anytime."

Haha, I love that --- our patriotism always shines through when it comes to makan, ya? :D

~aSstHa~ said...

eee... jealous... 3 words to sum dat pic of urs... "this is life"...

on contrary, I've met a couple of really nice Indonesian students during my brief stint as a perfume promoter... I think there were 3 of em... really nice n sweet ppl...

Best part was they were really good in Mandarin but not very good at conversing in English... n i totally couldn't speak Mandarin at that time but we tried to make do with whatever we understood... when all else fails, we succumb to hand gestures...

was really fun and a perfect example of "kai thong ngap kong" but it was a very memorable experience...

P.S. I L-O-V-E tempe and belijau... nothing in M'sia can compare... oh, and the Indonesians are superb when it comes to frying fish-oh-so-crunchy-u-can-snap-the-bone-off... lols...

sabrina said...

Yes i agree....our food is wayy better!

sabrina said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
eiling lim said...

wow I can see that you're truly enjoying yourself. Yeah I know that a majority of them are Hindus and I was quite taken aback too..

Anonymous said...

go live in bali la.....bali good...malaysia sucks....bodoh!

MKL said...

Zewt, sorry, I forgot to log in, let me say it again:

Go live in bali la.....bali good...malaysia sucks....bodoh!

Oh no, I read wrongly. You do like Malaysian food. I retract my comment, ok? Come back to Malaysia liao ;)

It'd be good, if Malaysians and Indonesians would get along better. Indonesia is so huge and has so many people, you have to have an open mind.

And regarding KL taxi drivers I better not comment on that, haha :P Definitely something that has a lot of room for improvement :)

@Saby, when will you cook for me?

Jerine said...

I have a lot of Indonesian friends in uni and I think they are the simplest Asian people. They don't backstab each other like Malaysians and Singaporean. I think Indonesians are really nice people.

Lynn-w said...

hey! ^^
hhm...i might want to include Bali in my next trip...not sure when i'll get the chance to go though!
wish u have a blessed year ahead with lots of blessings and joy!!

pablopabla said...

Your observation is spot on. There's so much to learn from the Balinese. Shows how ugly we Malaysians can be with our "nose up superiority complex" attitude.

Been wanting to go back there after my maiden trip in Sept 2008....and this time, with more money to spend :D

Food wise, yeah, that's a bit of a disappointment. I can just imagine what an awesome place it would be if their food is as good as the Thais.

jacss said...

wow...everyone is holidaying towards the yearend except me :(
i agreed absolutely with yr observation of the Hindus in Bali (offerings everywhere & certainly holy) & it was an eye-opener to me then.
yr post is always informative :D
happy new year to you!!

kyh said...

According to Wikipedia (not 100% reliable, so read and believe at your own risk, lol), "About 93.18% of Bali's population adheres to Balinese Hinduism, while most of the remainder follow Islam." Perhaps 70% is an underestimation?

Indonesians are not always bad and filthy. That's just generalization. Actually, those who're born in simple rustic conditions can be the most genuine and friendliest ppl in the world. :) I went to North Sulawesi (which I've blogged about) a month ago and the ppl there were so friendly and nice that they kept saying 'hello' or 'hi' to you! There's ntg in this world that'll make a tourist smile more than the friendliness of the ppl!

Pinknpurplelizard said...

Whites exerting their strong arm on the non-whites. Just dont understand why they cant be decent and respect other cultures and religions (in their dressing).

Bali is a place where I'm not sure if I should go...

foongpc said...

Oh! I want to go to Bali! I think the Indonesians in Bali are different from Indonesians in other places in that country?

Huei said...

I just want the sun, sea and sand in Bali!!! well not surprising la...even in thailand the ppl r better, at least they carry a smile on their faces! and to think i used to judge them..i feel so ashamed. msia? i bought icecream in MV from i think a school girl who was working part time....my god u should've seen her face! terus wana slap!

Terra Shield said...

Our food is better... I have to agree as well, but I think their bakso was good.

Azatulsheeda Azman said...

hi...

whre did u stay?bout go to bali this coming February....

Anonymous said...

How come you're not in your skimpy red speedos? LOL!!!

zewt said...

j_yenn - hahaha... yes, it's a must.

suanie - Ahimsa, absolute bliss.

doc - oh yeah, we have certainly made a name for ourselves in britain. and serve us right, we will be paying for visa soon.

Life for Beginners - indeed, that is the only patriotism i have at the moment :P

~aSstHa~ - they speak mandarin? wow... that's a first for me. i guess they were all born from the indon-chinese family.

sabrina - in true malaysian spirit :)

zewt said...

eiling lim - end of the year, need a break :)

anon aka MKL - i am confused, anon is you? hey nino, you might wanna learn the usage of the word bodoh though hahaha!!!

Jerine - truly different impression we have on them isnt it?

Lynn-w - why not? just need to book a ticket :)

pablopabla - how come you were short of cash the last time? anyway, things are pretty cheap so wont need that much cash either.

jacss - happy new year to you too.

zewt said...

kyh - the stats was from a balinese himself so i didnt verify. and the 70% on started 2 years ago since the influx of javanese. yeah, i think simplicity stems from being in a simple country. affluent ppl are snobbish, sigh...

pinknpurplelizard - how come?

foongpc - nope. apparently the indon in jakarta are very nice too.

huei - hahahaha...malaysians think too highly of ourselves really.

terra shield - sad to say, didnt try bakso.

Azatulsheeda Azman - hello there. we stayed in ahimsa.

anon @ 30/12 6.40pm - hmmm... since when i run around in red speedos? haha!

Marvin Lee said...

Haha somehow or another, although it's not funny, but to think of it about topless tourists, are they really that many on the beach?

MKL said...

@Zewt, that Anon wasn't me! Seriously. I was just joking with the Anon. I understand what he said, haha.. Sorry, it didn't came out the way I wanted, hehe.

He wants to stress, that you criticize Malaysia, while you praise Bali and calls you stupid. I think he's just a hater, who doesn't like you. So I played my joke on that ;) Believe me, I don't use anon to comment :)

Pinknpurplelizard said...

How come what?

littlepolaris said...

what is Babi Guling? =D

zewt said...

Marvin Lee - hello there... i saw a few :)

MKL - ahh... good that you clarified haha!

pinknpurplelizard - that you wont be travelling to bali anytime soon?

littlepolaris - something like suckling pig, you know... Yu-G... Bali style.

Pinknpurplelizard said...

Zewt, if you have the time of day then I will reveal to you. Too long to type in a petite comment box. :)

zewt said...

pinknpurplelizard - drop me a mail then :)