In September, I got an exciting news that I was selected as a delegate for International Youth Forum in Bali. Such a privilege to join in this huge event and this was also ‘a healing’ news for me at the same time, since I failed many times for other funded programs that I applied.
The journey has been started even before I stepped my feet in Bali. Why? As IYF participants are so amazing, they created a WhatsApp group right after the announcement. This group is always active giving information about everything related to the forum such as clothes, places where we would stay, and including what kind of hand-gifts that I should bring for my friends later. Haha. This thing ensured me that this forum would be implausible.
October 8th, I departed to Bali from Palembang. There are 5 delegates from South Sumatera including me. During the transit in Jakarta, I have met several other participants from many corners of Indonesia. New friends! New friends!
I felt an intense Bali atmosphere when I Arrived at Ngurah Rai International Airport. Well, though I am Indonesian but this is my first time in Bali. The most famous paradise in da world (What have you been doing all this time?!). My eyes were busy looking at the beauty of this place. Look, memorize, learn, cherish. The IYF committee had been waiting for us at the arrival gates. I and other friends who arrived that day then went to Suly Resort and Spa to prepare for the opening ceremony in the next day.
During this time, I noticed that everything in Bali is related to their cultural background. Buildings design, clothes, food, and the people. At this resort, I also met some international participants who had just arrived after their long flight. Thank you for coming all the way for this forum!
The interesting part of our one night stay at this resort was learning one of Bali’s traditional dance. It was difficult, I inform you. I respect all of the women in Bali that master many dances. For them, it is a must since the dance is a part of their identity.
October 9th was the opening of International Youth Forum. We gathered at Balai Banjar (Village Hall) in Bedulu area. This time was where I met the whole participants, facilitators, and committee for the first time. And I felt so small because everyone is so talented. But I know I should be thankful to be surrounded by all these agents of change. There were 173 participants from 39 countries in total. All of us is united in this forum.
We then divided into four groups. Each group stayed in a different village in Bali which are Bedulu, Bongan, Panglipuran, and Tenganan village. Each village discussed the different topic of Youth as the sub-theme of the IYF main theme “Youth Culture for Social Transformation and Equality”.
I stayed in Panglipuran Village, Kubu Village, Bangli sub-District, in Bali. This village is famous as an archetypal of the cultural village in Bali. The meaning of Panglipuran itself are the entertainer and also remembering the ancestral land. My host-family is Bape (Father) Subrani family. There are four family members in this house which are Meme Tika (Tika’s Mother), Dadong (Grandmother), Pekak (Grandfather) and Bape Subrani.
All houses in Panglipuran are in the form of Balinese traditional house. Meme tika told me that the house was built by following the human body philosophy. Pure (temple) as the head, the kitchen as the neck, the room as the body, the backyard as the leg, and the restroom as the feet. Every room is built in the separate building. Therefore, when I need to go to the restroom, I have to walk outside less or more than 15 meters (50 ft) from my room. This is also an interesting challenge.
More than that, I am incredibly amazed how everything in Palingpuran is organized. As an engineer, I know engineers are still struggling to build an environment-friendly building design or what we know as a green building. But this village has implemented this method for decades. The total area of Panglipuran village is 112 hectares consists of 9 hectares of houses, 55 hectares of the field for gardening and else, 3 hectares of public places such as toilets, balai banjar (the village hall) and parking area, and the whole village is surrounded by 45 hectares of bamboo forest. The roof of each house is designed to transfer the rainfall water from the houses located at the uphill until the houses located at the downhill. In such way, the village will be safe from natural disaster, and they have the bamboo forest as an addition in preventing flood and landslide from happening.
Experiencing the daily life of Panglipuran people, I learn that religion and culture are the main drivers of their beautiful system. Religion and culture have grown a strong care feeling into their souls to care about their surrounding. This ‘care’ feeling leads to a continuable habit that unites them as one sustainable community.
There is one philosophy strongly hold by the native here called “Tri Hitakarna” (The Harmony Philosophy). Tri Hitakarna divided into three custom rules called “Awik-awik”, those rules are:
1. Parahyangan, the rule or relationship between human and God
2. Pawongan, the rule about human relationship
3. Palemahan, the rule between human and environment
All these values are not only lies in papers, but instill to the native heart. Therefore, they can implement these values in their daily life. You will be amazed how they live with it when you see it by yourself.
Small examples of these values are first, when the head of the village want to start his speech, he always says “Om Swastiastu” (may you are in a good condition by the blessing from Sang Hyang Widi) a blessing in Hinduism and “Assalammualaikum” (may peace be upon you) a blessing in Islam. This shows that they respect other religion as well.
The second example is the example of Pawongan. People in Panglipuran respect woman so much that they do not allow a man to have two wives. However, if there is a circumstance that forces a man to have two wives, they had provided a land for this family called “Kandang Memadu”.
See? These values already integrated with the life and system in the village. I feel so lucky having a chance to experience it myself. I and my 34 other friends did activities like making “Canang” (the place to make the offering), “Anyaman” (Indonesia traditional pattern made from bamboo), “Klepon” (Indonesia traditional cake) and some other daily activities.
After experiencing their daily life, our next job was to do the discussion about “Youth in the New Modes of Belonging”. Using the experience that we have tried ourselves, we must connect the local issues to the global issues that happening in this digital era.
The discussion went tenser than my expectation. I learned a lot during our three days of discussion... (to be continued)