Watch a film, save a culture - video
Eight years ago, in a previous life, Rob Henry had been a Melbourne surfer who found himself at a desk in the city, staring out the window and watching the pace of life quicken on a daily basis. Deeply disillusioned with working life, and with the GFC crisis highlighting to him how, “the Western world had got it so wrong,” Rob jumped on a plane and found himself on a remote island off the coast of Indonesia.
Harbouring a deep interest in the simple life of the locals working on the island’s coconut farm, Rob lived with them for six months, learning both local languages, and grew curious about how these people with so little seemed so much happier than the people working their days away in Melbourne. It was while he was here, however, that he learned of an indigenous tribe who were living deep in the forest of Siberut and made the decision to venture in and meet them. Eight years later, he was still there.
The tribe lived just as they had for thousands of years, and Rob over time assimilated to their way of life. Living in the village with no contact with the outside world, he ate, hunted, took part in shamanistic rituals and eventually received traditional tribal tattoos. All the while he respectfully filmed and interviewed the tribe, documenting a way of life threatened by the modern world. “In the forest it’s near impossible for them to grasp what’s happening out in the world,” says Rob. “They want to protect their culture, but aren’t aware of the complexities of what’s going on around them.”
Over time and caught between two worlds, Rob soon grew to understand that the tribe’s way of life was under enormous pressure from the outside world – cultural pressure for the tribe to assimilate with the Indonesian way of life, and economic pressure as their precious forests are being coveted by logging companies.
Rob arrived back in Australia with the footage and decided to edit it into something that he could use to tell the story of the tribe… and help them save their way of life.
As World’s Divide is part documentary, part fundraiser. The movie will screen globally for 30 days during the month of October, utilising the innovative online platform at Garage Entertainment. For a $10 donation you’ll get a digital copy of the film and your donation will go to a cultural education program via the Indigenous Education Foundation to keep this Mentawai indigenous culture alive.
Rob Henry: “I’d like to think they’ll still be practicing their Arat Sabulungan culture in 30 years and it seems their best chance to share their story and gain support is through this film… providing them an opportunity to fund their cultural education program and their children to learn the value of their culture and the land.”
Pledge your support for Mentawai and grab a copy of the film at www.iefprograms.org/wafsac
Rob will appear on The Project this Thursday night talking about As World Collide.
It has never been more important to present cultures like this to the world so that people have the chance to see how little their happiness depends on their material wealth. This was something that shocked many of us in the early days at Uluwatu. How could these people who were so materially poor be so much happier than us? You didn't have to stay long to find out that the answer was that they were deeply embedded in a rich culture that nurtured them in ways no modern western culture even attempts.
Poor bastards will have some harsh realities thrust upon them if they're not extremely lucky.
Sad days ahead for some of them.
But then we're always told that to reject an imposed change to your culture is the hallmark of a xenophobe . Which is as derogatory an accusation as being accused of homosexuality was 50 years ago.
This dude is so next level.
I think westerners perception of simplicity equals happiness is a little naive, i think it's more a case of just not knowing any different.
When you don't know what your missing out on, it doesn't matter, but once you know about other things that make life easier or more comfortable it gets harder especially when its closer to you or you get a taste of it.
Part of the loss of culture is because many of the younger generation don't want to live in the jungle in a traditional way, once they learn about the outside world mobile phones, internet, Facebook and just modern life in general they want a taste of it, and once they do its hard to go back.
But i think in the Mentawai traditional peoples case, there is also a swing back the other way I've notice young Mentawai friends embracing their culture and i actually think surf tourism has played a big part in this.
As much as I'm not a fan of big resorts i think Kandui resort which was one of the first and is the most successful Mentawai resort set a positive blue print with their resort using traditional Mentawai design in buildings (Umas's) and just Mentawai design in general and embracing traditional Mentawai culture like having locals do performances etc
Many other resorts have followed in Kanduis style and in effect the local people who have entered the tourism industry have also embraced local building design and other aspects of culture like tattoos and dress and dance, you can see this at E-bay where every losmen is in the traditional Mentawai uma design.
But this is also spreading now to areas like Sipora where traditional Mentawai culture has been lost for a long time, there is even a cultural centre there where they do Mentawai dance etc
In a sense as outsiders we have given our tick of approval and said this culture is cool we dig it, I think this has helped many of the younger generation also embrace it more.
Obviously no one wants the traditional people displaced or their way of living lost, but if it does happen at least may aspects of the culture want be lost, if Mentawais didn't have waves, who knows what would or could happen, every aspects could have been lost and just ended up in books or museums.
Great post ID.
Thanks for posting Stu and for the comments and support. Magical place and culture. Worth looking after. Cheers
As Worlds Divide is also screening at the North Steyne SLSC hall in Manly tomorrow night at 7.30pm. Same $10 donation at the door or book online via the website.
I'd heard about Rob from a skipper on one of the surf charter boats on a Ments surf trip a few years ago, then started seeing the beautiful images published on Swellnet & the As Worlds Divide website.... then saw this film earlier this year @ 107 in Redfern - changed my view of the Ments completely - a totally new dimension to a part of the world so many of us have visited but really know so little about! It's worth seeing & saving!
Firstly, some facts... absolutely tremendous post blindboy.
Now examining the following statement:
'I think westerners perception of simplicity equals happiness is a little naive, i think it's more a case of just not knowing any different.
When you don't know what your missing out on, it doesn't matter, but once you know about other things that make life easier or more comfortable it gets harder especially when its closer to you or you get a taste of it.'
I think that this statement is a perfect example of a conditioned viewpoint, and over simplistic. It completely ignores factual, glaring examples of the exact opposite scenarios.
North Sentinel Islanders, one of the oldest, continual, most successful cultures, by far, have seen the 'things that they are missing out on', and 'comfort', or, more accurately the disasters that the west has to offer, and have emphatically, and vigorously rejected them. To their great benefit, unlike their close proximity neighbours.
Many other Cultures also outright reject the 'things that they are missing out on', and 'comfort', but due to enforced financial exploitation of their Traditional home lands, have no say in the matter.
The above quote also displays classic stereotyping of all Traditional Indigenous Cultures as the same, that is, as having the same beliefs and values, and same record of success. Again, this is simply false, conditioned thinking. Think about for instance, Traditional Indigenous Australians, who also did their utmost to reject the 'things that they are missing out on', and 'comfort', that the west forced on them , much to the Traditional Indigenous Australians detriment, and Easter Islanders.
Conditioning makes it impossible for some to see anything beyond the lense, the colouring, the program installed. So they 'know' that others must want the same as them. Imagine a person considered a genius, say a Hawkins type. Except that unlike Hawkins the person is part of a culture that values nurturing the planet that we live on above all else. So that genius is expressed through a different lense than Hawkins sees and expresses through. 60,000 years of unmatched success for instance. However, the true genius can look through another's eyes, and analyze their viewpoint, to ascertain the long term results. So, one culture might want to say, eat a banana, and see the value in simply nurturing the banana and its environment. Whereas another culture might create a system where the person has to 'work' long hours, have 'money' placed into a 'bank', and so on and so on and so on, to finally get the frozen, shipped from overseas banana. The simple eating of the banana, and shitting it out later, create ludicrous problems for the whole planet, that some cultures are much, much more aware of than others. And so they totally reject the supposed, 'things that they are missing out on', and 'comfort'.
Of course, the simple, child like rebuttal is often the, 'why don't they just go back and live in a cave then'. Again, this is a very shallow, naive, well, perhaps at best, silly outlook, as it ignores all of the enforced complexity, that lead to the scenario of Cultures being forced to adopt 'things that they are missing out on', and 'comfort', and that perpetuate it.
It is a typical 'colonial' view. Colonialism is still kicking.
I think we have had this conversation before.
There is some aspects of truth to some of which you are saying, but it also ignores other important aspects.
Yes many cultures especially remote indigenous tribe type cultures don't have a choice as the modern worlds pressure is pushed upon them normally through use of their land often the environment they need to survive is vanishing.
But there is also a pull factor from the modern world where in many cases much of the younger generation move to cities and other areas this is not just my opinion if you watch documentaries or read about this issue anywhere its always brought up as a big factor.
And no colonisation is not always to blame if this was the only factor many countries that have not been colonised would remain untouched and cultural rich living as they once did.
They don't including europeans (vikings etc) because it's not just a western want or desire to have more comfort or to not have their child die of disease or to have a wider diet, electricity, or to want to be able to travel and experience different things or to watch a movie or whatever, it's human nature to explore, evolve and improve.
Also in the past religion was a major destroyer of culture in particularly in the traditional Mentawai peoples case, yes this was often linked with colonisation but in many cases it is not, missionaries went just about everywhere and in the Mentawai peoples case it wasn't just Dutch missionaries it was also German.
Culture is also not just one thing its a combination of things people can still have and practise their culture even when not living in a traditional sense.
For instance my wife is Javanese she still practise her Javanese culture, she eats Javanese food, speaks Javanese, every aspect of important turning points in life needs ceremonies done be it pregnancy, marriage, death etc and she also has all kinds of Javanese beliefs, stories superstitions, etc actually most of these things before she never cared about and even thought where silly, but now that she lives in Australia she has actually embraced her culture more and i see the same pattern I've seen in Mentawai young people in that her influence on her siblings or friends changes their views, she kind of goes back and shows them through her actions, we have to keep this alive this is cool this is us its like a tick of approve is given and it creates a chain reaction, rather than it just being a task that must be done because elders say so.
IMHO this is the best way to help preserve a culture is to ensure the younger generation of that culture embrace their culture, be it arts (design, tattoo, dance, music, stories), food, architecture, or methods of living etc
I think in Robs case apart from bringing light to others about Mentawai culture, there would be an effect of younger people seeing him embrace their culture further giving it a tick of approval like wow this guy loves our culture and thinks its cool.
Its also important to remember culture is not static most cultures change and evolve over time very few cultures live exactly the same way they did 1000 years ago, its more a western view that they should, its not realistic to expect people to live like they did 50 years ago or 100 years ago as I've said its natural for people to want things like comfort, electricity, modern medicine etc
One tribe on a small island rejecting modern life is not the norm its the exception.
'One tribe on a small island rejecting modern life is not the norm its the exception.'
No, totally, irrefutably incorrect. You are making things up to support your colonial style of thinking. It, rejecting 'modern life' is/was the norm. The 'one culture', is just the one that has been spared the effects of invasion, and colonisation. The list of Cultures that were invaded, that resisted invasion and colonisation, and that were decimated by force is huge. Even the Balinese resisted invasion and colonisation by the dutch, and japanese. Europe deliberately set out to colonise Cultures and peoples that they arrogantly considered 'inferior', or less desirable. You mirror their arguments.
Again, you avoid the effects that decimation of Traditional Cultures had, and how this, as it obviously means forced acceptance of 'other things that make life easier or more comfortable' then obviously effects 'young people'. And again, the one Culture that has been spared the effects of invasion and Colonisation, and forced acceptance and adopting of, 'other things that make life easier or more comfortable', has no issue with the 'younger generation' seeking' out a 'better' life.
And yes, I pointed out to you in the 'treaty' thread about young Indigenous Australians adapting to enforced change, and embracing their Traditional Culture through the use of 'modern' media, which you strangely ignored at the time?
'but in many cases it is not, missionaries went just about everywhere and in the Mentawai peoples case it wasn't just Dutch missionaries it was also German.'
Religion was a major tool of Colonialism. Your arguments about religion doing as it wanted, are again, totally incorrect. Again, you are just making things up, to try and bolster your view. You need to try to learn about, and to try and understand the effect that events leading to colonialism had on religion's place in Europe, and how the position/power that religion once held in the west, changed dramatically as the age of reason, science and enlightenment took hold. This is the basis, the 'reason' of colonialism. Its a huge subject, but the sooner you learn about it, hopefully, the better your grasp of the topic will be.
Your wife's story is a classic 'filler', and has no real relevance to the subject matter.
Your 'vikings' discussion doesn't make sense.
Again the language you use about 'everyone' wanting what the west offers, is the classic 'colonial' diatribe.
Great posts , Indo.
Whilst the modern western lifestyle might not be the best case scenario in some instances , it's innumerable benefits are self evidently displayed by the fact that it has been adopted by 99.999999999 percent of the world's population to some degree long after any forced influence. from foreign nations have dissipated.
You only have to have visited the Mentawai on seperate occasions over time
to see the voluntary uptake of modern lifestyles by the locals where possible.
Maybe not the villagers in the film , but most other Mentawai crew are attempting to move with the times without a gun at their head.
As you said , the pull of modern culture is strong .
'Maybe not the villagers in the film , but most other Mentawai crew are attempting to move with the times without a gun at their head.'
False. More making up things to support a viewpoint. The Mentawai islands have been effected by colonialism over a long period. Like other Cultures, they didn't invite the wild colonials.
'The colonial period had a differential impact on the islands, the southernmost (North and South Pagai) being subject to the major forces of change. However it is important to emphasize that dynamic interaction with the wider world, an interaction not limited to the European presence, had been occurring for some time. The islands have experienced a degree of interconnection with other areas of insular Southeast Asia, both localized and more distant. Nevertheless, the colonial presence set in place the context for change which rapidly accelerated following the establishment of the independent Indonesian nation state.'
'European interest in the islands, however, was by no means limited to scholarly themes. Crisp (1799:78) also reports that an attempt to establish a settlement and pepper cultivation was made by the English some 40 or 50 years earlier. It failed as a result of the “improper conduct” of the manager although Marsden (1811:468) puts it down to “incessant rains” whereupon those whom he describes as the “officer” and his “men” abandoned the area. Marsden (1811:468) furthermore notes that the settlement referred to by Crisp was in fact on one of the two Sanding islands located just to the south of south Pagai, islands only of interest because of the “long nutmeg” growing wild there and the “good timber”. Logan (1855:274) reports the establishment of another settlement in 1801 on the straits of Sikakap which separate north and south Pagai. However the appointed Resident never actually “took charge”. Instead, a “Malay” directed the operation until the following year when the area was similarly abandoned “after a fruitless expenditure of about fifteen thousand dollars”.'
Again, learning about colonialism would help with ceasing to make incorrect, or false arguments.
So Herc and ID, will you be watching and supporting this?
I won't I hate the idea that you can save a culture for $10
Sure will i didn't get to see it when its screened and really want to see it so this weekend i will watch it with my wife.
No one is disputing whether or not colonialism occurred . If you'd been to the Mentawais rather than quoting internet passages you'd realise that the locals don't exist with a slavemasters boot on their throat.
They exist of their own free will and volition just as you and I and to represent their desire to purchase iPhones , watch soap operas on TV , attend a university or whatever else as subjugation through colonialism or as mindless parroting of a dominant culture is to reduce them to brain dead morons with no agency over their lives whatsoever.
These are people being exposed to the modern world with their own desire to participate , not downtrodden idiots led by the nose.
It's def worth you watching Blowin. The issue isn't so much colonialism but repatriation forced upon them by a distant government. Free will and volition don't really enter into it.
I would love to see it , Stu.
I'm well aware of the social engineering that the Indo government deals in . It's a not too distant parallel to the desired division through high immigration that I was referring to in the other thread.
But Herc is pointing the finger at Evil Whitey again , blaming European oppression for a younger generation of Mentawais people wanting to have an iPhone.
I'm not familiar with the remote tribes in the film - I'll have to see the film to know that - so I'm referring to the other islanders that are partaking in the modern world as much as you and I , that is as much as resources and exposure allows.
Not some innocent children of the forest being force fed modernity against their wishes.
Again blowin, you avoid facts, and fail to comprehend the far reaching, perpetuated effects that invasion and colonialism had, and have, so have an extremely shallow, silly grasp of things. And constantly express the classic, colonial viewpoint.
And Mitch, yes, I'm more than happy to even just donate $10, as I first started surfing in areas of Indonesia over 35 years ago, and feel it's pretty much a no brainer.
You seem to put a high value on animistic type cultures, so lets look at the rest of Indonesia.
Indonesia has about 300 different ethnic groups most or all of which originally had an animist type culture, you can even still see the influence in many Indonesian ethnicity's in different aspects ceremonies or beliefs etc
As far as i know Dutch or Japanese colonialism wiped out zero of these groups or their culture, thats not to say there was no negative effects but considering Indonesia was under Dutch rule for over 150 years with a christian influence, there is really very little remaining influence/effect.
So how or why were these animist cultures lost?
Well firstly by the time Dutch or Japanese colonised Indonesia those animist types lifestyle and beliefs were long gone.
As i understand it the influence from other cultures from SE Asia and the middle east through trading brought in different cultural aspects in particular Buddhism and Hinduism and then latter Islam.
So i guess you could say Buddhism and Hinduism destroyed the animist type culture and then Islam destroyed the Buddhism and Hinduism type culture
Are these culture destroyed?
I guess they are in a sense but if you look into all kinds of aspects of different Indonesian cultures like Javanese culture for example, you can find inferences from all those periods Animism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, and other influences from other SE Asian or middle east countries and even a touch of the Dutch influence, but very little to no Christian influence unless they are an ethnicity's that is Christian but even then in their actually seperate culture it's rarely much influence its kind of more cut in half culture and then christian religion.
Basically most cultures actually evolve and change over time, the first Javanese peoples culture was very different to Javanese culture today, it grows and changes.
Thats not to say cultures that have changed little and still practise and animist based culture should be viewed in a negative light, they are just different.
this reminded me of some docco i watched ages ago, on the poor street cleaner's, & the poor people that ride around on their three wheeler push bikes, to pick up the rich folk's rubbish. But more importantly, Australian tourist's rubbish, that go over there, on bloody holidays. these people make me sick, simply sic as sic can be............................... as for the resorts that still dump tourist poo, straight into the ocean, well i would love to meet them , in a dark alley.
Sik Joy reference noted and appreciated.
No point arguing , Herc will be blaming Whitey for the ills of society 1000 years from now. He'd have us thinking that people are poor corks on the sea of life with no impetus of their own.
Perpetually relegated to victimhood by the inability of their distant ancestors to defend themselves.
Interesting concept really , that no man is in charge of his own destiny .
Blatantly and obviously incorrect ....but interesting.
For about 2 seconds.
PS pretty sure animism is still relevant in Sumba at least.
its not rocket science for some of us eh, blowin, i knew ages ago, that you are switched on, you have alot more to offer, ( this is sincere ). lets take the wsl to the outer island's where the waves are sic, waves all over........ suckin dry...... i think Australian's should stop goin to bali for a cheap hol, until those corrupt bali, polly fucks clean their shit up. i would not, hold my breath though. instead, i just won't go, havin said this, there is more than one Ozzie boat , that ya can jump on, if ya havta go over there. it really is disgraceful, & un Australian to turn a blind eye on the locals over there. fuckin sick stuff.
The idea of the WSL venturing to the outer islands of Indo makes me , as a surfer that enjoys uncrowded waves in undeveloped environments , simply sick as sick can be.
Sick as in crook , that is . Not sik as in filth.
WSL and the ISA should stick to their metropolitan beachbreaks and their already fucked over marquee locations.
Fuckers aren't doing travelling surfers any favours with their expansionism.
Now there's a colonialism that people should be railing against.
PS Sorry for the digression ; I'll check out the movie ASAP
well hav'nt you come out of your shell, mate, if the wsl , will be environmentally friendly about it, ( think i have mentioned this before), if they do it properly, i feel that it could be very beneficial for the locals. IE, solar power, actual septic systems, cleaner living. NOT, over crowding & stupid decision's made by out of touch fucks. don't bother watchin the movie... again.
blowin...........your Quote, " inability of their distant ancestors to defend themselves". that quote you just said,..... that will never, ever come from a real Australian, that shit you just said, is bloody disgraceful, out of touch, & i think you have just lost the plot there. big words that you can not spell off the the top, let alone, know the true meaning off, can not be used by fakes........... sssshhhh.
This is the only post of your worth replying too the rest are just trolls.
But dude this situation happens all over SE Asia and other developing countries its not a situation that happens just in tourist areas, there is very little safety nets like we have here with social security, these people are sadly struggling to survive they collect rubbish because it means they can eat if they don't do it they don't eat.
Not going on holidays to a developing country doesn't help anyone, your money actually gives people jobs that they wouldn't normally have.
Yeah it sucks that raw sewerage often goes into rivers or the ocean etc but again this is not just a resort problem its a developing country problem that happens all over SE Asia and other developing countries.
those comments of mine that have been removed, i mean , still stand behind, & i know that ya all have read them.... (not goin on holiday's to a developing country doesn't help anymore). well that just some's it all up........ doesn't it........... makin "excuses for bad behaviour". simply lost..............
Are you serious? Surely not. Come on, try to properly think about what you are saying. Don't just blatantly contradict yourself, whilst trying to invent stories to cling to your view. And whilst considering your blatant error, that during the colonialism period, religions called the shots, when in fact they became a tool of governments, championing science and reason.
'Also in the past religion was a major destroyer of culture in particularly in the traditional Mentawai peoples case, yes this was often linked with colonisation but in many cases it is not, missionaries went just about everywhere and in the Mentawai peoples case it wasn't just Dutch missionaries it was also German.'
Yet you next say:
'As far as i know Dutch or Japanese colonialism wiped out zero of these groups or their culture, thats not to say there was no negative effects but considering Indonesia was under Dutch rule for over 150 years with a christian influence, there is really very little remaining influence/effect.'
Say for example North Korea invades and conquers Australia. Totally decimates our culture, derides it, and portrays it as inferior and backwards. Massacres, butchers huge numbers of people who resist. Outlaws the practice of Australian culture. Destroys anything to do with our culture. But some manage to resist, to a degree. Australia becomes 'officially' a North Korean colony. One generation is besieged by absolute despair and depression. Think properly about that. Properly. Not just because they ' got stoned and couldn't pay their rego', or had a 'lost the plot totally, and had a stupid fight over shit surf', but because they suffered, prolonged, unimaginable atrocities and decimation at all levels. A generation of total, deep, chronic and acute despair and depression. Next, children stolen, and institutionalized... forced to become North Koreans. Children with literally no parents, become 'parents'. That generation of institutionalized children then have children. North Korea finally recognizes them as North Korean. Australians who want to survive must, and so do adopt the North Korean culture. Some eagerly, as acceptance equals success. Australia finally gains its 'independence'. And practices Australian Culture, in the new North Korean shaped and adopted landscape.
The blowindo style of colonial diatribe is, predictably:
'Gee look the Australians are living like North Koreans, see, deep down the Aussies want it because it's better! See North Korean invasion and colonialism didn't and doesn't effect them that much! They love it and think it's better! And they are still practicing Australian religion and culture!. Well ok, it's kind of been affected a little bit!!!
Come on, at least try to think!
You two reckon they loved the dutch aye! Bugger all effect anyway! Stop just making shit up!
'The Dutch also have plenty of reason to portray a colonial history that is different from reality. The Netherlands of the last couple of decades is a country that emphasizes the importance of human rights and this does not exactly match its 'rich' colonial history. Therefore, the violent nature of its colonial history is often not mentioned. Instead, the VOC period forms a source of national pride to the Dutch knowing that - despite being this tiny European country - it became the world's richest country in the 17th century (Dutch Golden Age), not only in terms of trade and military but also in terms of art and science.
An interesting example is when former Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende became annoyed during a discussion with the Dutch House of Representatives in 2006. Responding to the House's pessimistic views of the Dutch economic future, Balkenende said "let us be optimistic, let us be positive again, that VOC mentality, looking beyond borders." It is an example of selective memory that signals the sense of pride that stems from the VOC period. It is fair to mention that this statement of Balkenende met criticism in the Netherlands.
On the other hand, there are plenty of examples that illustrate that the Dutch are in fact aware of the violent history (including slavery) that were key to turn the Netherlands into one of the world's most advanced nations. For example, statues in the Netherlands that glorify people from the VOC period and the government-led colonial period - such as Jan Pieterszoon Coen and J.B. van Heutsz - have either been removed or are criticized by the local Dutch population.
Another interesting case is the apology that was made by Dutch ambassador to Indonesia Tjeerd de Zwaan in 2013. He apologized for the "excesses committed by Dutch forces" between 1945 and 1949, the first ever general apology. However, the Dutch government has never apologized for all violent events that occurred before 1945.'
CONTRADICTION, now this is a big word that little..... "blowin in the wind ",has used before, eh Herc. fuckenell, throw a line out, & blowin ( the breeze ), is the first kid (fish) to take the bait. i reckon i could catch blowin....... on a dry hook. i have mentioned ta the little kid to be quite, like before on more than one occasion, but some city kids assume that they are clever, yknow i was told that city folk walk faster than us simply country folk. I think this is true, & for a good reason...............
Okay fair enough i did contradict myself a little there, to be honest i was thinking more of the whole of Indonesia and thinking how after 150+ years how little the Dutch really changed things from a cultural perspective thats an official number of occupation but the Dutch first put a settlement in Indonesia just after 1600 and Indonesia got independence in 1945 thats about 340 years of Dutch influence (plus a few years of Japanese occupation)
Now compare that to our influence here in Australia which has only been less than 250 years since Cook pulled up in Botany bay.
But the overall effect and influence on Indonesian culture is very small you really have to go looking for it to find it, it's not like they turned everyone Christian and made them speak Dutch.
Very few Indonesians can speak Dutch most that could have passed away now and there is only a couple of words in Indonesian that are Dutch words.
In regard to how Indonesians feel or felt about the Dutch when i first started going to Indonesia i never knew if i should say my father is from Holland?
But I've learnt most Indonesians couldn't care less some even think that's cool like I'm as close as a foreigner can get to being Indonesian and if the subject comes up the views and opinions are very varied many even think the Dutch were the best thing that happened to Indonesia as made it a productive country and that since they have left things have gone downhill.
And I've talked in depth with my wife's great grandmother who lived through some of that period and could even speak Dutch. (she died about 5 years or so ago but was 90 something)
My old Indonesian teacher was also Dutch but lived in Indonesia most of his life and he was extremely well respected in the Indonesian community in Australia.
So no it's not black and white.
'Okay fair enough i did contradict myself a little there,'
Ha ha, your dreamin again indo. A lot. Making more shit up.
And you just keep making more shit up, totally ignoring (willfully?) facts. The dutch wiped out whole political families, influenced politics amongst regions at a deep, prolonged level. It was a key tactic, used to slowly gain complete control. The obvious ramifications of this are expressed today. Obviously.
Keep dreaming, entertain us!
Indo , don't go and quote the feelings of actual , living Indonesians when we've got the vague assertions of someone that has spent a total of 6 weeks of his life on a Kontiki tour of a few surf breaks. Not to mention he's attended some lectures on the history of a culture totally unrelated to that which we're discussing.
He'd have you think that brown people are all the same - unresiliant victims. No commonsense or ability to fend for themselves. All in need of a virtuous Whitey to ride in on his valiant steed and defend them from.......?
It's a damn shame that the culture of the Mentawai tribespeople are potentially changing , but .....that's the history of the world as far as history goes back.
Who's to say that the Indigenous of Australia weren't forced out of Proto Indonesia by the same people that Herc is now bleating for ?
Or that the Proto Indigenous Australians weren't fleeing Indonesia after some kind of unforgivable transgression ?
Seems some are all to quick to ascribe unassailable virtues to their pet cultures whilst ignoring all possible realities .
How about granting the Indonesians some kind of respect ? God knows theyre an incredibly resourceful people when it comes to dealing with the vagaries of victory and defeat and the ensuing celebrations and recriminations.
To cast them as victims is the condescension that marks those who look at them with feelings of superiority.
And if you're attempting to cast Indonesians as hapless lambs then I question if you've ever set foot in the country.
Silly, juvenile post blowindo. Again, making ridiculous things up, ranting, whilst ignoring blatant contradictions and blatant errors. You are dreaming! Obviously.
'The Dutch‘s influence on Indonesia is still seen today and because Indonesia was imperialized Indonesia is still struggling. These events shaped Indonesia forever when the Dutch had that 347 years of influence on Indonesia. (20)'
' Indonesia has been improving their economy tremendously over the past decade. However, while they are using more and more raw materials they put themselves at risk for "Dutch Disease". Dutch disease is when you exploit too many materials and it leads to a decrease in the manufacturing industry.'
Can someone please describe to Herc that " Dutch Disease " is a generic economics term and doesn't actually refer to the interference of people from the Netherlands in any way , shape or form .
Actually one thing i forgot that is influenced by the Dutch, Indonesias legal system.
Also very importantly Indonesia is based on the areas the Dutch occupied which is generally based on the 1500 century great javanese empire of Majaphait.
Without the Dutch occupation Indonesia as we know it may not even exist.
Like i said there is pros and cons of Dutch occupation and yes at the time mostly negatives for Indonesians but post occupation many positives.
I was curious to read what other Indonesians thought of the Dutch and this thread reflects exactly my experiences, that basically all have different views but overall its water under a bridge.
I'd say half the people in my office couldn't say much at all about the Dutch's time in Indonesia. Bali's a bit more insular I suppose... And most Australians know bugger all about our own history bar a few big names.. But it still surprises me sometimes.
It's quite amazing really that a country can be colonised for hundreds of years and locals become like second class citizens throughout that era which really wasn't that long ago, but there can be such little negative attitudes and strangely enough even positives attitudes.
I remember being a little bit worried when i heard my wife great grandmother could speak Dutch and went through some of the period of history, and we went and visited her, but the funny thing is, she was stoked to met me, she rarely got out of bed and her eyesight poor, and she called me Belanda as just thought any westerner was Dutch, she even tried to talk to me in Dutch.
She couldn't speak Indonesian only Javanese but she told my wife stories of that period and she wanted to hold my hand and she couldn't stop looking at me, this only 90 something nenek wrapped in batik.
It was nowhere near the reaction i was expecting, and every time we went and visited it was always the same reaction.
heres a pic of her
I think part of the problem in understanding the issue from afar is that it's so tainted with local politics and trends that most of us don't understand. I'm sure access to healthcare, to jobs, to opportunities, the impact of transmigration programs, of missionary work, land clearing and forestry, love, pop culture, television, internet, local gossip and politics and so on are all part of the push/pull factors in the decision making process that anyone in the Mentawai goes through as they make a life... and that kind of knowledge is hard to put a finger on if you're not there a lot.
I'm yet to see the film (and bloody Vimeo is still banned so I haven't seen the trailer for a while either), but Rob and the people are working with are trying to answer some of the same questions we are where I am working at the moment. It's less about "preserving a culture" than it is asking 'should I have to give up these important parts of my life to be part of the modern world? Or is there a way to carry on my traditional practices while still being part of a modern, national economy?"
They made a video before my time that explains some of the questions a bit more clearly I think...
100% i remember first going to a village in the Telos about 15 years ago my first visit i was naive in that i thought life was perfect everyone was so happy and friendly, at night there was only one TV in the village and we all went there and watched TV to me it was like this perfect society.
Then i went back a few more times and my friendship developed with the family i stay with and as it did, so did my insight and understanding and in a way i was kind of disappointed that it wasn't really what it seemed, yeah sure there was positive aspects, but there was also many negative aspects, everyone had their little groups and certain families totally avoided each other and didn't get on and there was all kinds of local politics and issues and conflict and jealously and rivalries and behind the smiling faces and friendliness everyone had a very sad story to tell, family members dying of simple and preventable disease, or deaths due to simple things like diving too deep with an air hose and getting the bends and dying just because of lack of education and the family still thinking it was some spirit that killed them.
All these things are way more complex than people think and you could spend all your life in Indonesia and never read understand everything.
Get real. You two are comical. Multiple families dispossessed, ripped off and grovelling in bare little sheds out the back of Kuta. Because their land , homes were stolen to build blowie's and indo's dreamland. Idiots.
Can someone please describe to blowin that " Dutch Disease " is a generic economics term and that has a negative connotation. That an Indonesian journalist used to describe today's situation in Indonesia, that blowin tries to portray as so beneficial.
'Dutch disease is the negative impact on an economy of anything that gives rise to a sharp inflow of foreign currency, such as the discovery of large oil reserves. The currency inflows lead to currency appreciation, making the country's other products less price competitive on the export market.'
'What Dutch disease is, and why it's bad'.
But, thank you for illustrating, highlighting the obvious.
The best thing you two could button is your lips. Mission impossible. Unbuttoned rivers of made up shit.
Lukas, final warning mate. Happy for robust debate but personal attacks won't be tolerated.
Everyone else, apologies this wasn't cleaned up earlier.
justifying modern slavery, so that you can go on a cheap holiday ? makin poor excuses for bad behaviour !!! under paying people, so that they stay poor & continue to turn up to work every day.... to clean up after ya. ( do what you Have ta do mate ).
When is this vid going to be downloadable? i checked a few days ago and it said coming soon.
$2 a day, 7 day's a week, no sick day's, no nothin, & , ya better smile at the tourist's, or you will be black mailed, (so to speak)............ mmmmm. ok then, boss, what a joke............. yer stinkin bali is sooooooooooooo great, eh ben.
Lukas i might start a separate thread on this issue later if i can be bothered (I'm going for a surf soon) but where are you getting you information from?
Yeah for sure exploitation of workers happens in Indonesia as it does in all developing countries, although not as common it even happens in places like Australia.
Okay firstly Indonesia rarely pays workers by the hour or day even weekly they are normally paid by the month, its rare too actually break it down to an hourly rate or per day rate, but i will below just to make things easy..
And no sorry but workers do normally have days off, but its rare to have things like super, although traditionally this hasn't been a problem as culturally the children normally look after the parents once they retire.
The official minimum wage in Indonesia is different in different provinces of which there are 34, its set more on living expenses.
Outside of Jakarta Java in particular central Java has the lowest official wage (about 1.5 million a month) basically because central java is the cheapest area to live, fuel and food and electricity wise while the minimum wage is higher in outer islands where cost of living is higher due to transportation cost of fuel and food etc most of which come from Java or via Java.
Bali minium wage is a bit higher than central Java at about 2 Juta (2 million or about $200 a month) its what most workers at resorts etc should be getting.
If you want to break that down 5 days a week that about 10 dollars a day. (based on a 5 day week)
Doesn't sound like much and it's not and obviously everyone wants to earn more and its never easy to live on minimum wage in any country.
But its all relative to the living cost of each country $200 a month you couldn't survive off in Australia but in Indonesia what it can buy you would be closer to 5 to 10 times what you can get in Australia, it wouldn't be fun but people do get by.(and people who don't pay tax or are on official books or are self employed like a becak driver somehow survive on far less)
To put it in perspective a simple comparison my wife family in central java if they pay rates on their house its most likely about $10 a year (we pay about $5 on land in Sumatra and no rates on other property in the outer islands of Sumatra because land there is not surveyed and registered like non remote areas)
So in central java thats just over a days worth of minimum wage to pay the rates for one year.
In Australia my rates cost me about $1,500 a year
The Aussie minimum wage is $600 + so thats more than two weeks of Australian minimum wage.
Obviously the comparisons vary on everything food, electricity etc is much much much cheaper in Indonesia and most Indonesians don't have other bills we have here like water bills etc unless in big cities but even my wife house in the city has a well.
While some goods can be a similar price like a computer or something although even things like cars and motorbikes are way way cheaper and things like cars, motorbikes, are made specially for an asian market. (but if your rich you can buy the good brand names with western safety standards and quality)
Once again I'm not denying exploitation of workers happens in Indonesia and not just in Bali or tourism ,I'm sure it happens in all areas of the work force.
But if you want to compare what a worker a a central Java resort gets to worker at a Bali resort gets, if they are being paid as they should the worker in Central java will get much less.
And the whole issue is not just as simple as you think or make out, and thinking by boycotting Bali or something you are helping anyone is kind of crazy, it's the exact opposite, if everyone had that attitude, there would be far less jobs for Balinese people especially younger Balinese.
"And the whole issue is not just as simple as you think or make out, and thinking by boycotting Bali or something you are helping anyone is kind of crazy, it's the exact opposite"
Agree why would you boycott?
You get a choice to stay at one of the Generals / Suharto / multinational hotels.......or just stay with the locals applies to all of Indo and if you want pay x 2 the price, great pay it straight to the local family so they can afford to send their kids to Uni or other training.
Or stay at home and tell the rest of the world how toooo..............
BTW ID fantastic timeless photo of your wife's grandmother thanks for sharing.
'100% i remember first going to a village in the Telos about 15 years ago my first visit i was naive in that i thought life was perfect everyone was so happy and friendly, at night there was only one TV in the village and we all went there and watched TV to me it was like this perfect society.'
Haha, that's so amusing. So stupid, but so amusing. TV you say. Wow, sounds real remote! And traditional! No western effect at all! I vividly remember going to Bali 35 - 40 years ago. 20 - 25 years before your TV adventure. I went to West Java just after that. If you had been there then you would have some slight understanding of what blindboy was talking about in his first post. But you don't, through glaring lack of experience.
The asphalt jungle hot box, petrol and jet fume smog cloud, (well, one of them, called 'airports', was a small fishing village. No TV. I stayed for around 4 months, and used to share meals with the fishing families, that lived on that once beautiful beach. In the mornings I would help them launch their boats. The boys were very proud of their fitness, health, strength. Abundant fish, coconuts, papaya, eggs, chicken, avocado, bananas, rice, and all sorts of plants and roots made up their excellent diet. Their parents were proud, proud of their kids too, and fishing was their chosen future.
As blindboy and I talked about elsewhere, Padang was a small fishing village. I slept on the beach, and likewise shared meals with the villagers. They were remote, it was very difficult to get into Padang on foot. TV out there? That's so stupidly funny. Caangu was miles of rice paddies, nothing on the beach except a small hut, where the villagers would rest and relax in the shade. It took ages to do the peacefull walk through the paddies, and interact with the villagers. Ulu's was one hut on the point. Staying with the family there was deluxe. Bingin? Dreamland? Impossibles? Isolated villages. Extremely hard work getting in there. But beautiful people.
'Jam karet' was raised in another thread. Now, well for quite a while, its just become a semblance of a word, nothing like it once meant. What we loved about Bali, and other areas in Indo was long ago destroyed. The screaming jets. 24 hour, non stop circling jets, feeding pertamina and the Suhartos and co, and their sheep, filling them with goodies and bintangs, then branching them out in all directions. Tours, resorts, flights, business's... so 'jam karet', ya reckon? Really? Again, that's funny. Once it meant something. Something so, so different.
They, the villagers fought the change. They openly hated the japs. Pertamina. They all knew what was coming. Sort of. Kutarised. The way it always starts. Little 'fees', little 'charges', 'taxes'. Compulsory 'schooling'. Its free!!! Corruption ahoy! So, suddenly they needed more money. Sell a little bit of land. Some got motors for the boats. Or transport. That means more money. More work. Suharto's boys and girls. Some bit the bullet and got western. Ulus. But, the bukit, airport region got smashed. Suharto. People were terrified. People disappeared or fled. So that other people could slurp bintangs by the pool on the cliff, resting up before watching TV in the telos.
Out the back of kuta is the real Indonesia. They hide it. Half a dozen families a shed. Shed world. One roller door. A tap for the lucky. Dreamland was theirs once.
I met a guy from the US last visit. Through a guy that has a big business there. He was employed to try and fix the sewerage/stormwater situation. He gave up, exasperated and was going home. 'No new buildings... the system can't remotely cope.' But they are exploding up everywhere. Capitalism. Pertamina has huge plans for Indo. They just 'won' the first 'new' contract. Suharto's are getting popular, openly bold again. Their money still is. They lost a pittance. Always bold.
Diving hoses... as blowindo says 'things that they are missing out on', and 'comfort'... that are killing them you say? Killing with comfort! Great. Remote, Traditional diving hoses? Haha, again, stupidly, naively amusing.
It didn't take long for the text book racism 101 to surface.
'but there was also many negative aspects, everyone had their little groups and certain families totally avoided each other and didn't get on and there was all kinds of local politics and issues and conflict and jealously and rivalries and behind the smiling faces and friendliness everyone had a very sad story to tell, family members dying of simple and preventable disease, or deaths due to simple things like diving too deep with an air hose and getting the bends and dying just because of lack of education and the family still thinking it was some spirit that killed them.'
Exactly like a normal neighbourhood anywhere. But its ok for yours, just not them lot. That air hose you gave them that kills them? As they are forced to make more money. To pay the bills. Capitalism 101. 'Them lot have them cave man spirits!' Says a guy who's very constitution is a product, 'humbly relying on the blessings of the almighty God'. And who's culture has a religious movement who 'drinks the blood of Christ', and 'shares his flesh'. While the 'priests' dress up, wave lanterns, hail the spirit, talk in tongues, own all the best real estate, and fuck little kids left right and centre. But them lot have them fuckin' spirits!!! Ours is the real, advanced ones, its in me constertootin aye!
As for that last driveling post? Well it states the obvious. What the fuck are you doing? And to your poor wife and child! Get back over there, I mean, you are a mega Indo connected tradie, married in, so get back, where you can work as a tradie, or one of those other awesome careers you are babbling about. You too can have all those awesome conditions, cars, bikes, cheap everything, holidays, days off, deluxe! Go son! You can get a a couple of meters floor space in a shed out the back too! Get a job in a resort! Or as a tradie! Go son, all the waves are waiting, all that incredible, local lifestyle is waiting! You'll be rich! savings booming! Its all cheap! Great bosses and conditions too! WTF are you doing here! Push the fucking button! Eject into a workers dream!
Ludicrous. STOP FUCKING MAKING SHIT UP!
And yeh, yeh, I know, you went to a BBQ with assorted 35 - 40 years ago Indo experts yesterday, and when the topic of Indo 35 - 40 years ago came up... guess what!!! You are right!!!
I've read some shit on here over the years but Lukas your dribble takes the tart. The frightening thing is you actually think you're killing it.
It's fucking nonsense isn't it..
try reading it out loud, wowza
Does anyone have a pic they can post of the Tracks ad for Bali
the one with the motorbike airfare acomm all inclusive price...mid 70s they started running them by memory.
I'll have a look through some old Tracks mags I've got tomorrow, Udo.
You seen the movie yet ?
What about you , Herc , have you seen the movie ?
Bali Travel Service 76 ,airfares, accommodation ,motorbike ,breakfast (thermos of tea and a banana) $550.00 for a month . Great times !
I think there are some good points made by everyone on this topic.
I have never been to indo and probably never will for the fact that I never want to be part of that machine.
Would have been cool back in the day of pioneering but now its a fuckin disgrace. A massive expolitation of a fragile environment.
You can have it.
Do people really think indos is better off with capitalist expolitation ?
If you're a surfer you really want to get yourself to Indo. It's an incredible place that has to be seen to be believed. Most waves in Australia are a massive disappointment after you've been in the presence of Indo's finest.
Indo is very much like Australia for scale . So many islands that to say it's exploited is to reveal how little you know about it . Not having a go at you , just trying to open your eyes and maybe convince you to check it out.
The stories you hear of crowded streets , pissed tourists and crazy development are 1 percent of the story. Most places are still very undeveloped . Don't confuse the 20km squared of the greater Kuta area with Indonesia as a whole . That's like confusing greater Sydney with Australia.
The people , countryside , food , culture - it's amazing. I've been 50 times or so and still can't get enough . In fact I love it more than ever.
Seriously NZ .....get there.
You'll kick yourself for not going earlier.
Totally agree Blowin.
But id compare Kuta more with the Gold Coast strip.
What do you think the minimum wage should be in Indonesia?
And what kind of affect do you think it would have on Indonesia as a whole if it was raised to that price?
Your right I don't know anything really about the semi untouched stuff but have several mates who make Indo their home for extended periods. They are always trying to get me to go and open my eyes. Maybe a boat trip would be the go for me. I would like to avoid the masses of numpty fucktards that crowd the joint that's for sure. I can barely cope with 15 people in the water these days. So over crowds.
NZ - I don't do crowds either . Still plenty of waves. Plenty of INCREDIBLE waves to be had.
Go with someone that's well versed over there and is like minded and that won't entertain the idea of surfing crowds and you'll love it.
Pick a location and get it wired and get it on .
A boat trip with the best captain / guide you can afford . The boat itself is secondary.
Having said that , you'll have to check out the jewels such as Deserts etc. Some sessions are less crowded than others ...... some times of year are less crowded than others.
But when you see somewhere like Deserts in full cry you will shit your pants. It's properly amazing. Like it was made just for surfing.
Warm water , nice people , tasty and healthy food , beautiful women.
You'll learn what a " Bali high " is . It's the buzz that you carry with you when you leave Indo . Then you return to Australia and lay eyes on the waves that you were so eager to surf before you left and you wonder - " What the fuck was I thinking ? "
Then you go home and don't look at the surf for a few days till your Bali High has worn off and your old desire to surf average waves returns.
Crowds die off when the swell gets up, I am hopeless at hassling etc and have no problems I still ride a short-ish board and pushing 60.
I hesitated in 1976 to go with mates got put off by some of the negative hype BS like you see on here didn't make it until 98................one of the biggest fu(kups of my life.
Cut out the personal attacks, will ya? We're all sick of it. Posts have been deleted.
Haha is it safe to post here Ben.............seriously anyone know if you can pay your $10 and stream?