The more I learn about people and culture, the more I realize how little my knowledge is. That is how life to me is about learning…
I don’t know much about Bali but this is my story of four months in Bali, this beautiful island that rich with culture. I have seen little to say how people sometimes act like a shit and un-respect to local custom.
Back in history, Bali just like other places in Indonesia were naked. However, women have always been a central of attention in the history. Antonio Blanco admired the firm breast and the beauty of Balinese woman on every painting he made. Then somehow being naked equal to un-civilized, that we have to covered our body. We accept that as part of history… we are wrapped now.
Yesterday we saw women – foreign tourist with bikinis on the motorbike on the street. Woman with thin dress that showed the bra are everywhere. Man topless with short are everywhere. If you are a foreign tourist, everything seems acceptable. Even if it against the local culture, people tend to stay quiet to make a comment.
Few weeks ago, I stopped on motorbike at the red light. There were one family with two children on the motorbike next to foreign tourist with local woman. The tourist hands touching every part of the woman, on public, next to the children! How the hell I supposed to feel? I got annoyed obviously.
So many times, I have heard that Bali is heaven, you can do whatever you want to do. I do not feel comfy about it. I heard people just watch when a couple hit each other at my flat (before I stay there). No one complains when two men’s talking out loud at 2 am in the morning when others supposed to sleep tightly. Or girls just came back from work at 3 am and keep chating until 5 am in the morning. That’s not kind of ‘OKAY’ to bother others’ right of rest! That’s not OKAY to keep silent to violence.
It is NOT OKAY to looking at me un-respectfully like I am an easy local girl, and underestimate my brain. We can argue all the time, talk all the time, and look who got the brain now.
Bali is the Island of God. We respect God and His creation, including human being and nature. We respect God, and human, do pay the same respect to us as a human.
What I am trying to say is please be an ethical tourist, be human, pay respect to others. You can wear your bikinis on the beach, but not all around the place, oooh please… go topless on the beach, it means to be, but please wear your shirt as you enter the shopping mall or cafes, it is not a nude restaurant dude!
Pay respect to woman! Not all woman is a gold digger, and easy as you thought.
There is something called, Ethical Tourism which means tourism that benefits people and the environment in different destinations. It can offer a better income to families living in the area, by sourcing products and service locally.
In my perspective, it also means to respect locals (customs, culture and environment) and people who travel with ethic, let’s call them an ethical tourist.
To end, just because you have money, does not mean you can buy everything and act like shit whatever you like. If you are entered a new house, show some respect to the house owner as we respect you as our guest.