Thursday, January 11, 2007

Change in Bali: A view from within

In everyone's life, there is always a turning point that makes one take a giant leap toward change.

This also applies to Anak Agung Gde Agung from Bali, a social affairs minister under the presidency of Abdurrahman "Gus Dur" Wahid and the current king of Gianyar in Bali.

His ancestors had their roots in the Central Java ancient Majapahit Kingdom.

The death of his father -- Ide Anak Agung Gde Agung, who served a multitude of top posts during the founding Sukarno presidency -- in April 1999, a few months before he was named a Cabinet minister under Gus Dur, led him to believe that he must take a leading role in the preservation, if not the rehabilitation, of Bali's environment.

This also extended to sociocultural as well as socioreligious life, which, he felt, had been eroded badly due to the strong influence of globalization.

"We should increase people's -- including tourists' -- awareness on the uniqueness of Bali. Otherwise, Bali will only be seen as a place of everything for everybody."

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