numerous occasions I have witnessed Balinese in full ceremonial dress pull up at the seafront in a flatbed truck fully laden with rubbish from a ceremony then dump it in the ocean. Recently an article appeared in Time magazine entitled: “My Holiday Hell”. The article highlighted the problems Kuta Beach had with rubbish, amongst other things, and it caused a bit of a stir on the island.
A Balinese regent and spokesman in charge of rubbish collection came out and released a statement to the press in which he claimed the rubbish problems on Kuta Beach were not the fault of the Balinese. This rebuttal to the Time article was entitled “Kuta Merely Victim of Wind-Blown Rubbish: Regent”. In the article, the Balinese regent was quoted as saying that “This rubbish that is washing up at Kuta Beach is all from outside Bali. Nothing is locally produced; it’s all from outside Kuta. Kuta is just a victim … For example, we all know there are no forests in Bali, but the rubbish that washes up in Kuta includes logs. Also, there’s lots of plastic that certainly didn’t originate in Kuta … we also hope that Indonesians outside of Bali will stop throwing their rubbish into the sea and making Kuta a victim.”
This is the Balinese mindset, it is also perhaps why Balinese never seem to be taken to task for what happens in Bali. Far from what the Balinese like to present to the outside world, all the criminals in Bali are not Javanese. There are good, honest and kind people from all over Indonesia who live in Bali. There are also good, honest and kind Balinese people, but they are not the problem. The problem is that misdeeds are often expertly hidden or passed off as somebody else’s responsibility.