A Balinese New Year’s Message

The fascinating aspect of this hill station is its people. One of them is I Wayan Darsa, who is married to Ni Nyoman Putri and has three young children, Yanik, Dewi and Aima. Their dog Doo Doo is the self-appointed guardian of Wayan’s home.

This is a Balinese’s New Year’s message to all who arrive from far-off lands to make a nest in the hills.

My family has been living in Ubud for over 100 years. I shifted to this house in Sanggingan in 1982.

Twenty five years ago, Ubud was a quiet and peaceful place. Nowadays, with the many restaurants, hotels and other buildings, a part of this town, near the market, is beginning to look like Kuta. We should be careful about this development as slowly all the ricefields are disappearing. Without ricefields Ubud does not exist.

Even the climate has changed in the last five years. It’s gotten warmer and more humid.

But all is not lost. There is much natural beauty in Ubud and this is thanks to the many people who live here who are conscious about the environment. It has been the royal family in the Ubud Palace that have looked after Ubud, and I hope this continues.

Tourists in Ubud should stay at least one night in a Balinese homestay, as they will get the get a feel of the culture here and can also taste good Balinese home cooking.

Tourism this year has risen, but sales at my furniture and craft shop are more or less at the same as last year.

I have one message for the New Year to all who come to Ubud – please keep it clean and take part in all the wonderful religious ceremonies that we have here. Ubud is a special place in Bali, not only for Balinese but the many creative people from many countries who have made it their home. (MU/BT)

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