Name: Ketut Mantra
Age: 65
Occupation: Retired teacher
Location: Tuwed village, Negara

What’s the greatest lesson life has taught you?

When I graduated from junior high school, Jembrana Regency didn’t have a high school yet, so I had to continue my education in Banyuwangi (East Java). Fortunately, one year later, a public high school opened in my regency, so I could go home and continue my studies. After graduation, I became one of the first generation of workers at the Bali Beach Hotel. Unfortunately, the hotel had to be closed during the communist movement. During that time I became a teacher in a new private school in my village. My method of teaching was centered around discussion, and as a result the level of the graduating students at the school was very high. I learned that education and discussion are very important tools to pass through this life.

What’s most important?

Education, not for just teenagers or adults; education should be started as early as possible.

What advice would you give the younger generations?

The younger generations should be brave in overcoming every obstacle they face. They have to learn to survive, not be spoiled and be especially strong in the face of temptation from technology and globalization.

Are you worried about dying?

No. When the time comes, I will face it. It is a situation you can’t stop or avoid, but I hope I can die naturally, not because of a sickness or an accident.

When was the happiest time of your life?

It will be when my children succeed in finishing their schooling and get the jobs they want.

And the worst?

I have no memory of one precise event that has made me very sad, because I don’t like to remember sad times. But I will feel disappointed if I can’t provide money for schooling for my children, and have to go get a loan from the bank, or borrow money from relatives.

What’s humanity all about?

Humanity is about community and harmonious living. Humans are social beings that have to live in communities, both on a small scale, like family, to the bigger scale of society. In communities, whether big or small, harmonization is a must.

Why are there so many conflicts in the world?

Politics are the main cause of conflicts. Politicians are often just thinking of their own interests, not the interests of common people.

Is a peaceful world impossible?

Yes. A peaceful world is just an expectation that can’t be realized. For me, it can only can be created in a puppet story.

How old do you feel?

I feel much younger than my real age. Though my age is 65, it’s just a number. I have a young spirit and soul.

Is there anything you still want to do?

Yes, I still want to help my village develop further.

Is one lifetime enough?

No. I hope I will have other lives to pass through, until I have completely redeemed my sins.

How has Bali changed since you were a child?

There are a lot of differences. In the past it was hard to find certain things, such as fertilizer or agricultural tools, which are now easily found. In the past, we lived happily with just bikes, while now we have to have a motorbike or even a car. Necessities are getting more and more complex but are more easily found. Bali used to have a lot of beautiful art forms that are now gone or very rare, such as Jenggong, Bumbung Gebyok, Leko, Adrah, Genggong.

Has tourism been good for Bali?

It’s been very positive. Tourism opens a lot of job opportunities and Balinese art can be revived through tourism.

What’s the major difference between the East and West?

Their social life. Westerners are more individualistic while, people in the East are more social.

Have you ever doubted your religion?


What makes you so sure of it?

I was born with my religion. For me, living with my religion is my ancestors’ desire. I serve my ancestor’s message and it is my dedication to them, which satisfies me.

Filed under: LifeTimes

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