Farmers and Fishermen

Farmers and Fishermen

During the decades of the 1980s through the 1990s, the profession as a farmer was still promising. At that time, the agricultural land remained widespread. The era of tourism industry was indeed being on top, but the expansion and escalation has not yet run fast and very fast as it does now, let alone be

During the decades of the 1980s through the 1990s, the profession as a farmer was still promising. At that time, the agricultural land remained widespread. The era of tourism industry was indeed being on top, but the expansion and escalation has not yet run fast and very fast as it does now, let alone be before the decades. Profession of farmer with its agrarian culture in Bali remained intense. It is the reason making the tourism of Bali very distinctive and iconic.

Farmers worked to the pursuit of production but they were also very attached to the agrarian culture inspired by Hinduism. A number of agrarian cultural events were held very meaningfully and with spiritual significance. This is the substance why the profession of farmers was very important during the decades. Irrigation organization named subak played a very important role. Everything went in harmony and balance with nature. Construction of life looked like a painting where there should be what, who should do what, how the color should be and so on. In short, everything was clearly defined.

The life of fishermen or bendega also went the same. The dynamics of coastal communities is also similar to the Balinese hinterland. They live their life with religious and cultural spirit. Even though the production figure of fishermen is not a significant thing but their life is no less problematic than that of farmers. Moreover, many of the fishermen run double professions. They do not only catch fish in the sea but also hoe in paddy fields such as farmers. It is enabled by its geographical conditions.

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When the pace of development in tourism industry takes place hard enough, these professions start to get marginalized. Many paddy fields and moors have reduced because they have been converted into tourism facilities and housing complexes. Fishermen experience rather the same fate. Aside from facing the condition of nature, they also face the facts where the coastal areas also have a lot of tourism facilities built and controlled by investors. Instead, the land for just tethering their boats no longer exists.

If the government does not immediately fix this by issuing regulations to protect them, the tradition of farmers and fishermen will become extinct in the long run. They are not able to think of production, let alone keep their tradition. If the government then gives attention to farmers with their subak, at the same it should also be given to fishermen. We want that subak temple of farmers and segara temple of fishermen remain to survive all the time. Do not just present in the stories explained by tour guides to travelers they escort.

If subak has become World Heritage, the supporting elements should also be maintained namely the farmers and their land and so should the fishermen. Currently, even though there is diversification where fishermen develop marine tourism, surely it is another matter. Fishermen’s life cannot be separated from their native culture and ritual. There is a series of Hindu rituals celebrated throughout the year. Other than Segara Temple, the coastal areas are increasingly eroded by abrasion and controlled by investors. (Gde Palgunadi/palgunadigde@yahoo.com)

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