Mutual Assistance

Mutual Assistance

No one wants to be a refugee either due to natural disasters, war, economic difficulties or whatever the reason is. The most comfortable and safe place is certainly at one’s own home, home sweet home. However, the facts frequently give the opposite reality. They must evacuate and leave their homes, paddy fields, moors as well

No one wants to be a refugee either due to natural disasters, war, economic difficulties or whatever the reason is. The most comfortable and safe place is certainly at one’s own home, home sweet home. However, the facts frequently give the opposite reality. They must evacuate and leave their homes, paddy fields, moors as well as livestock.

Adult people must leave their job while children leave their school and home to a new place called refugee camp. Indeed, they do not entirely live in refugee camps. Some also go to their relatives’ home.

This is what happens today. When the Mount Agung shows its volcanic activity approximately 140,000 people are forced to evacuate to a safer place with all the provisions and properties that can be brought.

There is a lesson that can be learned from this incident namely the implementation of the concept of manyama braya (mutual assistance) owned by Balinese people. Menyama braya can be freely interpreted as a sense of brotherhood in wider context. It tends to refer to feeling, heart, thought and so on. It does not only refer to the action. It is sense of ‘being in the same boat’ when seeing others are suffering as hit by disaster.

Why not, as soon as there is a wave of evacuation after the Mount Agung was declared to be in warning status, without any command Balinese people distribute their assistance in the form of food, medicine, blankets as well as clothes or others. All people are united under the command of the government.

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Thousands of volunteers joined in to lend a hand. This is the concept of manyama braya totally applied as the ancestral concept that has a universal nature. It is eliminating the bulkhead of differences among human beings that we are truly brothers. It’s truly extraordinary. It is a sense of empathy, sympathy and then going hand in hand to help others in need due to disaster. (Gde Palgunadi/gdepalgunadi@gmail.com)



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