Having shared his thoughts on preparing Bali for when travel re-opens again in his last article, “After Covid-19: What Next?“, Alistair Speirs shares another idea.
With Bali empty right now, it gives the island an opportunity to reinvent itself when it welcomes visitors again. Now is the time to say, “Hey, who do we want to be? How do we want the world to see us?” Well, using inspiration from his homeland, Scotland, who have truly mastered promoting their ancient heritage and history, he shares how the UK’s “Heritage Cycle” can effectively direct us on a path to promoting Bali the right way.
The English Heritage Society created a really meaningful “virtuous circle” which really appealed to me. A virtuous circle as opposed to the opposite, a downward cycle of destruction (i.e. vicious. cycle), is a process of self-improvement and positive reinforcement.
This circle was something they had figured out worked for the appreciation and preservation of historical and cultural sites, and was therefore something to try to apply to all the castles, monuments, country houses, ruins and countryside under their control.
It works like this : (and you can start at any point) if you love something you will want to preserve it and look after it, if you preserve something you will want to understand it more and learn more about it, if you learn more about it you will come to love it and appreciate its uniqueness and significance, and so on. It really works.
So how does this apply to Bali? Well it’s interesting. So many people say “I Love Bali” but instead of learning more about it, and striving to preserve it, instead “developing it” without care and attention to the factors that are needed to preserve and nurture it. They live there for years but never learn the language (or even Bahasa Indonesia), never find out about ceremonies or festivals or the core beliefs, never study the village structure, the “subak” system for the fields, the dance, the music, the art. But somehow they say ”I Love Bali” when they mean they love the Lifestyle, the cocktails, the weather, the freedom.
But if you really love Bali try to be part of its preservation and appreciation, and do everything you can to stop its continual degradation and dilation.
Alistair G. Speirs, OBE
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