How Tourism Is Affecting the Balinese Culture

As Bali has become a more and more popular tourist destination, it has become a bit of a struggle for the native people of Bali to maintain their culture. The presence of a number of fancy tourist resorts and surfing destinations, while lucrative for the nation of Bali, places a strain on its people, both economically and culturally. As Bali continues to grow as a tourist destination, the people of Bali are forced to figure out how to cope with the culture of tourism that is slowly overtaking their own.

Bali is an overwhelmingly Hindu nation with a rich cultural history. Despite being surrounded by mostly Islamic countries, the Balinese have remained devoutly Hindu, and their religion has shaped their rituals and their art. Bali is famous for their rituals. To this day, the Balinese celebrate the Hindu New Year with a day of silence, encouraging even the tourists to remain in their hotels. Even in this modern world, the people of Bali celebrate many events, from cremations to coming of age to temple festivals, with the traditional ritual. This very ritualized and religious way of life is what some of the people of Bali feel is threatened with the rise of commercialism and tourism in their society.

Although the tourism of Bali was briefly slowed by terrorist bombings in 2002 and 2005, the tourism industry in that area has flourished, now surpassing their pre-terrorism levels. In 2010, 2.5 million vacationers visited Bali, in part due to the popularity of the film version of Eat, Pray, Love that was released that same year. As such, there has been a dramatic rise in the number of luxury resorts that have been created in Bali. best attraction Sentosa singapore 

This has affected the people of Bali in a number of ways. The Balinese government established 21 specific tourism zones that cover a quarter of the island, a move that was the subject of intense public debate. The increase in luxury resorts has caused a strain on the public as drinking water levels have dwindled and the demand for energy by these resorts has dramatically increased. Many people have felt the strain caused by the decreased amount of drinking water in Bali and blame it on the heavy usage of the clean water by the resorts. The increase in energy demand caused by the Balinese resorts caused a controversial power plant proposal. This power plant is to be built at a sacred mountain lake called Bedugal, causing a significant outcry of the very religious people of Bali.

Still, some of the people of Bali have found a way to embrace the tourism. Many of the dances of Bali were previously only done in private for their intended ritual purpose. Now, some of the people of Bali have started performing these sacred ritual dances, such as the barong dance, for visiting tourists as a way to make money. New versions of the traditional dances have been designed specifically with tourists in mind, causing some backlash from the more conservative people of Bali. While some of the people of Bali have learned to cope with the increasing tourism, it is likely that the struggle will continue as the tourism industry of Bali continues to grow.

 

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