Introspeksi - or self-analysis - offers answers for survivors


Artykuł pochodzi z pisma "Guardian"

A year after the Bali nightclub bombs killed 202 people, islanders are still suffering the repercussions

John Aglionby in Ulakan, Bali
Saturday October 11, 2003
The Guardian

The 300 Balinese sitting on Ulakan beach flicked through fragrant petals in trays made from woven palm leaves resting in their laps. Most selected a couple of red ones, put them between their palms which they raised to their foreheads and began to pray.
With the men in white shirts and ceremonial headbands and gold sarongs, and the women in brightly coloured lace shirts, matching sarongs and sashes, the blaze of colour in Thursday's afternoon sun contrasted with the grey sand and sombre mood.
"We are praying for better times," explained Nyoman Suwartama as everyone processed back to the village temple with the sounds of the gamelan band echoing off the arching palm trees. "Not just here in Bali but around the world."
Mr Nyoman, 30, says he has more reason to pray than most. Several weeks after the nightclub bombings last October 12 that killed 202 people, including 88 Australians and 26 Britons, he was fired by the gypsum company he had worked for in the island's capital Denpasar for five years.
"After the bombing, construction work stopped because the tourists were not coming so the economy ground to a halt," he said. With nowhere else to go, he and his wife returned to his parents' home in Ulakan, about 35 miles to the north-east.
"We too are victims of the bombing even though we live so far from where it exploded," he said. "There are dozens of us in Ulakan and the situation is the same in every village round here." The family's hardship is deepened by the fact that his parents not only have two extra mouths to feed but are no longer receiving the monthly donations that Mr Nyoman, like most Indonesians working in cities, used to send.
Official statistics do not exist about the socio-economic impact of the world's worst terrorist attack since September 11 and whose first anniversary will be marked with a variety of ceremonies. But research by the World Bank and United Nations makes grim reading for an island heavily dependent on tourism.
Occupancy rates of four and five-star hotels plummeted to about 10% and just as they were recovering the industry was hit by the fallout of the war in Iraq, then the Sars virus and, this summer, the Marriott hotel bombing in Jakarta.
Streets in some tourist centres such as Kuta - where the two biggest bombs exploded - are significantly busier than a few months ago, although many of the people are unemployed locals. But only counting bodies on beds presents a distorted reality, according to Robert Kelsall, the chairman of Casa Grande, Bali's 53-member large hotel association.
"Yes we're seeing a bit of a recovery, but the people who are coming are not the big spending Europeans, Japanese and Australians," he said. "It's more domestic visitors and tourists from the Asian region, particularly Taiwan."
Made Widia, a driver and guide in Candidasa 10 miles east of Ulakan, said he worked virtually every day before the bombing. "I did not have a single day's work from the bombing to February," he said. "Now I work about once a week, but I still have to borrow money from friends to survive and keep my children in school. But I consider myself lucky. Many people are worse off than me."
Travel advisories from countries such as Britain and Australia warning against all non-essential travel to Indonesia are a major contributing factor to the slump, but diplomats say that with the continuing terrorist threat they are not likely to be lifted soon.
This is despite regular and increasingly desperate pleading from Jakarta and the conviction of most of the bombing's main perpetrators. With more time on their hands, the predominantly Hindu Balinese are engaging in a great deal of what they call "introspeksi", or self-analysis.
Many are becoming more religious and the ceremonies like the one at Ulakan - which was just the opening of a five-day festival unconnected to the bombing anniversary - are noticeably longer, grander and more frequent than in the past. "People are looking for answers," said Ida Pedanda Gede Made Gunung, one of the most senior Hindu priests on the island. "Why was Bali bombed? What had we done wrong? How can we prevent it happening again?"
He advocates a four-pronged approach. "Heneng" or calmness and control of one's emotions; "Hening" meaning clarity of thought; "Eling" never to forget we are only human; and "Awas" always be vigilant.
While no one on Bali says the bombing was a blessing, many people believe it has put a much-needed break on what was becoming an unbalanced lifestyle. I Nyoman Sadra, who promotes development in rural areas, likens the situation to a tree growing unsustainably.
"Over the last few years, the roots or what made Bali so special - the culture, the religion, the natural beauty -- could no longer support the branches and leaves of unstructured and unplanned mass tourism development," he said. "Everything was just growing out of control."
Efforts in the last 12 months to restore the balance have been haphazard at best, and virtually everyone blames the government for having no clear plan. "People walked out of a recent Indonesian government presentation at a tourism conference in Australia because it was so badly organised," one western hotelier said.
Most Balinese are equally dismayed. "The government promised 120bn rupiah [£8.6m] in the Bali recovery fund but I've got no idea where it went," said Made Wendra, who until a couple of months ago was the Kuta village chief, lives about 150m from the bomb site and could have expected a sizeable proportion of it. "They speak a lot but we haven't seen much action on the ground."
Everyone points to the refusal of the Indonesian president, Megawati Sukarnoputri, to attend tomorrow's commemoration as a case in point. Her reason is that the Balinese, who held a cleansing ceremony last November, do not believe in the need for further events.
Made Gunung says that while technically she is correct, there are wider issues. "Bali is an international island and the bombing was an international tragedy," he said. "For many people it is important to commemorate the innocent souls that were lost. We understand that, respect it and support what is happening."
The one exception as far as government inertia is concerned is security, which has improved enormously.
Inspector General I Made Mangku Pastika, who led the bombing investigation, has been appointed the island's police chief and transformed the force. He put more officers on the streets, created beach patrols and is introducing an emergency 911 telephone service.
"What Mr Made Mangku is doing is a good start," said Made Gunung. "But I cannot yet be optimistic until there is better balance in people's lives. The goal is still far and the road is long."

commemoration – obchody upamiętniające
domestic – krajowy
fallout – skutek, efekt
to flick – przebrać palcami
four-pronged – cztero-elementowy
fragrant - pachnący
gypsum – gips
grim – ponury
to grind to a halt – powoli się zatrzymać
headband – opaska na głowę
haphazard – przypadkowy
hardship – trudności
inertia – bezwład, inercja
lace – koronka
on laps – na kolanach
palm – dłoń
petals – płatki
to perpetrate – popełniać
plummet – gwałtownie spadać
predominantly – przeważająco
repercussions – reperkusje, konsekwencje
sarong – rodzaj opaski na biodra
sash – szarfa
sombre – ponury, mroczny
slump – kryzys
tray – taca
unsustainably – niestabilnie, nie zwracając uwagi na środowisko
woven – pp. od weave, utkany


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