Written By love on Wednesday | 08:14
In villages life is concentrated under the tropical vegetation of palm, breadfruit, mango, papaya, and banana trees. The centre of a village has an open meeting space, temples, the town market, perhaps a former prince's home, the kulkul (hollow tree-trunk drum used to sound a warning or call meetings) tower and quite likely a big banyan tree. The banjar (local division of village consisting of all the married adult males) continues the strong community spirit by organising village festivals, marriage ceremonies, cremations and the local gamelan (traditional Balinese orchestra). The headquarters is the open-side bale banjar (communal meeting place of a banjar) where you might see a gamelan practice, a meeting, food being prepared for a feast, or men preening their roosters for the next round of cockfights.
In the more urbanized south however, life embodies many of the same hassles of modern life anywhere. There's traffic, noise that drowns out even the loudest barking dog and various social ills such as drugs. There is though still a concept of village life under it all in that people are part of a greater group beyond their immediate family. This is important as women are finding much to do outside of the home, whether it's work or even cultural activities, Child care becomes an adult responsibility, not just a family or maternal one. In the end, an air-conditioned mall fills in for the village banyan tree as a meeting place for many.