Java, Indonesia on Thursday, March 3, 2016

Java, Indonesia                                                          Wed. March 2, 2016

Tomorrow we land on the island of Java, the most populous island on earth (140 million people), and the place that was heart of the English and Dutch trading posts in earlier times. In fact, the Dutch East India Company (or so we have been told) was the first “megacompany” in the world – 4800 ships, huge profits, shareholders, employees and slaves, and its own colonies and quasi-governmental processes.

Java was ruled by the Dutch for about 350 years, endured Japanese occupation in WWII, and eventually obtained its independence (as part of Indonesia) in 1949. In its history, Indonesia has served as a melting pot of sorts for many ethnicities and religions from China, India, Arabia, Europe and other places. Today Indonesia is largely Muslim (except for Bali, which is largely Hindu). Temples, mosques, pagodas and churches abound, and Java is home to Borobudur, the largest Buddhist monument in the world. We understand that the country is largely harmonious, with certain exceptions such as areas where Sharia law prevails and tolerance is limited.

After obtaining its independence (the fight led by Sukarno), Indonesia was courted by Western powers to prevent its alliance with communist powers, so that its valuable natural resources (copper, nickel, bauxite, forests, etc.) could be available to major western companies, and its critical location would be a platform for western influence in southeast Asia.

Suharto became President of Indonesia in 1968, and the country enjoyed three decades of substantial economic growth (Suharto was forced to resign due to widespread corruption, but he enjoyed a “severance payment” of US$15 million).

We’ll post pictures as we can – the connection via satellite to the internet is not so reliable as we hoped.

Hope you are all well.

Best,

MA

a few more pix from Bali – I promise, no more today!

the entry to a family compound in a village in Bali; entry is on the left, on the right are gardens which line the road; toilets are a new addition to village homes in Bali
the entry to a family compound in a village in Bali; entry is on the left, on the right are gardens which line the road; toilets are a new addition to village homes in Bali
just some of the many steps at Bali's largest Hindu temple in Besakih; all visitors must wear sarongs to cover their legs; many villagers come to Besakih and bring blessing back to their local temples
just some of the many steps at Bali’s largest Hindu temple in Besakih; all visitors must wear sarongs to cover their legs; many villagers come to Besakih and bring blessing back to their local temples
traditional Balinese musicians and chanters at the Port of Benoa when we arrived; the dancer is in the back, waiting to make an entrance and perform.
traditional Balinese musicians and chanters at the Port of Benoa when we arrived; the dancer is in the back, waiting to make an entrance and perform.

more pix from Bali – sorry if these are duplicates; not sure what got onto the site previously

Kurt Gosa, or the Royal Court of Justice, in Semarapura, Bali Indonesia
Kurt Gosa, or the Royal Court of Justice, in Semarapura, Bali Indonesia, where many of our friends and relatives would be right at home arguing or deciding cases!

Balinese dancer at the pier in Benoa.

Balinese dancer at the pier in Benoa.

Rice terraces at Jatiluwih

Rice terraces at Jatiluwih

Busy intersection outside court of justice, with shrine in center and 2 ladies (near the red banners) making an early morning offering to the gods. This photo is messy but shows some of the old and new in Bali - old architecture and shrines, new motorbikes and satellite dishes.
Busy intersection outside court of justice, with shrine in center and 2 ladies (near the red banners) making an early morning offering to the gods. This photo and the next one are  messy but show some of the old and new in Bali – old architecture and shrines, new motorbikes and satellite dishes.

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close up of the ladies offering to the gods in Klung Kung near the Court of Justice
close up of the ladies offering to the gods in Klung Kung near the Court of Justice

 

Photos from Bali, Indonesia

Exotic Bali

Well Bali certainly turned out to be exotic. We are now on our way to Java, Indonesia and expect to arrive tomorrow morning. Here are some photos of some of the sights from Bali. They include shots taken at the Royal Court of Justice, Rice Paddies, the Port of Benoa, a woman carrying produce on her head outside the Holy Besakih Temple and a woman carrying her wares on a beach.

Joe

Woman balancing produce on her head at the Holy Besakih Temple
Woman balancing produce on her head at the Holy Besakih Temple
A section of the  Kerta Gosa, or the Royal Court of Justice, Bali Indonesia
A section of the Kerta Gosa, or the Royal Court of Justice, Bali Indonesia
Photo of the Rice Paddies of Jatiluwih
Photo of the Rice Paddies of Jatiluwih
Greeting at Port Benoa by native Balinese people
Greeting at Port Benoa by native Balinese people
Woman balancing packages on her head while walking on the beach
Woman balancing packages on her head while walking on the beach
Shot taken by the last stairway leading to to the Pura Besakih, the largest Hindu Temple in Bali
Shot taken by the last stairway leading to to the Pura Besakih, the largest Hindu Temple in Bali
Kurt Gosa, or the Royal Court of Justice, in Semarapura, Bali Indonesia
Kurt Gosa, or the Royal Court of Justice, in Semarapura, Bali Indonesia
Woman balancing fruits and vegetables on her head in the market in Bali, Indonesia.
Woman balancing fruits and vegetables on her head in the market in Bali, Indonesia.
A display of an offering to the gods at the Royal Court of Justice.
A display of an offering to the gods at the Royal Court of Justice.
A section of the  Kerta Gosa, or the Royal Court of Justice, Bali Indonesia
A section of the Kerta Gosa, or the Royal Court of Justice, Bali Indonesia