Various people say that Balinese people have a special adaptability against the entry of foreign cultures and influences. As a tourist destination of the world, like it or not, it has become a thing that should happen where Balinese people, especially in tourist areas, directly get in touch with strangers. Even, for some people, groups and circles, the interaction can be very intense.
Is this really an adaptation? I try to observe this in terms of different perspective. Instead, in more extreme view, the praise about the adaptability actually poses a subtle ‘satire’ against the real contemporary condition of Balinese people. The adaptation may be considered as an acculturation, protection, preservation or even a self-education against external values and then reflected as cultural acquisition.
Well, in the process will appear an acculturation with mutual respect. Then, it may be creating a new culture or new ideas that ultimately empty out into revitalization, enrichment against the existing entities. It is something like an addition to new strength for the old culture in order to be able to become more resistant and adaptive amidst the cultural complication due to the onslaught of globalization.
Again, is this indeed truly adaptive? Probably, it is actually a ‘warning’ and cynicism due to sublime values beginning to be eroded and replaced by pragmatic, economical and very hedonistic values. Actually it is a criticism and we can widen it again become a self-criticism. The adaptability even bears increasingly duplicative spirit leading to the onset of degradation on the existing values and norms.
We’re getting more ‘adaptive’ to the values upholding liberalism and capitalism, increasingly drawing back and tending to isolate ourselves from the existing sublime order. Similarly, we’re getting accustomed to living in a very westernized lifestyle. Meanwhile, on the other hand, this phenomenon is also poised with the spirit to remain steadfast and roots in traditional culture inspired by Hinduism. It’s very clear.
Will this continue to go hand in hand? We do not know for sure. Thus, the vivacity and adaptability having been revealed by various circles should be addressed from a different perspective. Maybe we can learn more from their perspectives. Hopefully, it can be so!