Download Interpreting Balinese Culture: Representation and Identity by Julie A

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Chapter 6
Based on what has been presented within this thesis, it is clear that there are several
major themes within scholarship which have been present throughout the 20th and into the 21st
century. Arguably, the issue of identity, and how identity has been impacted by tourism,
globalization, and other factors as discussed in this thesis, is an important topic and likely will
continue to be so over the next decade. Interestingly, this issue of identity has been largely
fueled by the non-Balinese agent. Since the 16th century, the Balinese have been subject to
discussion of “who they are.” In fact, they have long been told who they are. Hence, it can be
argued that the notion of Balinese identity, at least from an academic perspective, is simply the
result of scholarly construct. The notion of culture itself is also largely a construct, making it
hard to understand or identify exactly what culture is. The problem however is that if all of
these constructs are stripped down, or completely deconstructed, considered nothing more
than construct, we are arguably left with no way to come to any conclusions about the subject,
as any further attempt to do so would then largely be construed as construct and subject to the
same deconstruction. This is one of the difficulties scholars face when they engage in such
The notion that Bali was a “living museum” of pre-Majapahit Hindu Java, first suggested
by early British and Dutch traders and travelers, would be accepted as probable for over 400
years. During colonialism, the Balinese would be reminded again of just who they were, this
time by colonizers who felt that the Balinese system was not rigid, not “Hindu,” enough. As a