Sudaji village shows real Balinese life
Admin dispar | 10 Oktober 2013 | 1128 kali
by Ni Komang Erviani on jakarta post.com/2013-10-09
Elaborate: The gate of Sudaji’s village temple is elaborately adorned with carvings of flora, fauna and mythical figures.
Sudaji village in Buleleng regency, north Bali, is one of the remaining spots on the island that is proud of its rural, agricultural life.
Located 15-kilometers east of the Buleleng capital of Singaraja, Sudaji is renowned as the regency’s rice basket, producing high quality and original rice varieties such as beras Sudaji (Sudaji rice), Salah Bulu (Salah Bulu rice) and Cicih Gundil (Cicih Gundil rice).
The village, however, has not been immune from modern farming systems with the excessive use of “western” produced seeds and chemical-based fertilizers that boost rice production but endanger the environment and threaten the village’s original rice varieties.
Realizing the downsides of modern cultivation on the environment and harvest yields, local farmers started to reuse their age-old farming style — organic farming using original seeds and planting methods.
The results have been promising with more eco-friendly and sustainable farming. Harvest yields are abundant.
To express their gratitude for the ample harvests, farmers perform traditional rituals, such as Bukakak Guling.
This is a post-harvest celebration dedicated to Dewi Sri, the goddess of rice and fertility. The harvest
fiesta usually takes place in July, but the lavish preparations may have already started a few months ahead of the celebration, during seed planting.
In addition to its plentiful rice production, Sudaji is also renowned as a center for tropical fruits, such as mango, mangosteen, durian and many others.
Over the last few years, Sudaji has developed as an eco-tourist destination involving the local community in rural tourism activities.
Visitors to the village will be invited to stay in modest accommodation, many of which are the homes of local farmers. Rows of houses still maintain traditional Balinese architectural styles.
From early morning, they will experience life in a Balinese village.
Visitors will also mingle with the locals when visiting the village market, which sells traditional Sudaji meals and delicacies such as embutan (mixed vegetables in a spicy sauce). But this dish is found only on religious occasions, such as during the village temple anniversary.
“The beauty and authenticity of Sudaji has appealed to many visitors and we are eager to keep the village in this condition,” said Suharsana, one of the pioneers of the village’s rural tourism development.
- Photos by Ni Komang Erviani