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Bali’s architectural dilemma: Tradition vs progress

15 6 12
05.12.2018

TOURISM is the lifeblood of Indonesian island, Bali. While there are, of course, many local people living there, over 50 percent of their livelihoods are powered by the huge inflow of visitors that drive the island’s economy.

Each year proves to be a record setter for new arrivals with more than 6.5 million flocking to Bali’s shores this year. That’s up from 5.7 million the year before and 4.9 million in 2016.

And it’s showing no signs of slowing down with the Indonesian government targeting 20 million visitors in 2019; an anticipated 8 million of whom will be to Bali.

SEE ALSO: Southeast Asian districts popular for expat living

But it’s not all upside to this ever-growing crusade for tourist numbers. The influx of outsiders, and the development that inevitably comes with them, is posing a conundrum for this relatively small island that finds itself grappling between tradition and progress.

Bali culture

Bali has a very unique culture, different even from other parts of Muslim-majority Indonesia given its predominantly Hindu population, a religion that still holds significant influence in shaping the island.

Nicknamed the Island of the Gods, Bali is inextricably linked to spirituality and harmony, much of which is expressed through its art and design. Nowhere is this more obvious than in its distinct architecture.

Balinese architecture is one of the most recognisable tropical architectural styles, popular not just in Asia, but globally. It has a distinct flair for being in harmony........

© Asian Correspondent