SUBSCRIBE TO MY NEWSLETTER

HERO IMAGE

HERO IMAGE

Strangers In Bali : Who is the stranger?

I was sitting in a beach one day. The thought had been provoking my mind for some time. In Bali, it's not uncommon to see people from different side of the world. Even in some places, you can meet blonde hair blue-eyed people, more than you see us, the natives, the locals. And then one day, I was watching some Indonesian people sitting nearby a rock on the beach. And then there were some foreigners came in and set themselves in right beside the Indonesian group of people. The Indonesian group looked uncomfortable, and then they left. Moved to other part. The foreigners took over the good spot that was left.

That made me think. It's our land, our home, and yet they felt uncomfortable. They became the strangers. Then some other day, I was shooting a pilot project for a new tv show in Padang Padang beach. There was an annual international surfing competition. Beside the food seller, the lifeguards and me, all you can see was blonde hair people. I was one of a few people that you could count with your hands that have brown complexion. I remember thinking to myself joking, that it feels like I need to bring a passport to come here. If these were the settings, I could be the stranger. Funny, isn't it?

Some other time, my friends from US or Australia talked about some places in Bali, which I didn't know about. They had more knowledge about some places, or some cultural things, or some history. And that also made me think, that I were the stranger. For not knowing the things that are around me. The question of who is the stranger turned out to be a question with multiple choices of answers. The word stranger didn't mean people from different country or culture background anymore. It became more complex. It tickled me, it seduced me. I try to capture the answers through this photo series. The interpretation is yours. 

23 comments:

  1. What a thought-provoking post. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I can totally relate with feeling like a stranger in your own homeland.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I have not lived in my country for the most of my life, I remember feeling intimidated even by looking at these people from my country and I also remember how awkward I was around this group of people unable to stop feeling the anxiety of a stranger.. It's funny when I look past those days.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I was one those people in Bali back in April and then I was one of those people in Macau a week ago. Both places are small and full of know-it-all foreigners and the locals dissolve into the crowds. Both times I wondered, where do the locals hang out? Your series is great and food for thought!

    P.S. My favorite place in Bali was Berawa Beach - it was locals only on a Sunday and it was joyous!

    ReplyDelete
  4. How interesting. I know a lot of Aussies holiday in Bali but I didn't realise there were that many tourists there.

    Anyway, Happy Holidays, my dear!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Wow this is actually really interesting and must feel you with a mix of emotions. I personally am one who wishes we were a border-less world and that we all can unite :) ah to dream

    ReplyDelete
  6. Sometimes I have visitors in Los Angeles who teach me about new places, also. I learn a lot of things from people who see where I live with new eyes and new feelings because I tend to take for granted everything around me. It's a very interesting perspective. :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. What a wonderful post. I completely know where you're coming from - and I've seen people here feel uncomfortable around foreign friends. Maybe one day the world will be a complete free place.

    P.S. Thank you for your sweet comment!!

    Laura
    http://lauraslw.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  8. It makes me think about being more conscious as a traveler. I would hate to be the reason someone felt like a stranger in their own country.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I've lived on foreign soil for more than 8 years now, but even after so long I still get those moments when I feel like a total stranger. Lovely post. Very thought-provoking. xx

    ReplyDelete
  10. This is a very interesting way to look at it. I definitely think of Bali as somewhere that I would be comfortable ;)

    ReplyDelete
  11. I meant that we all should stop looking back, because we can't change the past. We have to focus on what's happening now in our lives and take care of the future.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And you're absolutely right! I hope that the new coming year will set a little fire of a great will in our hearts :)

      Delete
    2. :))
      Well... I'm just an average person taking photos just because it makes me feel a little bit happier these pretty sad days. And I'm definitely not a writer :)... Just a student of 'Welcome To Nothing Special' :)

      Delete
  12. interesting question. we are all strangers most of the time. and you are right, it has nothing to do with geographical location or your actual background. I think it's a good experience to go through, to be a stranger or foreigner every so often. it can make you more aware of other cultures and customs. unfortunately, it doesn't have to...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. exactly, in some occasion, even someone that we know for years can be a stranger in a seconds

      Delete
  13. I love this little piece of thought. You observe and have great insight. Helps us to begin conversation on components of our identity.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I remember being advised not to be a stranger in my own land several years ago. I feel like I am a lot of times. Thought-provoking, Niken. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  15. Your "strangers" series reminds me of the (very brief) time that I studied Anthropology in college. What was so interesting (that I found) was that despite the studies of other cultures that Anthropologists did while far away from home, it made them realize just how "foreign" (or strange) their own culture/home is. I find it so interesting when different cultures meet; we really could all learn so much from each other (whether it be adapting/accepting of another culture or understanding more about our own)! I'm loving this series!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Gorgeous shot...This series is amazing. I think it's kind of sad that the locals got up and moved but it was a choice they made, ya know? Due to traveling, I formed opinions and beliefs at a young age - I choose to see us all as one but I know that's easier said than done for many others.

    ReplyDelete
  17. What a great idea for a series. I'm really enjoying your photography! (Going from most recent to now.) And I understand about being the stranger in some ways. I think it's that when people vacation they have time to really go see all the historic spots and things. But when you live there you have a totally different knowledge that is also hugely important.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I am glad to find your blog. Too often, we hear about Bali from outsiders and it is refreshing to know about the place from the perspective of a local.

    ReplyDelete

you can love or hate. but with respect.

© Of Ashes & Bones • Theme by Maira G.