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Perception on nudity

Contradict to what it may appear on general perspective, where villagers are considered more likely to be introvert and bound to customs, women in the villages of Bali are more palpable when it comes to nudity. Hereditary from their ancestors, years ago it's common for women to only dressed in sarong with nothing covering their upper side body. Originally topless, Balinese women looked at the exposed breasts not as a sexual symbol, but as objects that give lives and nurture. In this article, it's explained that after more and more Westerners in Bali due to the Dutch colonialism in Indonesia, Balinese women started to cover their upper side body to look more modern as nakedness implied primitive savagery for the European in the early part of 20th century. 

Even though you might not seen this around the city like Denpasar, but when you dig out over to the rural or the area outside the city, you still can find this generation of women. When I stayed in a village in the northern side of Bali for work a couple of months ago, I saw most of elder women dressed in the old ways. Only sarong covering their below part while their breasts are exposed. As younger woman one to three generation below them are dressed more covered like general people nowadays, still you can find them breastfeeding in public openly, even with the present of men or guests. 

9 comments:

  1. Beautiful....I think they have it right. If you look at the human body it is meant for those purposes. We over think it all so very much in our modern times. Your photo is stunning. Wishing you a lovely day! Nicole xo

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  2. What a beautiful photo. It's sad how much society influences our perceptions of what is right and wrong about our bodies... especially when they are so amazing just as they are.

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  3. beautiful photo
    of a strong and beautiful woman
    i feel a little sad
    knowing that the Dutch colonailisme
    stange things....
    hmmm, you make me think

    with love
    Patrice A.

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  4. This is absolutely stunning and I love hearing about this. I know so little about the Dutch influence (?) in Indonesia - while I actually am Dutch and know bad things have happened since my grandfather never told me any details. Anyway, thank you for sharing this. I'm not one for nudity, but that aside, Indonesia keeps intriguing me.

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    1. Hi Louise,
      the Dutch has a great influences in Indonesia since we were under their colonialism for about 3 and a half century. My grandpa was in the army, so I've heard stories about that time.

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  5. I really love to learn more about your culture. It's kind of sad that the women had to change their ways because of external influences. I feel that nowadays lots of people feel so ashamed of their bodies. I mean, I have seen people being offended when mothers breastfed their babies in public. It's just natural! Thanks for sharing!

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  6. Oh wow very interesting culture.
    xx

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  7. I love the Balinese people and customs and the old ways.
    Thank you for sharing this. I had no idea.
    xo

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  8. I love your beautiful posts & thoughtful commentary on cultural differences as well as stunning photography. Thank you for always opening eyes & broadening our understanding.

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