Saturday, November 3, 2007

The Bali Cookbook

THE Bali Cookbook by Lonny Gerungan, photographs by Warren Bright (Kyle Cathie/Simon & Schuster, $34.95) is a fiesta of retro colours, with pages of teale blue, burnt orange, lime and hot pink interspersed with white. Frangipani, hibiscus and banana leaf or panels of Balinese fabric decorate the pages. The effect is to highlight the vibrancy of the dishes.

In a foreword, the author says his book "paints a picture of the daily life of the Balinese"; a second foreword is by the Governor of Bali, who sees Gerungan as an ambassador (he has made TV programs in The Netherlands and authored other books).

Gerungan refers to the food's religious connections and says recipes have not traditionally been recorded on paper and are in danger of being lost.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Bali artist offers modern wayang performance

A fusion between a traditional wayang (shadow puppet) performance and modern technology has impressed Jakartans during a two-day show at Graha Bhakti Budaya hall in Taman Ismail Marzuki, Cikini, Central Jakarta.

The performance, called Wayang Listrik (electric puppet), amused the audience with its funny and critical dialogue presented by one of Bali's most accomplished puppet masters, I Made Sidia.

The 40-year-old puppeteer kept the audience laughing with his brilliant and innovative jokes in both English and Kawi, an ancient Javanese language.

In his Thursday performance at the hall, Sidia mocked Malaysia over the country's recent dispute with Indonesia through use of the traditional Indonesian song Rasa Sayange, which Malaysia had used in its tourism campaign.

In Sidia's Tualen's Journey story, Tualen, the main character, meets a wild tiger on his travels that he tries to tame by singing the Indonesian national anthem, Indonesia Raya.

However, the tiger in the story becomes angry upon hearing Tualen sing the anthem, after which Tualen asks, "You must be a Malaysian tiger then, huh?".

Earlier: Folk song sparks row between Indonesia, Malaysia

FASHION MEETS ART AT THE 7TH ANNUAL BALI FASHION WEEK, NOVEMBER 2007

Now entering its seventh year, Bali Fashion Week07 (BFW07) has grown into one of the island’s foremost arts & culture events. BFW07 distinguishes itself from previous events with a “Fashion Meets Art” theme. The aim is to encourage local artists and designers to draw on the rich cultural and artistic qualities of life in Indonesia and incorporate them into their work in ways that will empower them and help them succeed in international markets. In this sense, “Fashion Meets Art” becomes an interface where creative individuals like designers, artists, musicians, painters, sculptors and dancers can come together, whether through performance or via installations.

BFW07 is taking place between 22 and 25 November and will present Bali’s principal forum for hosting international fashion shows, with local designers like Oka Diputra, Muji Ananta, Putu Aliki and Alik Charisma of Bali joined by the likes of Rajo Laurel and Ivarluvski of the Philippines, Choi Boko of Korea, Henry Lau of Hong Kong, Kerry Grima of Australia and many more.

Rather than focusing solely on fashion shows, BFW07 will divide its activities into two categories – Trade Show and Expo, both of which will take place at the Discovery Kartika Plaza Hotel. The aim is to highlight the selected works of Indonesian designers as well available textiles and accessories. These will be made visible to international buyers attending the event, thus creating an important environment for the building of business relationships that in turn encourage Indonesia’s economic growth.

As regards education, BFW07 is conducting a series of focused seminars that look at the key current issues in the realms of design and fashion. Both national and international keynote speakers will attend.
There will also be a competition, divided into three subcategories – Models Competition, Photography Competition and Going Green Handbag Design Competition. These competitions are a useful tool in identifying emerging talent and ideas within the Indonesian fashion industry. The winners will be heavily promoted with a view to involving them in Hong Kong Fashion week in January 2008, as well as receiving prizes from sponsors.

The finale of BFW07 will take place on Sunday, November 25th with a street carnival entitled fashiOnNthestreet. Designers, arts and theatre communities, students, local banjars (village units) and businesses. It will be an opportunity to take the “Fashion Meets Art” theme out onto the streets and into the reality of the public at large. The travelling exhibition will make its way around Kuta and Kuta beach areas. A referee will select three participants to receive the awards in different fashion categories. A genuine community event, fashiONthestreet will bring together the creative people, the public and tourists to Bali. To enrol in the FashionONthestreet competition, visit www.balifashionweek.com

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Nine-month tourist arrivals up 13.5 percent to 3.36 million

The number of tourists arriving in Indonesia rose 13.5 percent to 3.36 million in the first nine months, data from the Central Bureau of Statistics showed Thursday.

The increase was driven by a rise of 33.7 percent to 1.29 million arrivals in the resort island of Bali.

Jakarta's Soekarno-Hatta airport, the second largest entry point, reported 854,492 arrivals, little changed from 854,323 a year ago.

Batam, an industrial island near Singapore, recorded a 5.1 percent increase to 791,571 arrivals.

In September alone, arrivals via the country's 15 entry points dropped to 382,461 from 405,604 in the preceding month.

Data from the Tourism Ministry showed 4.87 million foreign tourists visited Indonesia in 2006, with total spending of 4.45 billion US dollars.

Harmoni Hotel's Official Website Undergoes Improvement

Harmoni Hotel in Batam, Indonesia continues to bring quality service to its valued guests through the reconstruction of their official website. While guests can still log on to Harmoni Hotel's old website, the hotel management believes that a newly improved website will enhance the guests' experience, especially when making online reservations. Thus, the official website of the hotel will be undergoing a revamp and is expected to be re-launched this November.

Casually elegant accommodations coupled with a wide array of facilities are the trademarks of Harmoni Hotel. This stately hotel in Batam also believes in providing its guests with maximum convenience through speedy service via its website.

Potential guests can choose from the hotel's 246 furnished rooms and suites and view its impressive facilities by logging on to the Harmoni website. What's more, they can check for room availability and rates when they visit the hotel website. Online reservations are also made easy as guests can receive instant confirmation once they book a room online.

For more information about this Batam hotel, visit: http://www.harmonigroup.biz/hotel/Index/index.php.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Forgotten Image of Bali

The first European visitors to Bali saw much different Bali than nowadays visitors have seen. The first foreign visitors saw Bali as an island of theft and murder, full of menace with ferocious inhabitants, a warlike nation. In the mid-seventeenth century Bali was a dangerous place, wild and untamed, where Europeans loath to go. In the eyes of European writer Bali was a heathen land where barbarities such as widow burning practiced in much vigor.

More....

US declares Bali airport safe

The US government has declared that Ngurah Rai international airport here meets international flight security standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), a report said.

The decision was made based on an evaluation conducted by the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the US Embassy`s charge d`affairs John Heffern said in a press release issued here Wednesday.

The embassy praised Ngurah Rai international airport`s security management for its effort to improve its security standards for the past two years.

In pictures: Secret wildlife in Sumatra

Lots of endangered species living in a part of Indonesia called Sumatra have been captured on film by the Zoological Society of London using a camera trap.

Images of a Sumatran tiger, elephants, a clouded leopard, an Asiatic golden fox and an Asian tapir.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Bali's breath of zesty air

AT a cool elevation just 45 minutes by road north of Denpasar and the holiday coast of Bali, Ubud conforms to the classic hill-station template of clean and crisp air, gentle pace and deep green views.
Ubud has been a haven for foreign artists and creative castaways since the 1930s, when it must have seemed like Shangri-la.

Ubud has also been a travellers' getaway since (at least) the 1970s but the hippie flower-power atmosphere has been replaced with a smarter vibe and cafes are as likely to serve excellent espresso and wines by the glass as they are mango juice and herbal teas.

Today, the main streets are a jumble of shops that may not be all that different to their coastal counterparts in Kuta or Seminyak but the methodical fossicker will be rewarded with good antiques and hand-made finds, especially wood carvings.

Best annual event: The Ubud Writers & Readers Festival
Best reading-up: Copies of the Hello Bali glossy monthly magazine are available in most resort guestrooms.
Best music and books store: Ubud Music Centre on Jalan Raya Ubud
Best restaurants: Casa Luna, run by the ubiquitous De Neefe
Best nuclear duck: Crispy duck is the signature dish at Tepi Sawah on Jalan Raya Goa Gajah
Best splurge dining: The restaurants at Amandari and Four Seasons Sayan resorts
Best cooking school: Cafe Wayan and Bakery on Monkey Forest Road
Best martini: Nuri's Warung
Best spa: All the resorts in Ubud have brilliant spas
Best homewares shops: The Shop at Sayan
Best bargaining performances: Ubud Market, on the corner of Jalan Raya Ubud and Monkey Forest Road
Best instant cultural connection: Cafe Lotus
Best thrills: Rafting on Ubud's swift Ayung River
Best art connections: Neka Museum has the island's best collection of Balinese art

By Susan Kurosawa
More .....

Music, arts and culture can create more peaceful life, Yudhoyono says

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said music, arts and culture, if developed well, could be a power to build a more peaceful, friendly and harmonious life.

"Music and culture could even be developed jointly to be `soft power` to be used in persuasive communication for handling problems, making it unnecesssary to employ `hard power,`" he said when launching his song album, "Rinduku Padamu" (My Longing for You), here on Sunday night.

He said many humanitarian problems could be solved if the spirit of "soft power" prevailed.

The president`s album contained ten romantic pop songs he had composed.

The president did not sing in his album. He had let other people, including Dharma Oratmangun, Gee Foregia, Senno Haryono, Kerispatih, Ebiet G Ade, Widi AB Three and Dea Mirella, sing his compositions.

All of the songs were arranged in collaboration with Jimmie Manopo, Purwatjaraka, Jumadi, Kerispatih and Bartje Van Houten.

Among the songs were "Kuasa Tuhan" (Divine Power) which he wrote on his way home from the United States last September and "Mengarungi Keberkahan Tuhan" (Living on Divine Blessednes) which he wrote in Sydney after attending an Asia and Pcific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting in September.

Earlier: Indonesian president launched song album

Sunday, October 28, 2007

25 Most Endangered Primates Named

Sumatran Orangutan

This great ape has been reduced to 7,000 animals living in 13 fragments of land on the island of Sumatra, according to a new report.

Large-scale logging continues to convert this orangutan's native forests to agriculture and palm oil plantations, says the October 26, 2007, report by the Primate Specialist Group of the World Conservation Union's Species Survival Commission and the International Primatological Society, in collaboration with Conservation International.

The report names the world's 25 most endangered primates and says that a third of all primates are in danger of extinction (read full story). Key culprits are "destruction of tropical forests, illegal wildlife trade and commercial bushmeat hunting."

Orangutan image.

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