life in the kampung

When on holiday in Bali, I stay with my friend Wayan ('first born') and his family in the village of Bungbungan. This little lane or 'gang' leads to his house. As you can see, this idilic mountain village is another world altogether compared to that of the tourist centres of Kuta, Sanur and Ubud. When Wayan first brought me here over twenty years ago, the road was so full of potholes that motorbikes were the only vehicular traffic and we had to walk some 12 kilometers climbing all the way. As the road improved over the years, the ubiquitous "Bemo" began to ply these backwoods.

A Bungbungan family comes out to watch a strange white man walk past.

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The main road through Bungbungan at 6:30 am in the morning. The night mist is just beginning to clear. The villagers have been up since before daybreak and school children leisurely stroll to their classes. Neighbours stop for a chat. A thick stand of bamboo forms a canopy over the quiet back road. Villages of rural Bali drip greenery. The Banyan tree is the grandest of all.


There are so many children in Indonesia that schooling is divided into two shifts. Morning school from 7am to noon, then afternoon school until 4pm. This leaves plenty of time for children to help out with chores essential to the economic survival of the family.

or see a village shadow play?
© david.atkinson@rmit.edu.au
created 21 october 1998