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Sarah Lawrence College

Publication Date

Spring 2010

Program Name

Indonesia: Arts, Religion, and Social Change


The objective of this Independent Study Project was to investigate life in Bali as a cultural and religious minority. I had already spent nearly two months with my family in Bedulu, a typical Hindu Balinese family, and I was curious to see how other people in Bali live. I decided to spend the ISP period in Pabean Sangsit, living with a Muslim family with Bugis roots. The main question I wanted to answer through this study was: What is life like in Bali for the religious and cultural minority? I decided to look into religion, culture, and daily activities to find any differences that exist between this minority area and the rest of Bali. I garnered the vast majority of my information from informal conversation with people who live in the village, most often from family members of the house I was staying at. Everyone was very open and willing to inform me about Bugis culture, the lifestyle in the village, and the Muslim religion. I also made many personal observations while participating in different activities in the village. Through my research and observations I discovered that life as a minority in Bali is nearly identical to life in Bali as a member of the majority culture. Obviously some practices are different, for instance the practice of Islam as opposed to Hinduism, but there is definitely a commonality in the devotion and importance of their respective religions. Despite the minor differences that come from religious beliefs (such as clothing, food differences [no Babi Guling], and praying practices), life in Pabean Sangsit is no different from life in a typical Balinese Hindu village.


Anthropology | Social and Cultural Anthropology


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