Bladbadan - Background

Asiah and Yanto had come from outside Bali and had been living in Karangasem for just five months. Courage was their main asset … the two of them together in Karangasem. But misfortune struck as, after only working for one month as labourers carrying sand, they were unemployed again. The sand mines were closed as it was said that Gunung Agung was going to erupt. One misfortune after another … as the saying goes. Yanto and his wife were directed to flee the area by the government because their home was in Danger Prone Area III. They didn’t have any family, they didn’t know anyone and they didn’t have any money to go back home to where they came from. They wavered between being afraid and being courageous and running away as they were just a minority in Bali. And worse still … they couldn’t speak Balinese. So there they were at the evacuation centre. Yanto’s HP beeped indicating that it was time for Magrib prayers. Feeling uneasy they looked for a place to pray. People were moving about all over the place. Then he saw someone with a shirt that had the word ‘volunteer’ on it. He called him immediately “Hey … volunteer … volunteer.” “Yeah … what’s up?” “Sorry .. I don’t understand Balinese and I want to know where I can pray.” The volunteer just nodded his head and then rushed around calling his friends. Yanto felt very sad and regretted his decision to come looking for work in Karangasem. He felt as if he was being treated differently. He turned and walked toward his wife but before he managed to take one step his name was called out by the volunteer. “Hey mister … sorry … “ But before the volunteer had finished what he was saying, Yanto answered “That’s OK” and then walked away. “Oh well … the place is over there at the back … we prepared it for you.” Hearing those words, Yanto began to sob. Even though he was an outsider, the volunteer did not discriminate against him and he and Asiah felt happy. And now they really like it in Bali and they are learning Bahasa Bali and learning about the culture of Bali. And they have many friends. And they are very happy. by Desak Made Yunda Ariesta