Intersections: Gender and Sexuality in Asia and the Pacific
Issue 16, March 2008

Performing Balinese Femininity in Migration

Ana Dragojlovic
  1. This paper focuses upon the experiences of Balinese women, living in the Netherlands with non-Balinese husbands, in order to highlight the ways in which alternative femininities find their expression in a new social and cultural context. It is argued that although these alternative femininities, which in a Balinese context would be perceived as transgressive or even impossible to achieve, are achievable. They are, nevertheless, put under scrutiny not only by other Balinese women and Balinese society but by Dutch women in their understanding of 'proper Balinese femininity.' The discussion is based upon data collected during fourteen months of ethnographic research, from September 2003 to November 2004, combined with an extended visit during 2006. The majority of the research was conducted in the Netherlands with several shorter visits to Bali.
  2. In exploring interpersonal relationships between Balinese women and Dutch men, I show how discourse about Balinese and Dutch femininities is contested in the practices of everyday life. Here I find useful Connell's concept of 'hegemonic masculinity' in relation to both masculinities and femininities. Connell uses the term hegemony after Antonio Gramsci, who first developed the concept to refer to political dominance of one state over another or one class over another. Gramsci argues that the domination of one group over another is never achieved by brute economic or political means alone but through a shared common sense character developed by cultures and societies. Connell describes 'hegemonic' as idealised to the heteronormative models that are broadly accepted and by which all other masculinities are measured; thus alternative ones would be marginalised.[1] While Connell suggests that being a 'proper' man is adjudged by men's corporeal style, body and sexuality,[2] I wish to extend this concept to consider Balinese femininities. Being a 'proper' woman is directly related to female bodies, sexualities and corporeal style. Again this favours heterosexual relationships as 'proper.' Moreover, I argue that both masculinities and femininities are constituted through relations of power in which certain versions become hegemonic in a particular context and in a particular place, and thus are fluid. In cross-cultural intimate relationships, such hegemonies shift and change over time and in different contexts, especially in the practices of living in and between Bali and the Netherlands. Both men and women, Balinese and Dutch, through negotiations of power and identity in these cross-cultural relationships, have multiple opportunities to create new gendered subject positions. Judith Butler's concept of the performativity of gender[3] is useful here. In her earlier work Butler used drag (gender crossing and transsexuality) as an example of her theory in action.[4] Several years later, she elucidated her position in Bodies that Matter,[5] where she specified that gender as an effect of performativity is not just a matter of singular acts of voluntaristic performances of gender. Gender, then, is not simply 'drag.' Butler focuses on the productive possibilities of gender performances: femininities and masculinities are in a state of constant performativity in which particular forms can either legitimise or subvert dominant expressions.
  3. I explore Balinese femininities as relational and as negotiated and re-negotiated in relation to Dutch partners, to other Balinese women (in Bali and the Netherlands) and to Dutch women. Balinese femininities also have to be positioned historically. In colonial times Balinese women were portrayed as having wild and uncontrollable sexuality,[6] but this has gradually changed and today Balinese women are often perceived to embody a chaste submissiveness often attributed to Asian women in general. In cross-cultural intimate relationships Balinese women enter a sphere in which models of Balinese femininity expected by their Dutch partners and by their families in Bali can contradict their own representations of themselves or their own desires for a particular kind of femininity.
  4. Balinese women in the Netherlands who adopt alternative models of Balinese femininity that are closer to the favoured western model of femininity based on the idea of emancipation, are accepted as being 'well integrated.' This is particularly important in the contemporary emphasis on the integration of foreigners in which 'proper' gender practices are placed at the heart of successful integration into Dutch society. Paradoxically, Balinese women closer to alternative models of Balinese femininity are often judged by Dutch women for 'loosing their tradition' and for not being 'proper women.' I suggest that constructions of femininities encountered in a multiethnic Netherlands and in life with non-Balinese partners often display elements of competition and fluidity.
  5. In what follows, I will first introduce Balinese expressions of community in the Netherlands before examining Balinese constructions of femininity and gender relations. These sections serve as a prelude to the final analysis: an individual case study that vividly illustrates the alternative forms of Balinese femininity and how these are negotiated in relation to other Balinese women, to Balinese society, to Dutch women and to Dutch discourses about a 'proper Indonesian' and about properly integrated foreign women.

    Banjar Suka Duka—Balinese society in the Netherlands
  6. Banjar is the civic organisation central to the social organisation of village life in Bali. According to previous scholarship,[7] ideally a banjar in Bali is a residential association within the encompassing 'customary village,' the desa adat. The banjar is responsible for organising and maintaining local public facilities and it may request the labour of its members for this or any other communal goal. Tight solidarity and strong social ties within the banjar make it the centre of most village social and economic activities.[8] Banjar organisations in Bali have been undergoing a series of changes, on the one hand influenced by the Indonesian state and on the other by local dynamics within villages. Because of increasing migration from the 1970s to locations outside Bali and Indonesia,[9] some Balinese started organising themselves into networks in their adopted countries. Those networks, while often bearing the name of banjar, are characterised by numerous differences and adaptations appropriate to the circumstances in the new country.[10] In the Netherlands, banjar adherents gather twice a year to celebrate Kuningan/Galungan.[11]

    Figure 1. Prayer at the Banjar Suka Duka Galungan ceremony 2004. Photographed by author.

  7. The Banjar Suka Duka in the Netherlands was established in 1995, under the patronage of the late I Wayan Mudiarta, and on the initiative of several families from Bali who had been living in the Netherlands for some years. Before 1995, there were several smaller Balinese networks organised around axes of proximity of residence and on their common interests. The initiative for a more formal organisation came from the realisation that the number of families of Balinese origin was steadily growing, especially from the late 1980s. A few years before 1995, people in these smaller networks in the Netherlands, who were already celebrating Galungan in their private houses, initiated the idea that all Balinese living in the Netherlands (and Europe more generally) should celebrate Galungan together and thus get to know each other better.
  8. The banjar name Suka Duka translates as 'mutual help in joy and sorrow' and evokes the collective ideology. The banjar is seen as a 'Balinese family' on which members can always rely. While Warren suggests that powerful kin or title groups could dominate their banjar,[12] Geertz and Geertz asserted that the structure of the banjar might instead play down the importance of kinship.[13] My ethnographic material accords with Warren's observation that banjar relations are regarded as kin-like relations[14] and there is a general belief that strong bonds between people within the banjar in the Netherlands are seen as of greater importance not only to ties of relationship by marriage (and to Dutch in-laws) but also to those of the place of origin in Bali.
  9. The structure of the present Banjar Suka Duka council (susunan pengurus sekarang) consists of the banjar chair (Ketua) and several assistants responsible for different tasks such as: first deputy (wakil), secretary (sekretaris), treasurer (bendahara), those responsible for leading the prayers during a ceremony (pemimpin persembahyangan), the section leaders for catering (seksi konsumsi), for ritual offerings (seksi sesajen), for music and room decoration (seksi musik dan tata ruangan), for art (seksi kesenian) and advisers (penasehat). Some people have multiple roles in the banjar structure. Unlike in Bali, where normally every adult male (the head of the household) is a member of the banjar council, the Suka Duka has only eighteen council members, chosen on the principle of rotation and responsible for the organisation of social gatherings. Interestingly, unlike banjar in Bali, there are several women on the council.

    Figure 2. Performance at the Banjar Suka Duka Galungan celebration 2006. Photographed by Wayan Martayasa

    Construction of gender relations in Bali
  10. The scholarship on gender in Bali is one which presents Bali not only as a gender-segregated society but as largely patriarchal. The extreme gender differentiation is obvious in rituals and symbolic activities.[15] While men and women work together and women participate in many forms of economic production with men, that cannot be translated as gender equality as the tasks in their work are often hierarchically ordered, such that women's work is often valued lower.[16] Nakatani asserts that the Indonesian government characterises the woman's role as both productive and reproductive but emphasises that motherhood and wifehood should come first.[17] Strong gender segregation is obvious in the ritual sphere in which most of the offering preparation is done at home by women.[18] Women also have a key role in making offerings for public activities such as Nyepi (Balinese New Year), Galungan and Hari Kuningan and the odalan (anniversary) in each of the desa adat temples in the course of the Balinese 210-day year.[19] However, while women's contribution to the ceremonies is quite substantial, Balinese Hinduism associates female fertility with pollution, and menstruating women are not permitted to enter the temple or participate in the rituals.[20]
  11. This gender inequality is based on several facts: a patrilineal kinship system and belief in reincarnation within patrilines; virilocal residence after marriage; the practice of polygyny; a husband's custody of children after divorce; inheritance wherein a woman inherits only her personal possessions; the control of women's physical mobility; and a caste system based on an ideology of subordinates' impurity, which reinforces the superior position of men.[21] Divorce in Bali is especially difficult for women since children are considered to belong to the husband's patrilineage, and women have no right to family property and wealth.[22] For the discussion in this paper it is important to emphasise gender segregation in public life where even husbands and wives rarely go anywhere together or converse with each other in public.
  12. The practice of polygyny is an example of the double standards that exist for men and women.[23] Polygyny is usually ascribed to the lack of children or particularly the lack of sons.[24] However, Jennaway notes that men's motives for polygyny are various. Such marriages give a man a position of power and ways of exercising his sexual prowess, but at the same time such marriages might prove to be an economic burden for a man. Jennaway also points to women's agency in effecting polygynous marriages.[25]

    Marriage practices and female sexuality
  13. Previous scholars of Bali, as in much of Indonesia, have often imaged fertility in metaphors that compare rice crops and human fertility. Offerings of food are given to ensure fertility. Women are the ones responsible for successful reproduction.[26] Women are thus valued for their reproductive capacity, which is seen as a source of specific power,[27] but also as a source of potential pollution. As Covarrubias points out, the ideal woman is, in the first place, the mother of sons and secondly a hard worker in the fields and at home.[28] According to Jennaway, given the belief in reincarnation whereby one's ancestors will be reborn as descendants, reproduction for all Balinese is obligatory in order to respect ancestors.[29]
  14. While men may marry hypogamously, women must marry hypergamously. Consequently, while commoner women can potentially marry anyone, high-caste women's marriage choices are extremely limited. If a man of high caste marries a commoner woman he will not compromise his caste status or that of their children, whereas if a woman of high caste marries a commoner man, she will lose her caste and will be 'thrown away' by her family.[30] This is, of course, considered a misfortune for the high-caste family; however, it is often considered an equal misfortune for the commoner family because of status tensions. The woman would 'fall' to the caste level of her commoner husband and any children from that union would be commoners too. Bellows argues that high-caste Balinese seek to avoid inter-caste marriage by insisting on women's sexual conservatism not only for women of high caste but for Balinese women in general. Thus the vocabulary of cultural preservationists seeks to protect Balinese culture by propagating the preservation of premarital virginity, for women at least.[31] In the past, the most common form of marriage was by elopement/abduction.[32] Often, marriages were also arranged,[33] and while nowadays most marriages are not arranged, the parents' approval is still desirable.[34]
  15. At this point it is worth reflecting briefly on how these changing Balinese patterns relate to family and marriage practices across Indonesia. By its recognition of male household heads, the Indonesian state plays a profound role in reinforcing the identification of senior males as household heads while women are subordinated to the supreme authority of their husbands.[35] The ideal Indonesian family, according to the state, consists of a father who is the breadwinner, a mother whose role is to produce two children, educate them morally and look after the household, and children whose main role is to go to school and through education become good Indonesian citizens. In this model 'Men serve the state, while women serve men.'[36] A number of studies have identified widespread phenomena such as the 'domestication' and 'housewifisation' of women in Indonesia.[37] During the New Order, female sexuality was one of many aspects of women's lives that were clearly restricted.[38] According to Tiwon,the Indonesian New Order distinguished between two types of woman: the model and the maniac.[39] In this classification models are women who can control their desires and passions, waiting to marry and become good wives and mothers. In contrast, maniacs are those who speak out loud and openly show sexual passion.[40] In this way it was considered degrading for a woman to show passion for more than one man at the same time, or indeed to show any kind of passion for a man.[41] Women's sexual propriety has often been seen as inseparable from being good Indonesian female citizens.[42] In this discourse, which has been pervading Indonesia for several decades, and in situations in which an unwed woman in Bali might find herself evicted from her natal home by her brother, female propriety is articulated around the imperative of finding a husband. In this cultural logic, spinsterhood, divorce or widowhood are highly stigmatised, as is the public expression of female desire. The repulsive representation of female sexuality is best featured in the image of Rangda, a variety of buta kala.[43] Buta kala forces, while not necessarily connected with evil, are almost consistently associated with malevolence, and are represented as degraded humans with bulging eyes, sharp fangs and protruding bellies.[44] Rangda is conceived of as a childless widow. Her widowhood implies that she is unconstrained by a male figure and her childlessness explains her inclination for the consumption of newly aborted foetuses. Rangda is believed to visit graveyards at midnight to feed on the decomposing flesh of human corpses.[45]
  16. Balinese marriage practices and the emphasis on female propriety together with state discourses that favours a specific model of femininity have particular implications in the ways in which young Balinese women marrying western men express their desires for various forms of femininities in the new social and cultural context. In what follows I present Ni Putu Mariyani's story and her interaction with Balinese and Dutch women to show how alternative forms of femininities are lived in the context of everyday life. While for the purpose of this paper I concentrate on Mariyani's story, during my research I came across several other Balinese women who grapple in a similar way with the expectations of a wider Balinese community, of some Dutch women, and sometimes of their own husbands in following Balinese gender scripts which often lie in contradiction with their own desires and expectations of life outside of Bali and with non-Balinese husbands.

    Ni Putu Mariyani's story: een raar meisje 'a strange girl'
  17. I learned about Ni Putu Mariyani and her husband Marten through Marten's professor of Indonesian studies. Knowing that Marten and Mariyani were not adherents of Banjar Suka Duka, I explained that I was interested in knowing people who were not a part of this group. While expressing interest in my research Marten said that he was not sure that Mariyani would be interested in participating as she was very keen to keep away from Balinese or Indonesian organisations, or private networks in the Netherlands. However, two weeks later I got an invitation to visit them in the small town in southern Netherlands where they were living. When I mentioned this visit to close friend of mine, Ni Ketut Yani, and one of the members of the Banjar Suka Duka committee, Yani mentioned that this woman might be 'een raar meisje'—'a strange girl.' She emphasised the Dutch term pointing to this woman's refusal either to be in touch with Balinese people or to speak Balinese or Indonesian, and her desire to vernederlandsen 'become Dutch.'
  18. When I visited Ni Putu Mariyani and Marten on a Saturday afternoon, I conducted a semi-structured interview in which I learned that Ni Putu Mariyani grew up in Sanur, Bali as the youngest daughter in the family with two older brothers. She met Marten when she was nineteen. Marten was living in her neighbourhood with his parents who had moved from the Netherlands in the early 1990s to run a hotel business in Bali. He did not, like most of the other expatriate families' children, go to the international school but attended the local school with other local children. He speaks fluent Indonesian and he can understand Balinese. While they had known each other for several years, they started dating in 2000. Several months after that Marten left Bali to study at university in the Netherlands and Mariyani followed him. After arriving in the Netherlands, Mariyani was obliged to attend language and integration program courses.[46] From that time, as her Dutch language proficiency was improving, Mariyani gradually stopped speaking Indonesian with Marten and at the time when I met them she proudly mentioned that she had not been speaking Indonesian with Marten for more than two years. Initially I thought extensive use of the Dutch language was helping her self esteem in the new country especially because she was keen on entering nursing school for which she needed a reasonably high level of Dutch proficiency. Later I was to learn that Mariyani never speaks Indonesian with Indonesian people in the Netherlands, nor does she speak Balinese with the Balinese people she meets. The only time she uses a language other than Dutch is when she calls her parents in Bali, usually twice a month. Since she left Bali she has returned only once and mentioned that while she likes to go and visit her parents she is more interested in travelling around Europe. Once she finishes nursing school she wishes to start a French language course. The first part of her narrative was to position herself in relation to other Balinese people in the Netherlands.

      I don't want to mingle with Balinese women here because of the culture. They are always talking about money and commodities and about boyfriends (they are either gossiping about those they have or they are searching for a new one) and of course about food and cooking. But we talk all the time about lekker eten [nice food]. That is not my thing. I am going to school now because I want to become a nurse.

      It took me a long time to free myself from my Balinese chains. You know in Bali a woman is not at the same level as a man. And on top of everything else, I was the youngest child in our family, and I was always put down by my brothers. That is the normal way in Bali of course. When I came to Holland for the first time, I was fascinated. I realised that in this country I could be myself. There was nobody to tell me what to do, how to behave, what is appropriate and what is not. I was free, I could be myself in many ways that I could not in Bali. Like, I would have the same rights as a man—I was not expected to be shy and quiet, kink, or submissive. And I was able to do very simple things like dress as I like, hold hands with my boyfriend, go to a café or restaurants, those simple things that I always wanted to do but never dared to because somebody could say that I was a bad woman. There is a great burden on young Balinese women. It is not that Balinese women don't do any of those things but everything has to be secret. My older sisters and cousins, while I was growing up, used to advise me to do anything I like, but not publicly, to be smart. But I could not stand that. I wanted to be myself, and not be smart by hiding. Balinese women here are very similar to that—they live here but they still hide what they are doing, pretending all the time like in Bali. I left Bali because of that. I have an aunt in Germany who is like that as well. Here I want to live differently I want to be myself—I do not want to be seen as not proper or as a bad Balinese women.[47]

  19. This obvious sense of gender performativity in the Balinese context, which Mariyani is describing, is present in narratives of my other female Balinese interlocutors, only not as a disadvantage but rather as a female virtue. This gender performativity closely resonates with the critical paradox associated with the female propriety in which young women have to maintain an outward attitude of passivity, but at the same time, in order to get married, they must actively attract a man. Given the emphasis on the importance of marriage for a young woman, most women end up in a position of maintaining the public image of a 'good girl' (anak luh ane melah) but then secretly employ more active strategies to attract a desirable husband.[48] As a young unmarried woman in Bali, Mariyani was expected to follow this cultural script, constantly grappling with her own desires and awareness that she must not ruin her family's reputation by expressing her desires openly, especially by dating Marten in public. Mariyani's family history (in which two of her uncles had two wives) revealed her anxieties about the possibility that one day she might be in a similar position.
  20. Critically analysing the Balinese cultural logic of gender relations, Megan Jennaway makes an important contribution pointing to women's agency in effecting polygynous marriages and arguing that polygyny is quite often an inducement to, and consequence of, divorce.[49] In this context Judith Butler's notion of gender as a performance in which our gender (masculinity and femininity) is an ongoing achievement rather than biologically determined is useful as it stresses the importance of both structure and agency.[50] However, while the existence of female agency in this form of gender performativity is obvious and perfectly acceptable for Mariyani, it is its particularly rigid structure and form that she was trying to escape. Mariyani is not the only Balinese woman in the Netherlands with this attitude. During the course of my research I met four other women, who are not members of the Banjar Suka Duka, but who also position themselves in opposition to this organisation, seeing it as a particular form of 'traditional' Balinese society whose members, both male and female, have expectations of appropriate female behaviour closer to the main model of Balinese femininity. Moreover, banjar gatherings in the Netherlands are occasions for careful monitoring of each others' behaviour. The information about members would not only circulate among the people living in the Netherlands but, by widespread usage of mobile phones and text messaging, would reach family members in Bali.
  21. Despite Mariyani's deep resentment towards what she calls Balinese cultuur, she proudly offered me Balinese food for dinner and mentioned that cooking is one of her hobbies. But she also mentioned that she cooks Balinese food only for herself and Marten, and occasionally when Marten's siblings, who also used to lived in Bali, are visiting, but for friends she always cooks Italian or French. In this way she clearly wanted to distance herself from a public presentation as a virtuous Balinese woman.
  22. After spending several very pleasant hours in their house, somewhat cautiously I invited them to a small gathering at my apartment in Amsterdam two weeks later. Knowing that she is very careful to keep away from contacts with other Balinese people I explained that the people attending would be my Balinese friends and their Dutch partners and children. To Marten's surprise she accepted the offer to come, but stressed that she would not be bringing any cooked food. She emphasised the latter, assuming that the majority of other Balinese women attending would bring cooked food, and she wanted to distinguish herself from them. For Mariyani, as for many of my other Balinese female friends, cooking food is seen as a woman's job and a female virtue. In Balinese cultural logic, women are the ones responsible for domestic chores such as daily cooking. Many of my Balinese female interlocutors celebrate this in the circle of their families and among Balinese friends and while some were happy to represent themselves as skilful chefs in this context while intermingling with Dutch female friends, others were disguising it in this context. This feeds into the general Dutch discourse in which equalisation of domestic chores between men and women stands to distinguish those who are seen as modern and progressive from those who are seen as backward. This 'backwardness' is often linked with 'ethnic' men and women in the Netherlands.[51] At the same time I met two other Balinese women who see daily cooking more as a burden than a joy, but they were careful not to reveal this publicly in front of other Balinese women. In a similar way, Mariyani was also performing her lack of interest in cooking, but only among Balinese women, to present herself as Dutch. Furthermore, she was avoiding cooking Balinese food for her Dutch friends, in order to be perceived not as an 'ethnically' Balinese but as a modern woman.
  23. Mariyani and Marten joined the gathering together with fifteen other people. While all the other Balinese women brought cooked Balinese food, Mariyani and Marten came with a bunch of flowers and a bottle of wine, considered to be the Dutch way of bringing presents when attending a dinner. As I was to learn later one of my interlocutors, Ayu Ariani, also from Sanur, had contacted Mariyani inviting her to the Banjar Suka Duka gathering, but she had never attended nor had she ever met with Ayu Ariani. They met for the first time at that dinner at my house. While at such gatherings Balinese people speak Balinese among themselves and Dutch with Dutch people, when they addressed Mariyani in Balinese she responded in Dutch. At the same time Marten was more than happy to speak Balinese. Her refusal to speak Balinese, her present of wine and flowers as well as her polite but distant communication with people aroused enormous speculation and gossip. But this was not only among the Balinese; some of the Dutch women engaged in the discussion and my friend Gisela commented: 'She is een raar meisje 'a strange girl.' She doesn't act as other Balinese women, she is trying to look like a Dutch student,' concluded Gisela with obvious cynicism in her voice.
  24. For Gisela, Mariyani was trying to be too modern, she was not loud like most of the other Balinese women at the party, she was not engaging in rowdy humour, she was dressed in a slightly conservative way and unlike other Balinese women at the party she was not wearing noticeable make up.
  25. Many Dutch women, while talking about foreigners and comparing themselves with Balinese (or other foreign) women, would frequently insist: 'I'm a Dutch woman and we do not cook.' This implies a need to situate themselves within Dutch public discourses about feminism and the successful emancipation of Dutch women. This is not only in contrast to Balinese women, but it stands to define Dutch nationality, as successful, modern and progressive. Many women thus see themselves as elevated above 'foreign women.'
  26. In many Dutch women's narratives and in some academic writings,[52] there are comparisons with non-eastern women that are usually framed in terms of modernity versus tradition and culture versus civilisation.[53] In my interlocutor's narratives non-western women, are perceived by Dutch women as very eager to come to live in the West as a place of women's liberation. This kind of understanding of female emancipation, besides being problematic in seeing woman as a universal category, produces power relations in which third world women are 'traditional' and can only reach freedom by living in the West. Moreover, as Monhanty persuasively argues,[54] this image of the 'third world woman' as a chaste virgin and traditional predicates assumptions about Western woman as secular, liberated and in control of their lives. However, the dynamics between Balinese and Dutch women can take a different turn as well. Paradoxically, as in the case of Mariyani, Balinese women who do not accommodate what is perceived by the Dutch as 'Balinese femininity' are blamed for 'losing' their 'tradition' and wanting to be too modern. In this view, modernity is seen as something that belongs only to Western subjects.
  27. Mariyani's story is important in suggesting the numerous ways in which Balinese women position themselves in relation to other Balinese people and gender expectations in Bali, but also towards their own desires for a life outside Bali and in a western country.

  28. Some Balinese women prefer to conform to prescribed gender relations in Bali, others see migration as an opportunity for change. For the latter, migration and cross-cultural marriage is a space in which an alternative version of self is lived to its fullest, without the constraints of propriety of a Bali which they have left behind.
  29. I have scrutinised how alternative forms of Balinese femininities are developed and maintained in relation to life in migration and with Dutch partners, in which Balinese and Dutch, dominant and alternative, and expected and desired models of femininities jostle together. This analysis of femininities in cross-cultural intimate encounters is helpful in understanding complexities of gender and sexuality and how gender relations are developed in those dynamic interactions. This is particularly important in the contemporary emphasis on integration of foreigners in which 'proper' gender practices are placed at the heart of successful integration into Dutch society. I suggest that constructions of femininities encountered in a multiethnic Netherlands and in life with non-Balinese partners often display elements of competition and fluidity.


    [1] Robert W. Connell, Masculinities, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995, p. 76.

    [2] Robert W. Connell, 'Globalization, imperialism, and masculinities,' in Handbook of Studies on Men and Masculinities, ed. Michael S. Kimmel, Jeff Hearn, and R.W. Connell, Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications, 2005, pp. 71–89.

    [3] Judith Butler, Bodies that Matter: On the Discursive Limits of "Sex", New York: Routledge, 1993; Judith Butler, Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity, New York and London: Routledge, 1990.

    [4] Butler, Gender Trouble.

    [5] Butler, Bodies that Matter.

    [6] See Adrian Vickers, Bali: A Paradise Created, Berkeley, California: Periplus, 1989, p. 87.

    [7] Hildred Geertz and Clifford Geertz, Kinship in Bali, Chicago: University Of Chicago Press, 1975; Carol Warren, Adat and Dinas: Balinese Communities in the Indonesian State, Kuala Lumpur: Oxford University Press, 1993; Leo Howe, Hinduism and Hierarchy in Bali, Oxford: James Currey, 2001.

    [8] Warren, Adat and Dinas, p. 8.

    [9] Moreover, Balinese people were also moved in the 1960s and 1970s when the independent Indonesian state initiated relocation predominantly to Lampung (South Sumatra) but also to Central Sulawesi and West Papua. See Gloria J. Davis, Parigi: A Social History of the Balinese Movement to Central Sulawesi 1907–1974, Palo Alto, California: Stanford University Press, 1976.

    [10] During the course of my fieldwork in the Netherlands, I was acquainted with Balinese people living in Canberra and Sydney in Australia as well as those living in Switzerland, France and Great Britain.

    [11] Kuningan/Galungan, occurs once every 210 days according to the Balinese Lunar Calendar. It celebrates the victory of virtue (dharma) over evil (adharma).

    [12] Warren, Adat and Dinas, p. 14.

    [13] Geertz and Geertz, Kinship in Bali, p. 108.

    [14] Warren, Adat and Dinas, p. 8.

    [15] Unni Wikan, 'Public grace and private fears: gaiety, offense, and sorcery in Northern Bali,' in Ethos, vol. 15, no. 4 (1987):337–65, p. 346.

    [16] Megan Jennaway, Sisters and Lovers: Women and Desire in Bali, New York: Rowman & Littlefield, 2002, p. 43.

    [17] Ayami Nakatani, '"Eating traders": brocades as cash crop for weaving mothers and daughters in Bali,' in Staying Local in the Global Village: Bali in the Twentieth Century, ed. Linda Connor and Raechelle Rubinstein, Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, 1999, 203–31.

    [18] Every meal has to be preceded by ngejot—which involves taking small offerings to every shrine in the courtyard.

    [19] Jennaway, Sisters and Lovers, p. 53.

    [20] Jennaway, Sisters and Lovers, p. 53.

    [21] Lynette Parker, 'Engendering school children in Bali,' in Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, vol. 3, no. 3 (1997):497–517, p. 501.

    [22] Lynette Parker, 'Fecundity and the fertility decline in Bali,' in Borders of Being: Citizenship, Fertility, and Sexuality in Asia and the Pacific, ed. Margaret Jolly and Kalpana Ram, Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2001, pp. 178–203, p. 182.

    [23] Geertz and Geertz, Kinship in Bali, pp. 131–38, discuss polygyny only when this occurs among the nobility.

    [24] Andrew Duff-Cooper, 'Ethnographic notes on two operations of the body among a community of Balinese in Lombok,' in Journal of the Anthropological Society of Oxford, vol. 16, no. 2 (1985):121–42, p. 414.

    [25] For a detailed discussion, see Jennaway, Sisters and Lovers.

    [26] Jennaway Sisters and Lovers, p. 80, noted that one man who did not have any children married eight times before the villagers started to see biological incompetence in him rather than in his wife; See also Parker, 'Fecundity and the fertility decline in Bali,' pp. 178–202.

    [27] Jane Belo, Bali: Rangda and Barong, Series Monographs of the American Ethnological Society, vol. 16, New York: J.J. Augustin, 1949; Barbara Lovric, 'The art of healing and the craft of witches in a "Hot Earth" Village,' in Review of Indonesian and Malaysian Affairs, vol. 20, no. 1 (1986):68–99; Parker, 'Fecundity and the fertility decline in Bali,' pp. 178–202.

    [28] Miguel Covarrubias, Island of Bali, New York: Alfred Knopf, 1972, pp. 120–59.

    [29] Jennaway, Sisters and Lovers, p. 80.

    [30] Geertz, and Geertz, Kinship in Bali, p. 40.

    [31] Laura Bellows, 'Traditional Sex/Modern Meaning: Desire and Foreign Influence in Bali,' unpublished PhD thesis, University of Virginia, 2003, p. 153.

    [32] For a detailed discussion, see Helen Creese, Women of the Kakawin World: Marriage and Sexuality in the Indic Courts of Java and Bali, Armonk, New York: M.E. Sharpe, 2004.

    [33] Jane Belo (ed.), Traditional Balinese Culture: Essays, New York, London: Columbia University Press, 1970; James Boon, The Anthropological Romance of Bali 1597–1972: Dynamic Perspectives in Marriage and Caste, Politics and Religion, Cambridge: CUP, 1977, pp. 119–44.

    [34] Jennaway, Sisters and Lovers, p. 51; Parker, 'Fecundity and the decline of fertility in Bali,' pp. 178–202.

    [35] Jennaway, Sisters and Lovers, p. 74.

    [36] Parker, 'Engendering school children,' p. 502.

    [37] Kathryn Robinson and Sharon Bessell (eds), Women in Indonesia: Gender, Equity and Development, Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 2002.

    [38] For a further discussion se: Jane Atkinson and Shelly Errington (eds), Power and Difference: Gender in Island Southeast Asia, Stanford, California: Stanford University Press, 1990; and Suzanne Brenner, The Domestication of Desire: Women, Wealth, and Modernity in Java, Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1998.

    [39] Sylvia Tiwon, 'Models and maniacs: articulating the female in Indonesia,' in Fantasizing the Feminine in Indonesia, ed. Laurie J. Sears, Durham: Duke University Press, 1996, pp. 47–71.

    [40] See Tiwon, 'Models and Maniacs,' pp. 47–71.

    [41] See: Krishna Sen, Indonesian Cinema: Framing the New Order, London and New Jersey: Zed Books, 1994.

    [42] See: Julia Suryakusuma, 'The state and sexuality in New Order Indonesia,' in Fantasizing the Feminine in Indonesia, ed. Laurie J. Sears, Durham: Duke University Press, 1996, pp. 92–119.

    [43] Buta Kala are malevolent spirits in Balinese mythology.

    [44] Anthony Forge, 'Tooth and fang in Bali,' in Canberra Anthropology, vol. 3 (1980):1–16; Margaret Wiener, Visible and Invisible Realms: Power, Magic, and Colonial Conquest in Bali, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995, p. 53.

    [45] Linda Connor, 'Darkness and light: a study of peasant intellectuals in Bali,' PhD dissertation, University of Sydney, 1982.

    [46] From the 1990s there was a shift towards 'integration into Dutch society' (see Hans Vermeulen and Rinus Penninx (eds), Immigrant Integration: The Dutch Case, Amsterdam: Het Spinhuis, 2000, p. 21). This signalled the government's shift from a Minority Policy to an Integration Policy. The latter paid more attention to integration via education and the labour market and emphasised common normen en waarden (norms and values) shared by all. Following the new policy, in 1998 the government introduced inburgeringsprogrammas (integration programs) for newcomers. Initially these programs were fully subsidised by the state, and newcomers were required to sign a contract with the Dutch government which obliged them to follow a language and social orientation course of 600 hours (Vermeulen, and Penninx, Immigrant Integration, p. 22). From this period the discourse of Dutch 'common norms and values' as a measure towards which ethnic minorities should progress entered the sphere of everyday life.

    [47] 27 March 2004, Rotterdam, Ni Putu Mariyani (pseudonyms)

    [48] Jennaway, Sisters and Lovers, p. 74.

    [49] Jennaway, Sisters and Lovers, p. 87.

    [50] Butler, Gender Trouble; Butler, Bodies that Matter.

    [51] For a detailed discussion on relations between the popular discourse of emancipated women and ethnic women in the Netherlands see Deniz Unsal, 'The multicultural ordeal: race, nation and sexuality in Dutch postcoloniality,' unpublished PhD thesis, Columbia University, 2004, pp. 25–127.

    [52] See Unsal, 'The multicultural ordeal,' pp. 45–77.

    [53] Lila Abu-Lughod, 'Introduction: feminist longings and postcolonial conditions,' in Remaking Women: Feminism and Modernity in the Middle East, ed. Lila Abu-Lughod, Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1998, pp. 3–31.

    [54] Chandra Talpade Mohanty, 'Under western eyes: feminist scholarship and colonial discourse,' in Feminist Review, vol. 20 (1988):333–58.


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