I spent one day in the village of Blimbing in central Bali. This was a an attempt by myself to experience and learn something of the traditional life of the Balinese people. Essentially, Thai rice farming is on flat land, while Balinese is on hills, thus lots of terraces. This may seem a small difference, but it affects most aspects of rice production.
In this village, and in Bali as a whole, people farm almost in the same manner that their ancestors have done for centuries, but not entirely. Walking around in the fields, people have mobile phones and 3G. There is a new, hi-tech, “brand” of rice being trialled in the village, and children now, both receive a primary school education, and have the option of going to the “big city” for work and adventure. Also, in general, people know about the outside world.
Blimbing was a pleasant stay. A few details. There are ~6,000 people in the village, which is divided into eight sub-districts (“bun-ya-dynas”), and covers ~11,000 hectacres. The land can manage up to three crops a year, and one hectare produces each year (when things are good) four tonnes of rice. A farm worker, can expect to make ~50,000 rupiah ($5) a day. An average, wooden, house costs forty million rupiah ($4,000), which is 800 days work. This salary is sufficient to live on, and living on a farm supplies many necessities of life. There are three primary schools in the village, but older children must go elsewhere for higher education, which many now do.
It was a fascinating experience living with the family. There was quietness to their pace of life, a calmness. Of course, as a paying visitor you are shown the best, and there was a sizeable language gap. As a vegetarian, there were a few dietary misunderstandings, but as Hindus, they appreciated the worth of a vegetarian lifestyle, though it is tricky to achieve living on a farm. If you are interested in this, you can arrange to stay at Blimbing with most travel agencies on the island, or phone di