Elevate Your New Year!

Early bird scoop:tomorrow, 30 December,do attend a very special end-of-year moment of appreciation for indigenous art and culture in the form of weaving, crafts, photography, music and food.

A free cultural exhibition, workshop, and events are all happening at Indus Restaurant, Jalan Raya Sanggingan, 10:00 am and goes until 6:30 pm.

The hot ticket (reservations required) is an intimate Dayak dining experience accompanied by Dayak music and movie screening, right there at Indus. 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm, IDR 500,000 per person. Seats are limited but still some available at press time, so contact +6281246838459 to secure your seat.

Or go to: https://ubudwritersfestival.bigtix.io/e/HANDEP11



Is there anything in Indonesia more of-the-moment than Bandung? Orbital Dago gallery is one of the many magnetic art and cultural attractions within that beautiful city right next door in Java. Artist Erianto now has a paintings exhibition under the theme of Life Like Fishesthrough Jan 11.Erianto’s decorative, cheerful images of sea life may just be the perfect antidote to the pandemic blues.

Detail of a painting by Erianto. Courtesy Orbital Dago.


If you’re staying in Bali, here’s another promising exhibition: a one-off private viewing opportunity from life enthusiast Jane Chen. The Hidden Works is Chen’s curation of objects from her collection. The fine, the humble, and the masterpiece, alike, are shown together in clever ways.

Chen’s keen eye for grace and delight,is in beautiful evidence under a large wantilanroof. Extraordinary artworks in a variety of media, including ceramics and traditional fabrics, are displayed at the Sarasvati Pavillion in Canggu, by appointment only.

It may just inspire the collector in you, with new ideas for arranging and displaying any number of objects in your home.

Sarasvati Pavillion, Canggu, is on Gang Mangga VIII, Tibubeneng, Kuta Utara, 80361

+620811387989for contact.



Great reads this month: A Brief History of Indonesia: Sultans, Spices, and Tsunamis: The Incredible Story of Southeast Asia’s Largest Nation by frequent Bali visitor Tim Hannigan richly illustrated. I mean, you are going to begin reading and ask yourself why you didn’t have this book already.

Companion book is also from Hannigan, with Willard A. Hanna. A Brief History of Bali: Piracy, Slavery, Opium, and Guns: The Story of a Pacific Paradise may just become your favorite read in your growing collection of local lore.

These also come in Kindle editions. Considerable research and hours on the keyboard go into these volumes, so please support the authors by buying legitimate editions.



Anyone miss my recent column introducing the People’s Law Center? Yes, pro bono legal information is here in Bali! Under the auspices of the DBB Foundation, this 3-months-young enterprise has been set up by women legal experts as a public service.

Almost skeptical of my good luck in stumbling across this enterprise, I grilledthe Law Center’s Bening Dian Pertiwi, Sarjana Hukum (Indonesian for Bachelor of Law), for details.

Mala: What resources does DBB offer?

Bening: DBB Foundation was established in 1997 and is in Dalung. DBB is licensed in the fields of education and empowerment. There are currently formal and vocational schools, as well as the People’s Law Center, in a quite substantial grounds of 50 are. Srikandi Justice is one of the programs in The People’s Law Centre. Monthly Domestic Violence Anonymous meetings are held, each followed with an added activity for building skills. Here, vulnerable women and children are helped through the law and justice system, and can stay in safe rooms here, as well. We are committed to help these peopleget back to a normal life, free from domestic violence. The children can also have free access in our school and daycare.

Mala: What exactly is free, one visit? Two visits? If someone needs extensive legal help, such as forms drafted and notarized, or even filing suit in a court of civil law, how much is actually available at People’s Law Center?

Bening: The People’s Law Centre aims is to give equal access to the Law and the Justice System. We can help with any legal enquiry, however we are not able to represent at court as our license is only to give information. We operate based on donations, which could be in money, goods and/or services. There is no limitation on how many times a person can come. Meetings aremade by appointment and we will ask questions prior to coming so we can prepare the answer.

Mala: Can you share a success story?

Bening: We are helping a single mom, whose estranged husband tried to evict her and their son from their house. We are coordinating with the banjar and police for their safety. We help her with the divorce proceedings. We are also available for her for any advice she needs and she can drop off her son for extracurricular activities or daycare at any time. She is linked to our Friends of Srikandi Justice network for additional aid.

Mala: Who are your legal experts?

Bening: We are an equal percentage of practicing lawyers and law students. We also have Memorandums of Understanding with private universities.Working here in two year contracts, law students can fulfill their internship requirements. One of our founders is a Law Professor at Udayana University. She has a PhD in Law from University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK. Whilst living in the UK she learned about Citizen Advice Bureau, Legal Aids, Law Empowerment Centre, which did not exist in Indonesia. She combined those ideas with her academic backgrounds to create The People’s Law Centre whereby anyone can get equal access to the law and the justice system.



DBBplans a monthly law club and fundraising activities. A charity shop is on the premises at Jalan Pandu 61, Dalung, Kuta Utara. Hotline is +6281949778670.

Donations can be made to DBB at Bank BRI, Yayasan Duta Bina Bhuana, 0017-0100-2125-560.


By Renee Melchert Thorpe

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