Modern Balinese women exists and they are the backbones of our economy. Their success stories deserve to be more recognized and celebrated.
The first woman we interview for Women Talk is Prami Pratiwi Radcliffe. She is a mother of two bright children, a wife, and and highly educated Denpasar native who has a flourishing career as the Public Relations for luxurious jewelry brands like The Ritz Carlton, The Four Seasons and Alenka and Margo besides acting as the Managing Director of PT. Pelangi Emas and Snacks Snacks Indonesia, a retail management company where she is in charge for managing and operating all five merchandise stores and a food & baverage company with 4 outlets, both in Bali Zoo. She has traveled to 35 countries and 92 cities around the world.
- Tell me how your parents have empowered you?
As long as I can remember, my parents are constantly working and learning, until now. My father Prof. Dr. IKG Bendesa, M.A.D.E is a Professor loves what he does, he has great interest in economy, philosophy and is very patriotic towards his country.
Over the years, I have witnessed my parents are generous in donating and sponsoring students. They live by the saying “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach a man how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”. My business also uses this base in our HR department; to give opportunity to people or my team and invest in their growth. We have training programs to equip our team to be better professionals, so if one day one decided to advance on, they leave with knowledge.
I have also picked up my reading habit that leads to curiosities from my Dad. My Dad subscribes to The Economist, Nat Geo, Times, Tempo, Kompas and other local papers. He would make us read one article from one of the publications a couple of times a week then asked us to share what we thought of the article and discussed the article. I dreaded it back then, but I reap it now.
In the meantime, we learn our financial lessons from my mother, Dra. IGAP Wirathi Mp. In primary school she would give us one time weekly allowances to spend on lunch order at school (we normally have healthy home packed lunch) or save the money. Mum would also pay us if we help with house. She would keep the money we earned/saved where we have access to it. On the final days that we were about to move to back to Bali, she told us how much we each have in our saving account and asked what we wanted to do with it. One day, she taught us to purchase a piece of jewelry. She informed us of the value and what it would mean in the future. So we both got a gold ring with blue sapphire and zirconia.
When we were teenagers, our parents decided that we shall no longer require housemaid assistance around the house. They thought we became spoilt. So on top of our busy high school life, after school classes and extra curriculum we had to do chores, this time it includes doing the offerings, washing and ironing clothes besides cleaning the house. At the time, my sister and I thought we were adopted kids since we feel we have to do so much. Now we understand, that our parents was teaching us discipline and time management aside from learning independency for the future.
- How do you incorporate Balinese culture in your daily life while you are overseas? What knowledge or wisdom do you share to your children about it while being away from home?
Tri Hita Karana is a concept that we live by and instils in our family. Preserving the balance and harmony in life and environment is really important. We teach our children as we go; lead and explain through examples. My kids are 6 years and 20 months old. My 6 years old have the understanding of gratitude, worshipping God, keeping the harmony with family, friends and environment. Although we don’t live in Bali, we still organize their Balinese Otonan. My son is always the first to initiate prayers when it’s full moon, regardless where we are in the world.
- What are your tips in successfully maintaining a mixed race marriage with different cultural background while pursuing your ambitions and maintaining your own identity?
We’ve are going on our 13th year of marriage. To be really honest, the cultural difference has no significance. My husband is British, his traditions is very similar to ours; respecting the elderly, family, other people, being courteous, and have manners. Our traditions are just the same.
In preserving our marriage, my personal thought I can share is really to be with someone who shares the same values in life. Perhaps the only difference is my husband is very punctual in his time management. He is always on English time, while I am on Bali time.
- What is it that makes you proud of being a Balinese and how does living in other countries makes you appreciate your own culture?
What makes me proud, is my roots, the values I was raised in and my culture.
In Bali, we live in a social community or as one live in a Banjar. This social community, is quite unique since no one else in the world has it. Where we Balinese have Banjar since eons, people in other parts of the world are starting to learn about building a community and how they have researched that living in a community contributes to happiness, better health, less crime due to better surveillance and most importantly there is a sense of belonging. There will always be someone that looks over and helps you. In the other part of the world, you are on your own.
Balinese lifestyle and easy going approach on life is also something that I cherish. We are generally happy people and smile a lot although there is no particular reason. Since we were born we are exposed to big loving family/community, there is always a helping hand (for free), our sights are teased with burst of colours (from flowers, plants, sceneries), and taste bud is bursting from our spices, gender equality (you can be friends and hang out with different sex, its not a problem), we have freedom to wear what we want, we can climb mountains, swim the ocean or get our feet muddy dirty in the rice field anytime!
* For your reference, my adult life so far, we have lived in Bali, Bangkok, Manila, Phuket, presently Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt. Currently we live in Sinai desert by the Red Sea. Anywhere I have lived before, we have access to fresh produce; eat any vegetables, fruits, meat, fish we wanted, its not the case here. We have to wait for produces to be delivered from Cairo or other parts of Egypt since nothing grows here. Wearing sleeveless or anything that reveals lots of skin would be frowned upon, talking to opposite sex more than 5 minutes could create suspicions. None of this exist in Bali.
By Sri Purna Widari
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