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THE STRUCTURE OF BALINESE SOCIETY

Since independence government has no longer been in the hands of the kings. Each village has its own local government called the banjar, which assists the government of the Republic of Indonesia in dealing with the needs of the village such as marriages, religious ceremonies, cremation ceremonies, taking care of temples, irrigation, and so on.

The banjar is operated by a set of strict rules. A married man must obey the rules of the banjar and if he breaks them he will be punished severely; he will be boycotted, and if the
violation is very serious he will be declared dead. The head of' the banjar is called the klian banjar. He is elected by the members of the, banjar and if he proves to be unsatisfactory, he can be discharged. A klian banjar is unsalaried.
A banjar has collective properties such as- a rice-field, a bank, and the bale banjar, The latter is the village meeting-place which has a kitchen and household utensils which can be lent to each member of the banjar. The banjar also has an art association, called seka gong (sekaha gong) consisting of a gamelan and a dancing group completely equiped with costumes.

An important part of the village organization is the subak, a collective water system. A subak is a collection of rice-field which receive their water from the same main canal. There are subaks consisting of dozens of hectares; in some, there are even a hundred hectares. Eighty percent of the rice-fields in Bali use the subak system, the head of which is called the klian subak.

The quality of mutual assistance Js inherent in such a social structure, and this kind of life makes for peace and tranquillity which may be the reason why many people say that Bali is a "paradise on earth".

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