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Notes on the Geography of Indonesia: Bali Again: Photo 42

world pictures Indonesia: Bali Again

And here's what the canal sustains. Terraced rice fields, or sawahs cover about 300 square miles of Bali, and visitors now but also in the past have often found the fields wonderful. The appeal is largely esthetic but partly also social. After all, people who fall in love with Bali are here because they are in some way dissatisfied with life at home. It's not just that Berlin or Chicago seems ugly, it is that people in Bali seem to live cooperatively rather than competitively to their dying day.

One early admirer was Gregor Krause, a German doctor who practiced for years in Bali. With a pen dipped in vitriol, he wrote on the eve of World War I that "the peculiarity of modern European civilization, or whatever other name one chooses to give it, is that it uncovers the lower and lowest instincts of human nature, strengthens them, and so creates hordes of slaves more grotesque than have ever been seen before...." (Bali 1912, 1988, p. 39.)

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