Sometimes when we are dealing with people who has different cultural background we might have a question, whether our action is suitable or not, according to their culture. We must act carefully because we do might put the others in uncomfortable situation. If you find a tourist in your place and you notice that their action is very different with your culture, you must feel shock and uncomfortable right? Therefore, we should respect the cultural differences. At the same time, we do have to hold our cultural values.
I lived in Bali for 17 years and decided to continue my study in Bekasi. I do not want to expose but I am very proud as a Balinese and I have many reasons for that. I am glad that I did not spent my youth in the traffic jam and metropolitan city, where I rarely find a tourism destination. In Bali, I can spotted many different cultures live in harmony every day. I can go to many places without being trapped in a traffic jam, and I get to see the beauty of Indonesian culture, especially Balinese culture.
When I started to live in Bekasi, most people were asking about my island origin. When I mentioned about Bali, they were very astonished. Most of them said that I must be good to live in Bali. But, I also have received a question that whether I get influenced too much by western culture or not, because as you know that I get to see this phenomenon every day and I can easily join them. For example, going to clubs, drinking alcohol, and so on.
As my respond to that question, I would like to tell you about several things and these are my point of view as a Balinese. First, people who lives in Bali strongly hold into their culture, the existence of many temples and several religious restriction is well implemented to the citizens. No matter the tourist wants to explore it, unfortunately we cannot let them. You might discover those sparkling and hype places and expensive recreation or entertainment. But it is being adapted and combined with the existing culture. For example, you cannot build more than four story building. Hence, our culture would not be left out.
The attracting point of our island is the culture itself, so why do we have to drown in the westernization, while the tourist are seeking for Indonesian who holds into their culture? That is why because of the strong culture and the cultural implementation since I was child, I know what my identity is. We have to respect, but on the other side if the different culture is not suitable with ours, we do not have to follow it.
It is hard to describe ethical and unethical from the cultural perspective, since every culture has their own value. But I know for sure that in facing the differences we should able to differentiate which one is can be implemented in our daily life and which one is just for our knowledge.
Apart from that, I remember that I had done something impolite in front of my mother’s guest. I did not about their culture well. Back then, I got a new friend from South Korea and his name was Kim Yong Jin. My mother used to call him Kim and without being realized I also called him by his family name. After, learning Korean language and culture, I realized that my action was very rude and impolite but Mr. Yong Jin did not take it very seriously back then. He warned me that I could not call a person with his family name only.
Based on my experience, we might have cultural difference and the differences can be a new knowledge for us. We might not implement the same thing in our place but we can respect and act carefully. In order to avoid the judgment of being ethical or unethical by the cultural differences.
-credit to the picture owner-