Friday, March 24, 2017

Penggunaan Buluh di Bali

Binaan rumah buluh yang menakjubkan di Bali oleh Ibuku.

Buluh merupakan antara bahan yang telah lama digunakan oleh manusia sejak sekian lama. Keistimewaan tumbuhan ini adalah ia mudah digunakan kerana fizikalnya yang mudah dibentuk mengikut kegunaan atau terdapat jenis buluh yang sesuai untuk fungsi-fungsi tertentu. Oleh sebab itulah, buluh digunakan untuk menyediakan masakan sehinggalah membina tempat tinggal.

Walaupun keunikan penggunaan buluh di Bali dilihat lebih kepada penggunaannya untuk tujuan pembinaan chalet-chalet atau hotel daripada hotel biasa sehinggalah kepada hotel bertaraf lima bintang, namun buluh memainkan peranan yang lebih penting dalam kehidupan masyarakat di Bali. Buluh yang digunakan untuk tujuan pembinaan ini bukan sahaja digunakan dengan kaedah tradisi, malah ia dibentuk untuk menghasilkan bangunan-bangunan unik yang sebelum ini belum pernah dicuba bagi menghasilkan sesuatu yang unik.

Buluh juga dihargai di negara-negara lain seperti di Jepun.
Buluh masih digunakan sebagai penyokong binaan di Bali.
Rumah-rumah buluh di Biyukukung, Ubud.

Bangunan-bangunan yang dihasilkan menggunakan buluh bukan sahaja memberikan keselesaan, ia sebenarnya memberikan suasana yang lebih semulajadi. Ini memberikan ketenangan kepada siapa sahaja. Ia tidak memerangkap haba sepertimana bangunan yang dihasikan menggunakan bahan lain terutamanya konkrit. Teksturnya sendiri menghasilkan permukaan yang amat menarik serta berkilat (sekiranya tidak terdedah kepada air; hujan misalnya). Gabungan bahan-bahan lain pula menjadikan bangunan daripada buluh mempunyai nilai yang amat tinggi.

Buluh-buluh di Bali ditanam di lereng-lereng kawasan pergunungan di Bali selain buluh yang hidup secara liar di hutan. Ladang buluh ini antaranya dapat dilihat dengan jelas di luar perkarangan Pura Luhur Batukaru, Tabanan. Buluh-buluh yang matang dan sesuai untuk digunakan akan diasingkan dan diletak di pinggir jalan menuju ke pura ini. Buluh ini adalah buluh untuk digunakan untuk tujuan pembinaan kerana mempunyai ketebalan yang tinggi selain saiz yang besar.

Terdapat banyak bangunan terutamanya hotel dan chalet di Bali yang dibina menggunakan buluh sebagai bahan binaannya. Selain menghasilkan binaan yang unik, kebanyakan bangunan-bangunan ini dihasilkan mengikut rekaan kontemporari (ia bukan binaan tradisi; hasil pengolahan arkitektur menggunakan buluh). Hasilnya potensi binaan buluh menjadi lebih meluas dan lebih banyak binaan yang unik cuba dihasilkan.

Buluh mudah digunakan untuk menghasilkan bentuk-bentuk baru.

Binaan unik begini sukar dihasilkan dengan bahan lain.

Sebuah cafe yang dibina menggunakan buluh di Pantai Seminyak.
Antara restoran lain yang menggunakan buluh sebagai hagan binaan.

Walaubagaimanapun buluh masih lagi digunakan untuk tujuan-tujuan lain selain digunakan sebagai bahan makanan, perkakasan, peralatan rumah, perhiasan, pertanian, sokongan binaan dan sebagainya. Anda dapat melihat buluh-buluh digunakan sebagai sokongan untuk membuat bangunan-bangunan konkrit di Bali. Walaupun ia tidak lagi digunakan di kawasan-kawasan bandar lain seperti di Malaysia, ia adalah satu kaedah penggunaan sumber alam yang baik (selagi ia tidak mendatangkan bahaya).


Apa yang menarik di sini, sumber alam seperti buluh ini jika terus digunakan tetap menghasilkan satu hasil yang baik. Seperti juga tumbuhan-tumbuhan lain, setiap bahagian tumbuhan ini mempunyai kegunaan tersendiri. Jadi mengapa kita tidak menggunakan potensinya untuk kebaikan kita semua.







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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Mengembalikan Kesuburan Loess Plateau, China

Loess Plateau sebelum dan selepas pemulihan semula.

Mungkin tidak semua pernah mendengar mengenai Loess Plateau atau Huangtu Plateau, iaitu sebuah kawasan seluas 640,000 km berada di hulu Sungai Huang He (Yellow River). Kawasan yang suatu masa dahulu amat subur ini bagaimanapun telah lama bertukar menjadi padang pasir dan menjadikan para penduduknya tinggal di dalam keadaan yang amat miskin. Sehinggalah pada tahun 1994 satu langkah drastik telah diambil yang menjadikan Loess Plateau kembali menghijau.

Loess Plateau merupakan satu kawasan yang amat subur suatu masa dahulu yang membolehkan banyak kerajaan lama didirikan di sekitar kawasan ini. Oleh kerana aktiviti pertanian dan penternakan yang tidak terkawal ia bagaimanapun bertukar menjadi tanah yang kering gersang. Hujan yang turun di kawasan ini hanya akan mengalirkan lumpur yang banyak ke dalam sungai dan menjadikan bencana di kawasan hilir sungai iaitu mendakan lumpur dan banjir.

Lokasi kedudukan Loess Plateau.

Kerja-kerja pemulihan yang dilakukan bersama.

Kehijauan yang kembali semula ke kawasan Loess Plateau.

Pada tahun 1994 satu usaha telah dijalankan dan dikenali sebagai “Loess Plateau Watershed Rehabilitation Project”, untuk mengurangkan kesan kegersangan ini. Langkah yang diambil oleh kerajaan ini dijalankan bersama dengan para penduduk yang mendiami kawasan Loess Plateau yang kurang memahami mengenai pertanian lestari (sustainable farming) menjadikan ia satu usaha yang kurang meyakinkan. Namun projek ini sendiri adalah untuk kebaikan para penduduk sendiri di mana tanah yang mereka usahakan menjadi tanah pertanian mereka sendiri pada masa akan datang.

Melalui pelbagai tahap pemulihan semula tanah termasuk membina empangan, kawasan tadahan air, teres-teres di lereng bukit dan penanaman pokok dalam skala yang besar, selain mengelakkan haiwan ternakan daripada berkeliaran bebas memakan anak-anak pokok yang baru tumbuh. Kawasan Loess Plateau yang gersang menampakkan perubahan dalam tempoh 10 tahun dan bertukar menjadi kawasan tanaman yang subur semula.

Penduduk yang meraikan hari perayaan.

Petani yang mengusahakan tanaman epal dengan hasilnya mampu menyara keluarga.

Kaum wanita yang dahulunya terpaksa mengangkut air dari jauh, kini mendapat bekalan air di hadapan rumah mereka.

Sehingga ke hari ini, kawasan Loess Plateau terus menjadi kawasan pertanian yang subur semula. Para petani yang suatu masa dahulu hidup dalam kesusahan berjaya mengeluarkan hasil tanaman yang menguntungkan. Ia merupakan satu perkara di luar jangkaan mereka. Ia antara lain menunjukkan bahawa alam sendiri dapat memberikan lebih baik apabila ianya terjaga dengan baik pula.

Berikutan dengan itu kawasan-kawasan gersang lain di dunia juga ingin mencontohi kejayaan ini. Ternyata, setiap kawasan di dunia mempunyai potensi untuk menjadi kawasan menghijau selagi ianya tidak digunakan dengan cara yang salah. Ini bukanlah bermakna tanah tersebut tidak boleh diusahakan untuk pertanian tetapi haruslah memahami mengenai keseimbangan kesuburan tanah dan mengelakkan ianya daripada terjejas.


Hari ini, dengan perkembangan teknologi manusia mempunyai lebih kemampuan untuk melaksanakan tujuan ini. Maka dengan itu, setiap tindakan perlulah diukur dengan lebih teliti kerana ia boleh mengakibatkan kesan jangka panjang dan boleh mengakibatkan kerugian pada diri sendiri dan generasi akan datang.








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Saturday, March 18, 2017

Museum Subak, Tabanan, Bali


The gate to the Subak Museum.
One of important location that visited during my trip to Bali was Museum Subak to learn more about the unique of rice plantation in Bali. The different between here in Bali from any other location in Indonesia is the Subak organization. This organization playing a big role in managing the water sources in Bali came from 4 main lakes (danu) located high above the mountains.

In order to educate people and younger generation on how important is the Subak, a museum was built and opened in October 1981. Instead of its function in organizing the irrigation system to the rice fields, Subak also has shaped on Balinese culture that make this island far different from any other islands nearby. Here in Bali the rice production is more productive in term of rice produce per hectare. Anyway since the planting areas are very small for each family, their income still considered too low to allow them to enjoy a prosper living.

The water dam as in Subak, represented here in Subak Museum.
Representing the canal entrance to pura (temple) in the vicinity of Bali.

The rice plantation in Bali is organized and influenced by the unique culture on Balinese where pura (temple) will plays their big role in organizing all the activities from time of sowing, irrigation, meetings, and many other things and their centre of activities. Anyway these traits had been practice for several of hundreds years or maybe thousands of years in Bali as how their ancestors leave it for them (in their written guides).

By visiting this Museum you can see many other things related to the way of life for people in Bali where their daily lives are all connected with their beliefs according to their religion and their connected to their gods. At the same time, from this believe evolve the way of life that leads to complicated irrigation system that never find in any other places in Indonesia (if not in the whole ancient world).

The Goddess "Dewi Sri".
"Rare Angon" statue.

Here at the museum you can see few important statues include the Goddess “Dewi Sri” known as the ‘Goddess of Rice’ that will ensure the rice producing is successful for the particular year and another important statue is “Rare Angon” represented by boy on his buffalo with bamboo flute on his hand. This actually said to be the incarnation of God Shiva to teach people in Bali on how to plant rice and music as an entertainment. Well, that’s really perfect combination for successful life; hard works and happiness.

The exhibitions here, focusing on how the rice planting in Bali evolves through times with complicated irrigation systems that allow the rice planting in higher areas. Start from the water management system, water measurements, irrigation, time of planting (Balinese calendar), farming instruments and meetings to discuss in group on how the planting took place on each season; all of these that ensure the rice planting in Bali to be one of the most successful in the region (SE Asia).

Subak organization chart by region.
Subak management guide written on pieces of bamboo.
Long mortar to pound rice.
How long mortar used.

Start from land clearing and preparing the land to rice fields can be done individually or in group. When it comes to water supply and irrigation, these farmers need to do it in group if they want their rice to be successful. With involvement of pura (temple) and higher priest, all of the decisions are decided collectively and all the members of Subak need to attend the meeting (or they will be penalized). All the measuring is done with specific instruments following the guidelines provided by their ancestors. The guidelines are written on surfaces of bamboo and kept safely in a box.

The water divider to farmer’s land were made by wood and measured by finger’s wide. For example with 4 fingers wide the farmer’s land should be in areas of 50 ‘ara’ or (50m2 × 50m2), while for the 2 fingers wide the farmer’s land should be in areas of 25 ‘ara’ or (25m2 × 25m2). Today’s water divider is made of concrete for durability. Many other instruments were used traditionally and some of them still in use until today, all of these reflecting how rice planting was carefully managed in traditional Bali.

Water dividers to the rice field made of wood.
The work of measuring water into the rice fields.
Water tunnel construction.
Among the modern machinery used in the field.

Today rice planting in Bali is influence with modern machines and technologies, anyway man force still needed for the condition of the rice fields. There must be many other things can be improve in order to increase the production of Balinese farmers without interfere the system of Subak. The most important thing, farmers need to preserve the sustainability to maintain the beautiful of Bali as how they ancestors did.


There are many other things to learn from unique Balinese lifestyles. One of the most visible to visitors is the ‘canang’ or the offering. Canang is prepared everyday as offering together with pray. You can see canang almost everywhere all over Bali. This stated how generous the Balinese can be when it comes to their belief and hope. Something that we all can learn accordance to your own belief.









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Where To Stay In Bali

Hanging Gardens of Bali, located in Ubud.

If you have plans to visit Bali perhaps the think you don't have to worry about is the place to stay. Since this fascinating tourist attraction never lack of rooms to meet different requirements from their visitors.

There are 6,640 (keep growing) of hotels available all across Bali, in different places with their own unique attractions. It's not the rooms or hotels that you need to worry about, it's where you want to be and how much is the budget that you're willing to pay. Maybe there are few other criteria that you need to consider to suit your personal needs or interest such as location, surrounding areas, types of room, facilities, price and so on.

Hard Rock Hotel, Kuta.

Marriott in Seminyak.

With today's internet technology, to check on these hotels also become much easier. Since the information are scattered widely on the internet the competition become higher and the price become more competitive. It's not just between the hotel that the price is compared but also among the websites that promoting these hotels.

Even though you can search all of these hotels easily, some hotels published their premises with fake photos, or photos of incorrect room and so on. So there are few things to consider avoiding from choosing the wrong hotel. These are few things that I always do before booking my room.

- Check photos from different websites or visitors to get the accurate pictures of the room or place.

- Check on the Google Street for the surrounding areas, as this too can give you clearer picture of the place and the surrounding.

- To check on the facilities as this too can reflect the hotel's capabilities in order to meet your expectations.

-  The number of rooms too is another indicator of the hotel's capability in order to provide better services, even though this not always accurate.

Knowing what you want is the key to find the right place to stay. Sometimes you need to stay at certain locations, to allow you to easy access for other places such as restaurants, beaches, convenience store, transportation, attractions, malls, bars and many other reasons. This can save you lots of time; money and energy at the same time give more time to rest.

Viceroy in Ubud.

Sharma Bamboo House.

Eco Bamboo Home.

Nice place not always necessary to be expensive. Anyway they need to fulfill the basic necessities such as cleanliness, reliable, easy access, hassle free, and clearly stated of operations practices. Yes, often you need to know clearly the hotel check-in and check-out out time or there's any extra charges apply. These small things can still affect customer’s experiences that turn them to loyal customer. Comments from others also can give you some insights about the place but cannot be 100% accurate - some comments are bias or specific to certain time.

Even when you can afford to stay at the best 5 stars hotels, finding the right hotels or places to stay sometimes provide you with extra experiences; that are unique to specific locations. For my personal opinion my experiences always as important as the places where about I’m going to stay as I’m not going to spend all the time at the hotels. Plus most of the times I don’t even use all the facilities provided by these expensive hotels but looking for clean room, good service, nice breakfast, comfort sleep, and the staffs that willingly to help me with all my needs with smile.



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