Balinese Women, Sweating as Porters

By and large, on every religious holiday, the markets in Bali, especially in Denpasar and Badung, are invaded by impromptu market porters (carrying goods on her head). No half-heartedly, the number of impromptu porters emerging before religious holiday can reach hundreds of people. Nengah Mudri, a porter from Bebandem Village, Karangasem, told Bali Post that before Kuningan many impromptu porters appeared in numbers. They came from different regions, generally from Munti Gunung, who just got a blessing from people who were shopping in Badung Market.

As the biggest traditional market in Denpasar, it was indeed always crowded by communities purchasing their needs. Surely it is a blessing for us, the middle-down class community. So, it is not surprising if many people change profession into impromptu porter, she said. She added when there was no feast day, the number of porters in Badung Market was around 30-50 people. However, during the holidays their number could reach hundreds of people. Although the market was invaded by impromptu porters, she admitted there was no rivalry.

Her income was at least IDR 60,000 per day and during busy days she could earn more than IDR 100,000 per day. On usual days, her average income was IDR 25,000-IDR 30,000 per day. For one time service, we are usually paid no less than IDR 5,000 or depending on the kindness of our customer, she said. Comparable confession was also revealed by another porter, Nengah Sari. She was an impromptu porter before religious festivals as being persuaded by her friend. It is common if impromptu porter appears in numbers, she said.

They were trying to find money for survival, considering it was difficult to find a job now. Moreover, most of the porters had inadequate education background. Although it is a rough work, it does not matter as long as it’s good and can support the family,” she added. Not only invaded by spike of impromptu porters, the number of traders also nearly doubled. An increasing number of traders always happened before the celebration of Hindu feast day. Most of them were seasonal traders coming from different regions in Bali and generally sold a variety of religious ceremonial supplies, such as coconut, banana and tamiang (ornamental paraphernalia).

These seasonal traders kept on increasing a week before Galungan until Kuningan feast day. In addition to increasing number of traders, visitors to traditional markets were also increasingly crowded.

source : balitravelnews

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