Uma Wali Return to the rice fields

Last week, Tabanan Lovers (Talov), a modern organization of mostly young activists, and members of Subak (traditional farming society) Ganggangan of Pagi village, joined hands to organize an event aimed at luring the regency’s youngsters back to its rice fields. Called Uma Wali, the week-long event combined art performances, free medical check-ups, educational sessions on traditional farming and farming-related competitions to draw the crowds into its main venue: the spacious tracts of rice fields in Subak Ganggangan.

It was held during the harvest season to provide participants with a view of local farmers cutting stalks of paddy in the rice fields. The participating children were acquainted with the acoustic elements of traditional farming: from the sounds made by the water passing different sized irrigation channels, the slit bamboo bells used to scare away birds, to the rhythm produced by bamboo windmills fixed on tall poles across the rice fields. After that, they were invited to join fun-filled games, including fish-and eel-catching and scarecrow-making.

“Tabanan is too busy with political brouhaha and forgets its role as the biggest rice producer on the island,” organizing committee member Putu Sedana said, adding that the community would try to make Uma Wali an annual event. Subak Ganggangan has 58 members and is currently experimenting with organic farming. Tabanan has 22,500 hectares of rice fields, the largest on the island, and 228 subak. Recent developments suggest that tourism investors have begun expanding their interests to this regency and the rice fields could be at risk.

source : bali daily

%d bloggers like this: