BaduiAntony Casual writes
: Imagine a place where there are no roads, no electricity, no traffic jams, no computers. A world where people work the land and are essentially self sufficient. There is no money because there is nothing to buy. They feed themselves, clothe themselves and heal themselves. An agrarian utopia, it sounds like a wet dream for Khieu Samphan, the apparent intellect of Pol Pot's genocidal régime in Cambodia. However, it's a reality in the mountains and valleys of a small area of West Java where the Badui live much as they have done for ever and ever amen.
This is where I'll be this weekend with a group of friends, expats with Indonesian wives and children. I haven't yet told 'Er Indoors that the wives and children face an uphill hike of some seven or so kilometres into the inner sanctum whilst we foreigners are left behind, relaxing, in the outer village.
It should be an interesting weekend, although I do have some reservations about being a cultural tourist. More importantly, I hope that our bunch of crazy mixed up kids return with an enhanced respect for those who continue to live in harmony with their surroundings, hopefully only mildly subverted by we outsiders.As I walked around I was struck by two things. One was the absence of man made noise. What a treat that was to walk in the jungle and hear the noises only of the beasts who live there and the occasional clack-clack as women worked on hand operated mills, knocking up handicrafts for the tourist trade.(I posted about the Badui nearly three years ago when I spotted two villagers walking beside a main road in Jakarta.)