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Jogja & Me: Why people make Jogja their Home? Episode IV: Ibed from Bali This month’s Jogja & Me is about a promising Balinese artist. I decided it was time for an Indonesian to speak, because apart from foreigners, many Indonesians make Jogja their home as well. Ibed is one of them. “I moved to Jogja in 2003 when I started studying theatre at the ISI arts institute. I come from a small village in western Bali. For my parents and most of the people I grew up around, Java is something strange and different. But back then it was told Jogja is the city of culture, so I persisted. I left Bali and started living and studying here.” Ibed has long since graduated and is currently the leader of Seni Teku, an inspiring young theatre collective in Jogja. But it was no easy road. “I experienced a big culture shock in the beginning.” Although from Indonesia, living in Jogja almost felt like living in a different country. “I had to get used to so many things. Hearing Adzan (muslim call for prayer) everywhere, people speaking a different language and the Javanese have these strange habits.” With a smile and sense of detail Ibed gives an example: “In Bali we do not hang pants or underwear to dry any higher than knee level. Walking, or even looking underneath a pair of pants or underwear is absolutely not done. Here the Javanese just hang their underwear to dry in the open, at shoulder height, for all to see. It’s shocking.” Ever since Ibed’s arrival he has felt welcomed by Jogja’s people. Despite the fact he is mainly here because of the arts, Jogja has grown on him. “The way contemporary and traditional art meet, mix and evolve in Jogja is absolutely unique.” Bantul, a region directly south of Jogja, is now Ibed’s second home. “For me, most interesting things are found outside of the city and I enjoy the village atmosphere in Bantul. People are friendly and there’s lots of artists to share ideas with, or try out new things.”

Having grown so accustomed to Jogja, going home to Bali requires a reverse cultural adaption nowadays. “For me, Bali is my past. But when I go home I don’t want to feel like living in the past. So I really put in an effort to create a positive atmosphere and I constantly feel the need to innovate. It takes me about a week or so, to really get back into it: the language, the people, life in my village. Then when I go back to Jogja, I have to adapt all over again.” Disturbing? “No. I feel blessed. I have become a multi-cultural person. I can truly appreciate and value the differences. Most Balinese people cannot do this. They will see something different and say it’s weird, or strange, or not the way it should be. I am beyond that now.” Getting Ibed’s advise on interesting things to do in Jogja, proofed rather difficult. “I actually enjoy being in my room. Reading, writing and smoking.” But when this young theatre director does go outside he enjoys being in Nitiprayan, Jogja’s artists village. “The bookstalls near Taman Pintar are also great. You have to search, but you can find really good books there, and cheap.” During the interview Ibed admitted one day he will move back to Bali. A long term plan, but still. My guess is Jogja still has plenty to offer to this multicultural Balinese artist wrapped warmly in Javanese hospitality. EW

Jogja Mag November Edition 2012  

Jogja Mag November Edition 2012

Jogja Mag November Edition 2012  

Jogja Mag November Edition 2012

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