Unchanged Ubud - Part 1

CHIN MUI YOON, Star Publications, Kuala Lumpur had the chance to stroll recently through Ubud - and focus on one of the most fascinatimg characters in Ubud. We publish here the intros to her three articles published in this weeks cultur special:

Located some 30km north of Denpasar, Ubud has long flourished as a culture-based destination. But travellers know little about its royalty, many of whom support themselves by owning properties around the island. The Balinese still revere the royal family as rulers of their ancestors.

‘Ubud has always been the heart of Balinese arts and culture where the people are artists, painters, poets, writers, wood carvers, weavers and artisans,’’ says Tjokorda Raka Kerthyasa.

The royal family has long been a patron of the arts. Tjokorda’s uncle himself has been credited with inviting many influential foreign artists such as Walter Spies (His 1928 painting 'Road in Bali' , right) and Rudolph Bonnet who were instrumental in promoting Balinese traditional arts.

The royal family retains a strong sphere of influence among the Balinese. Today, they are expected to take on a meditative role between government and the local villagers. Many continue to support the arts and Tjokorda himself is an established artist and poet.

The royal members are involved in temple rituals, village ceremonies and communal projects such as repairing temples, pelinggih or family shrines, and ceremonial objects such as the barong (dragon-like figures used for rituals).

A generous portion of Tjokorda’s earnings is given to the community, village schools and temples, and especially to the children through the Triharta Karang Foundation that sponsors schoolchildren from poor families.Full Story