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Page 14

A Perfume Sky

hush, little one

close your eyes now

I will tell you a tale

of a faraway isle

of volcanoes that soar

in a perfume sky.

sleep little one

close your eyes tight

I will tell you a story of a land of delight.

a place of contentment

where happiness dwells

old people are honoured

and given much love

all children are treasured

as gifts from the gods.

hush darling baby

please don’t cry

I am singing of sunshine

and a perfume sky

Selaksa Harum Angkasa

sunyilah, dindaku sayang

tutuplah matamu sekarang

aka kututurkan padamu dongeng

tentang pulau nun jauh di seberang

gunung-gunung berapinya menjulang

gapai selaksa harum angkasa

tidurlah dindaku

rapat-rapat tutup matamu

akan kututurkan dongeng tentang negeri bahagia

sebuah tempat buat rekreasi

di mana kebahagiaan bisa dinikmati

orang tua dihormati

dipersembahkan kasih abadi

semua anak adalah keberuntungan

rachmat dari Tuhan

sunyilah dindaku sayang

janganlah menangis

kudendangkan tembang cahaya mentari

dan selaksa harum angkasa


The Balinese have a great love of children. They believe that a child is god-like. To use harsh words to a child, or within his or her hearing would injure a child’s delicate spirit. A child is never beaten because that would surely injure the tender soul and it might choose to leave the earth. There is no regular discipline but nevertheless children are not pampered. Parents do not intimidate their children but coax them into obedience by parental example and treating them as equals.

As soon as a child can walk they have the freedom of the village to wander wherever they like. An older child will always look after a younger child. Usually the ‘carer’ is not much older and it is a common sight to see a young girl with a child on her hip almost as big as herself. There is no special behaviour pattern set apart from adult behaviour. Balinese society is intensely communal and if anyone does anything to upset the gods the result would affect the transgressor and the community as a whole. This form of responsibility puts considerable pressure to conform to adat (customary law and traditional values and customs).

Balinese people usually display a great personal dignity and confidence. They endeavour to live in harmony and co-operation with each other and are a gentle people despite the fact that some live in extreme poverty.

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