Balinese woman
Comments 12

I’m absolutely in love with your photos. And I’m with you on this issue. Part of why we travel is to expand our understanding of the issues our world faces– sometimes to even be moved enough to do something about it. I do think that photography can be tricky, as some people don’t like having their image captured on camera (for personal or spiritual reasons); others simply want a little cash for photos; and still others will smile and laugh and pose enthusiastically for free. I think that being sensitive is the only way to do this well; and we ought to tread carefully as we wander through someone else’s home. Ultimately though, I think we have a lot of power as travelers to expose the realities of the world to our friends. Every time I travel, I’m inspired to live with less and to give with more.

Hi Daisy. Thank you for your thoughtful reply! I couldn’t agree more. Well said.

Hi… I just discover your blog and find it interesting. Some comment of the above articles (as a person who spend most of his life in SE Asia)

Yes, travelers should be sensitive to local culture. The habits of different countries, different areas are not the same with the habits we know. Things that are okay for us, usually not for the locals, vice versa. Communicating it nicely is the best way to bridge the difference while travelling. Most of the time, the host will understand and appreciate the effort to communicate.

Yes, travelers should acknowledge injustice. The income gap between the rich and the poor are huge in many part of the world. Social, political, economical, and human-rights injustice are common sights in many countries and should be acknowledge. However, the value of justice in many occasions are not the same trans-culturally. Applying traveler’s values to the locals and point it as injustice will not solve the problem.

Yes, travelers should never treat other people as inferior. The person that looks bad is not always bad. In certain areas of the world, there is hesitancy to show the world their “material” value in order not to offend their neighbors. Hence, the look often deceiving. In many times, nobody cares about what other people have on their hands.

It’s an interesting scenario that rears its head from time to time.

I don’t think we should ever feel guilt for where we were born (in this situation), however it is, as you’ve said, weighed more on how we conduct ourselves around, then represent these peoples in word and image.

I think you’ve covered an often painful and sensitive issue very well

Thank you, Chris.

Your post is beautiful. In the artful sense of beauty, but mostly on the human sense of it. I think travelers and bloggers have a “responsibility” to talk about what’s really happening in the world, what the world is made of, and it’s not just white sand and cool resorts. I was faced with the same questions and debates when I went to India and volunteered in the slums. India is beautiful. But it’s not only beautiful. It’s unfair, it’s hard, it’s poverty, it’s dirty,… Same goes with Bali. And I’m so so so happy and grateful when someone expresses it with such talent.

Yes, yes, yes. Thanks for reading, Alice.

What a beautiful perspective. I have always seen Bali as a place filled with amazing culture and beautiful temples. Could never really imagine that getting to know about the souls of Bali would be equally amazing.

Thanks for your comment, Vyjay!

A very beautiful post. And equally beautiful pictures. They capture not only the humans of bali but also their emotions clear on their faces. it’s so true that injustice does exists, people are treated as unequal and inferior. As travelers, we can do our bit by showing our sensitive side to fellow human whom we meet, respect their culture and honor their traditions.

Thanks for your comment, Neha!

I love the captures….they bring to light life in reality. Like you said, it is important to be sensitive when traveling to the locals. YOu need to appreciate them and not really bring out the negatives about their lifestyle. Glad you wrote this post

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