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Directory Home> About Bali > History of Bali
 
HISTORY OF BALI
 
Intellectuals and artists, priests and princes, soldiers and artisans arrived in Bali with their precious books and records. The island suddenly flooded with the sudden flow of creative ideas and skills, and the culture developed significantly. By the beginning of the 19th century, Bali was still an isolated island relatively unaffected by the west, with its unique ever-evolving culture still intact.

The British East India Company introduced some opportunities for self-government to Bali in the early 1800s, after Holland's influence decreased as a result of the Napoleonic wars. When the Dutch returned to Indonesia and tried to gain sovereignty of Bali in the early 1840s, trouble flared. After sixty years, two important wars againsts the Dutch, i.e., Puputan (a battle to the last blood) Badung and Puputan Jagaraga were popularly known as a mass suicide of Balinese families finally ended what had developed into an ongoing dispute. Rather than giving in the Dutch, the rajahs and their families chose to fight to the last blood or used ceremonial knives to end their misery and make a proud statement. Holland relented, and Bali survived the immediate threat of European influence.

The quiet period from the early to mid 1900s brought a different type of western influence, though, with a sudden influx of tourists. During this period, foreigners were already being drawn to the exotic beauty of the island and its people and culture. Cruise ships made Bali a regular stopover, made Buleleng port the main point to anchor and more and more people became intrigued by this endearing paradise.
 
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