Life, News, Photography and Reviews from Ubud: The Apple of Bali's Eye

The Old Bali Blog « Nag or Stallion? Chinese Year of the Horse, 2014

According to the cream of Indonesia's phytobiophysicists and psycho-cybernetics experts, 2014's going to be a rough ride.

Among a rash of natural disasters, we're going to see more floods and volcanic eruptions across the archipelago – get out of here – and the dollar's going to hit 14,000 rupiah.

May and July are bad news for the accident-prone – and the 2014 elections in July will be a two-horse-race between no-nonsense people's-man 'Joko' Widodo and the grumpy old general Prabowo Subianto.

Property and food in Indonesia will do well; transport and farming won't. 2014 will be lucky for the Sign of the Dog, Tiger and Rabbit; ciong (unlucky) for the Rat, Horse, Dragon, Rooster and Snake.

I wander down to Ubud market for a more earthy appraisal – and bump into my sage, Ibu Ketut. She's seen some animals come and go.

– "I don't know about any of that nonsense," she says.

"But one thing's for sure. Every time Imlek" – Chinese New Year – "comes around, we get some awful weather up north in Buleleng. Maybe it's because so many orang cina (Chinese-Indonesian people) live there?"

Blame it on the sunshine? Blame it on the moonlight? Or just blame it all on the Chinese?

Anti-Chinese sentiment is never far from the surface in Indonesia.

Sixteen years ago, Imlek was still banned in the Republic – along with Chinese medicine, Chinese reading matter, the Chinese alphabet, speaking in Chinese, traditional Chinese arts & crafts and, well... pretty much anything Chinese.

Apparently, it was a Communist thing.

For the history of the Chinese-Indonesians – the Tionghoa – take a look at 'Slow Burning in Chinese Indonesia' in The Big Read by Ubud High.

YotH 2565 or 2014 AD? Oh, who cares.

Saddle-up and hold on tight. We're in for a rough ride.


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