The Samdhana Institute, an institution founded in 2003 by a group of conservationists as well as human rights activists and development experts, this year celebrates 20 years of its existence as part of the social and environmental movement in Southeast Asia. Based on this, Samdhana collaborated with BRASTI and the Wisnu Foundation to organize the third meeting of Young Leaders throughout the archipelago and Southeast Asia to hear voices from the future, related to living in climate change. Collaborative activities were packaged at the 3rd Archipelago Jamboree meeting and the 2nd Southeast Asian Youth Conference, as an effort to interpret the concept of Segara – Gunung (Sea – Mountain).
The Jamboree will be held for five days, from August 20-25, 2023 in the Dalem Tamblingan Traditional area in Catur Village (Gobleg Village, Munduk Village, Gesing Village, and Umajero Village), Buleleng, Bali. Jamboree activities are centered in the Gobleg Village field, and the camping area for participants and committee is in the Kayusambuk Foundation plantation area. A total of 80 participants from the Philippines, Mekong (Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia), Indonesia (Sumatra, Java, Kalimantan, Sulawesi, Nusa Tenggara, Maluku, Papua, Bali) arrived on Sunday, August 20, 2023. Participants from Bali themselves came from all existing regencies/cities, except Bangli. Before carrying out the activities, on Sunday August 20, 2023, prayers were held in several places, namely at Pemulungan Agung Temple, Dalem Temple, Prajapati Temple, Bagawati Temple, Pesiraman Celebung, Kayusambuk Pelinggih, Penunggun Karang Temple, and Taman Pelinggih.
Monday, August 21, 2023 – Opening and Culture Dialogue
The event was opened by performing the Pendet dance and the performance of a Kebyar creation entitled Semara Danu. The Pendet dance is a welcoming dance, while the Semara Danu is inspired by the principles of Danu Kerthi Paraning Wana Kerthi Huluning Amertha, which means glorifying the existence of lakes and forests as a source of life. Participants and invitees were welcomed by the Dane Pengerajeg Adat Dalem Tamblingan (I Gusti Agung Ngurah Pradnyan), the Director of the Samdhana Institute in Indonesia (Martua T. Sirait), and the representative of the Acting Regent of Buleleng (Gede Melandrat – Head of the Buleleng Regency Environment and Forestry Service). Furthermore, the invitees to this opening event were given the opportunity to view the Good Practices Exhibition through photographic artwork and community processed products, intended as a learning medium between communities regarding the management of their territory. Each region displays its stories and works, namely Mekong, Philippines, Kalimantan, Bali, Papua, Java, Sulawesi, Nusa Tenggara, Sumatra and Maluku.
After lunch, participants had an online dialogue with the Director General of Culture – Ministry of Education, Culture, Research and Technology of the Republic of Indonesia (Hilmar Farid, Ph.D.). The dialogue began with a presentation from Noer Fauzi Rachman, emphasizing the importance of introducing young groups to the village culture that exists within each participant. The important thing obtained through dialogue is the need to develop local food to achieve food security and sovereignty. The challenge is in dealing with the government (regarding policies and permits) and corporations (investments that damage the environment) as holders of power. This can be responded by reducing excessive production, making savings and wise consumption.
The last activity of the day was solidarity night, the appearance of participants from the Philippines. Participants from the Philippines presented the movements carried out and the issues that occurred in indigenous communities, such as many indigenous community leaders and tribal leaders who were criminalized by the government. Apart from that, many activists were arrested because they were considered terrorists. Next was a community documentary screening in Palawan and dance performances from each tribe in the Philippines, such as the Bukidnon, Tagbanwa, Manobo, Talaandig and Teduray tribes. Participants were then invited to join in the Idana dance, and closed with the Folding Mat game.
Tuesday, August 22, 2023 – Light Discussion
The concept of nyegara gunung (sea – mountain) is a ritual activity carried out by the Hindu community in Bali from the sea to the mountains. This concept is also practiced by the Dalem Tamblingan Indigenous community (DTI community), one of which is through the Lilitan Karya ritual. Rituals are aimed at harmonizing with nature. A casual conversation was held with DTI community representatives:
- Putu Ardana: Segara Gunung is a holistic and integrated concept, different from the concept created by the state. This concept includes protection, what is done in the mountains will affect things in the sea, and vice versa. Not only protection of physical nature, but also social issues, so that nothing can be separated.
- Kadek Sugihartono: the concept of a mountain is very appropriate to the big issue related to climate change. In the midst of a paradigm that tends to be exploitative and hedonistic, our minds and spirits must concentrate on protecting the world in our own way, in Bali with the concept of a mountain country, even though there has been degradation in its application and meaning.
The activity continued with a Sharing Session facilitated by Kahayag Gabrielle Royo-Fay, aimed at building space so that young people could realize their ideas, especially in protecting food and building a better education system. Participants were divided into six groups consisting of various regions/countries. Each group sends one representative to talk about the issues shared in their group:
- Young people’s biggest challenges: lack of self-confidence and overthinking, difficulty adapting, too many considerations
- Society’s biggest challenges: land conversion and land grabbing, large investments destroying the environment, young people not interested in culture, community participation, profit oriented, prioritizing results rather than process
- Skills and support needed: campaigns, government support for indigenous communities, learning and dialogue with parents, regional management innovation.
The Second Night of Solidarity was attended by the Mekong group (Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar, Vietnam):
- Game: whispering and guessing the country in the Mekong region based on the flag
- Presentations about CIYA institutions (Cambodia), weaving processes (Myanmar), community life and herbal centers (Vietnam)
- Performing arts: Laos, Thailand, Vietnamese flute
- Learn to sing Khmer songs
Wednesday, August 23, 2023 – Trekking and Culture Practice
Participants were divided into four groups, each group consisting of 20 – 30 people. To get to the trekking location, participants use a pick-up car and the journey takes 20 – 30 minutes.
- Gobleg: walk for about 1 km and go around the coffee, orange, vegetable and flower gardens. Next, the participants visited Lake Tamblingan
- Munduk: covering a distance of about 2 km walking downhill in the forest, followed by crossing the lake using a pedal for about 1.5 km in about 30 minutes.
- Gesing: walk along rice fields and clove plantations with a sloping to steep topography for about 3 km. Participants spent about 30 minutes in the river to rest and swim.
- Umejero: the distance traveled is quite short, which is 1.5 km but with a sloping, steep, to steep topography. In addition to seeing the diversity of food sources, participants can also enjoy waterfalls and swim in the surrounding rivers.
- After returning from trekking, participants can see and learn the cultural practices of the ADT community. There are five cultural practices that participants can choose from, namely:
- Mejejaitan: namely making offerings for worship. Canang and tipat are basic means of prayer, made from coconut leaves and various types of flowers.
- Dancing: dance is one way of serving the gods, ancestors and the universe, especially sacred dances offered in temples. There is also a type of dance that is intended for welcoming guests or just entertainment.
- Gamelan percussion: just like dance, gamelan percussion is also offered in temples, and can also be used for entertainment or to fill free time.
- Playing gangsing: is a traditional game played by children and adults. Gangsing is made from wood and is equipped with a rope for the throwing tool to rotate.
- Cooking: especially dishes that use local ingredients and traditional techniques, also with traditional tools commonly used at home. The dishes made include satay, pepes and chicken lawar.
The Third Solidarity Night was attended by Indonesian groups (Sumatra, Java, Kalimantan, Sulawesi, Nusa Tenggara, Maluku, Papua). Indonesia presents artistic performances from Maluku (Hena Masa Waya dance), Kalimantan (Hornbill dance), Papua (Utu-utu Kalayo dance from the Moi tribe). Next they danced together, namely Poco-poco from Maluku, Sajojo from Papua, and Ja’I from Ngada, Nusa Tenggara.
Thursday, August 24, 2023 – Future Agenda
The activity began with a Village Trekking presentation by each group. Then participants from each country were asked to write and describe statements to improve environmental issues in their respective places:
- Philippines: “listen to indigenous peoples and take action for our climate.” The reason is because there are many climate change agreements, but in reality, none of them are implemented.
- Mekong: “no youth, no nature, no future.” Youth must take action in the environmental movement so that nature can be protected and sustainable.
- Indonesia: “moving and impactful.” Moving means taking real action on issues in the environment. Change will not come if there is no movement. Youth have the same goal, namely to have a real impact on the environment.
One common theme is “taking action and being willing to move.” What young people worry about is a lack of self-confidence. Youth cannot take more action, even though they actually can. The commitment to strengthen each other is to try to blend in with art and build team building through games.
The fourth or final Solidarity Night was filled by Balinese groups (Buleleng, Denpasar, Badung, Gianyar, Tabanan, Karangasem, Klungkung, Jembrana). The Bali team introduced the game mekacang ori/goak-goakan, consisting of two groups trying to catch each other’s tails. Then they performed the Kecak dance which tells the story of the Ramayana and Joged Bungbung which is a social dance.
The final evening closed with the participants’ impressions of the activities that had lasted for five days. Most of the participants expressed their gratitude to the Dalem Tamblingan Indigenous community and nature for welcoming them warmly, so they could take part in this Jamboree activity comfortably. Participants felt grateful to take part in this activity and were able to learn valuable lessons, such as the concepts of Tri Hita Karana and Nyegara Gunung, and were also able to learn about local culture. This Nusantara Jamboree is a space to foster motivation for indigenous youth to continue fighting and remind indigenous youth that they do not act alone, but can collaborate and move together in protecting nature and dealing with environmental issues.