Getting the Monkey off Your Back: Women and the Intensification of Religious Identities in Post-Bomb Bali, Indonesia


Ida Bagus, Mary. 2010. “Getting the Monkey off Your Back: Women and the Intensification of Religious Identities in Post-Bomb Bali, Indonesia.” Women’s Studies International Forum 33 (4): 402–11. doi:10.1016/j.wsif.2010.02.014.

Author: Mary Ida Bagus


Indonesian nation state discourse defines citizens of the archipelago primarily by ethnicity (suku) but most pervasively by their religious affiliation (agama). On the ‘Hindu’ island of Bali ethnicity and religion merge and conflate to create a distinctive provincial Balinese identity. Balinese ritual and cultural practices attracted major international tourist arrivals from the 1970s until the terrorist bombings in 2002 and 2005 that destroyed lives and the booming local economy. The term Ajeg Bali (‘Bali standing strong’) was coined and promoted in the local mass media in the wake of the first devastating bombings. Ajeg Bali, as a movement to uphold Balinese socio-religious traditions, has entered the local vernacular and has its supporters and detractors. This paper argues that Balinese women participate in religious nationalism and global movements in spite of constricting social roles imagined for them particularly within the post-bomb discourse of Ajeg Bali.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Women, Religion, Violence Regions: Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Indonesia

Year: 2010

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