Jimbaran is one of the beaches in Badung regency which also a fisherman village located at the south of Bali island. It location is not far from the Ngurah Rai International Airport. You can reach this jimbaran from the airport for about 10 minutes to the south of the airport.
Jimbaran nowaday become one of the most favorite culinary tour at night in Bali. There are many restaurants that offer seafood. Uniquely, you can enjoy the delicious variety of food menus from marine fish processed that you order right at the seaside with the beach’s romantic and beautifull night atmosphere and the gentle whisper of the waves and winds that would add to the pleasure of your dinner.
Several restaurants in Jimbaran owned by the fishermen who finally took the initiative to establish a special restaurant serving only foods from the sea. Not only that, Jimbaran tourist area also has a complete tourism facilities such as hotel accommodation like Intercontinental, Four Seasons Resort, Villa Karma, and others, spas, shopping and other facilities.
From the past until now, Jimbaran’s region is known as a fish producer’s village, with most of it villagers living as fisherman. These fishermen generally is not different from other traditional fishermen in Indonesia. They are living at the coastal in the semi-permanent house and still using wooden boats that called “Jukung” and a simple homemade fishing net for fishing to the sea.
What Jukung is? Jukung is a traditional fishing dual outrigger canoe using a sail or more and more frequently a little motor. Most ot them are small (5 m long) and can be easily hauled out of the water and parked on the beach. They can carry 2 or 3 passengers. There are also larger models used to carry snorkellers or divers, some with glass bottom and thus, the fishermen supplement their limited incomes. They are built following a strict set of religious guidelines and according to the body’s measurements of the owner. After the choice of a trunk of a Blalu or Camplung tree, the tree is cut down on an auspicious day according to the ancient Balinese calendar (Dewasa Ayu) and left to dry till another auspicious day and the construction can begin.
Like Human beings, Jukung is not symmetrical. Its bamboo floats are not parralel. This asymmetry gives a heightened degree of stability even in bad weather. Once fully constructed and paint, offerings are presented to the Gods and Jukung is sprinkled with holy water by the priest. The marlinshape praw is decorated with a picture of Gajah Mina (elephant fish) which guides the vessel, in particular at night and takes away the devils.
The spirit of mutual cooperation (Gotong Royong) is also still obviously seen in these fishermen. Together, these fisherman first raised up on a tool that serves to push the boat from land to sea or vice versa at the time when they are leaving to the sea or returning from the sea. This activity is carried out by men.
The man beside in charge to go fishing, also have to remove the catching fish from the nets, while the women helped collect fish that have been excluded from the net and providing food and drink during their break.
Indonesian Sailors Great Tradition in The Ancient History
As an archipelago country with so many islands, you surely can find a lot of Indonesian people living as fishermen. Since time immemorial, people of Indonesia known as the though sailors in history. Long before the arrival of the Europeans in the waters of the Indonesians archipelago in the first half of XVI century, sailors of this country had explored many seas and oceans. Chinese chronicles and treatises Arabian and Persian travelers incised great notes about this great tradition of marine ancestors of the Indonesian nation.
Robert Dick-Read researches even showed amazing phenomenon which highlights how the role of nomadic sailors from Austronesian-speaking region, which is now called Indonesia, leaving significant traces of civilization in some places in Africa. The Indonesian salilors was estimated to have stamped their feet in the African Continent through Madagascar much earlier than the Europeans known Africa and the Sahara Desert and before the Arabs and Zhirazis with their dhow boat found exotic cities in Africa, such as Kilwa, Lamu, and Zanzibar. “Although (the sailors Nusantara) does not leave a note and concrete evidence about their trip, the remains of them in Africa far more than is generally known,” he wrote in the introduction to his latest book. Moreover, he found that Indonesian ancestors is a had a great tradition as a sailor for more than 1,500 years ago.
I-Tsing, a lot of travelers from China accounted for relevant information during the early history of the archipelago, explicitly recognizes the role of the Indonesian sailors. In the record of religious travel I-Tsing (671-695 AD) from Canton to Nalanda University in South India mentioned that he used the Sriwijaya – ancient kingdom which controled shipping traffic in the “South Sea” at the time – ship.
In other words, the flow of trade in goods and services toward the end of the first millennium in the “silk route” through the sea highly dependent on the role of the Indonesian sailors. Dick-Read thesis even further, that in the early first millennium “Kun Lun ships” (read : Indonesia) has been involved in trade in the Mediterranean.
Indonesian Sailors Known Only As Fisherman Nowaday
Along with the development of technology especially in trades, the great tradition of Indonesian sailor is almost forgotten. There are no more Indonesian sailor whose exploring the sea to find new place for trades and even conquer the places that they had found like it was before. They become only as a fisherman nowaday. Unfortunately most people are not considered fisherman as a great profession like it was before because they don’t generate much money. And so, these fisherman often diminished or excluded even this profession is actually very vital and generate big revenues for the government.
Moreover, in my opinion this profession is a very noble profession, unlike the corruptors who occupy important positions in this country and violate their oath to their god and promises to the Indonesian people. What these fisherman do for a living is coming from their own sweat, hard work, and of course from a descent and lawful manner.
Facing the hardlife, with braveness these fisherman must headed to the sea everyday for earning something from the sea for their loving ones by expecting the kindness of the Sea God that they believe in to. Their family that always waiting for them make them pushing away their fears of bad weather conditions and even the storm at the sea that might cause harm to them.
I myself give my fully respect to those fishermen and realize that so far they have always become the backbone for the life of this country and nation. They are what i called Trully One of The Greatest Indonesian Patriot amongst other noble profession in Indonesia nowaday.