Culture Community Commodity. The Bali Dog. Their ongoing relationship with a rapidly changing environment.
There’s no argument that the Bali Dog is deeply entwined in Balinese culture. Mythology and scripture is evidence of its place within the fabric of Balinese culture. There’s also no fighting the fact that one of the planets oldest canines has cohabited with humans in a symbiotic community arrangement for tens of centuries, at least. Historically it’s seen and unseen value and usefulness as a community member has been undeniable.
But those times have changed enormously and the relationship between Bali Dog and Bali People has also evolved relative to the rapid pace of modernity on the island. The tourist swamped areas have all but wiped out their arrangement of small coastal symbiotic sustenance. Unspoken rules based on mutual survival through times of hand to paw to mouth have moved to a commodity driven criteria mostly dependent on tourism and a competitive mindset. The reality of a foreign investment invasion that took over village island life and transformed it into an international mecca also forced a ripple in all aspects of what culture, community and commodity mean to Balinese. This is certainly not to say that there are absolutely no local dog local people relationships in those coastal tourist consumed areas. They are still to be found, yet are rare and very hard to spot. On the back of fearsome Rabies, border doors thrown open and temptation for fashionable new canine forms, their joined world was inevitably going to change.
There are multiple groups and individuals pushing tirelessly to save the Bali Dog. Saving the dog from what appears to be an obvious question that should have a fairly simple answer. Its existence is under direct threat. In fact on such a small island it’s surrounded by threats that are already quickening its demise. Invasion and colonization on the scale that has impacted Bali has a habit of destroying as it goes about reshaping and rebuilding in its own image.
It would appear that as Bali continues to welcome and embrace ongoing globalization there is no reason to believe that a community driven uprising to protect and preserve an ancient cultural dog human connection as a valuable commodity will be promoted any time soon.
A shift of that magnitude can only and should only come from within.