The fact that a Baliense dalang is a priest as well as the performer of wayang shadow puppet theater has already been pointed out in many studies. But the dalang’s role that is emphasized in Bali today is purely that of performer. While dalang’s religious role may not have been forgotten, the places where this role is carried out have definitely become fewer and fewer.
What is important when considering the background of the changes in the dalang’s religious role is the series of reforms that has taken place under the leadership of the Council of Hinduism in Indonesia, in the course of its campaign to have Hinduism recognized as a state religion.
In this movement which began in the latter half of the 1950s, what I want to give particular attention to here is the process whereby most Balinese rituals and beliefs have, as adat (custom), been eliminated from Hindu doctrine, scripture, and religious education as agama (religion). And with this, the religious functions of the dalang have been categorized as adat and likewise eliminated.
This study focusing on the religious role of the dalang will clarify how he was stripped of that role and changed with Bali’s religious and cultural policies and elucidate further the unstable state of the dalang’s religious role, a role which, with the blurring of policy that followed the split in the Council of Hinduism in Indonesia Province in Bali Province of 2001, is oscillating between adat and agama.
Conservatives within the central government and experts on democratic theory insisted that Indonesian people (let alone people in the regions) are “not yet ready for democracy.” Contrary to the statement, quite a few innovations in local governance have appeared during the process of Indonesia’s democratic decentralization. Among them, the district (kabupaten) government of Bandung, West Java Province has put in place two reform initiatives—participatory development and village empowerment—despite the long tradition of centralized control and the military’s involvement in local politics.
How did reform initiatives emerge from the old political landscape in the first place? Who are the key actors in local governance reform? What are the impediments to local governance reform and how can these be removed? And what is meant by “deepening democracy?” This paper explores these questions by focusing on the process of local governance reform upon which the district government of Bandung has embarked.
The local political landscape in Bandung in the Reformasi era is distinguished from that of the New Order by increased political competition. With power not only decentralized to the district government but also diversified to several political institutions, the new mechanism of accountability in the region has influenced not only how the district government thinks but also what it does. Political competition with increased responsibilities propels the district government to cooperate with civil society organizations (CSOs). In Bandung, CSOs with links to the district government and a practical knowledge of public policy played a critical role in transforming the concepts of local governance reform into the concrete models of participatory planning and village empowerment.
The process of reform in the local government has been complicated by the political actors who continue to compete for power. This struggle has been between key political institutions within the district government and at times it has resulted in the reform of local governance being stalled. It was at such moments that the CSOs with links to the district government played a vital role in reconciling vested political interests. As will be shown in the case of Bandung, the involvement of CSOs in local governance reform facilitated communications, reduced the tension between the agencies, and helped to bridge the gap between the state and civil society.
An area spanning the Senegal-Guinean border is home to a people called the Bassari, who call themselves alian (pl. bulian). The Bassari are cultivators whose staple crops are millet, earthpeas, peanuts, rice, fonio and corn. They also engage in fishing, hunting, bee-keeping and other activities.
The purpose of this paper is to describe eight types of personal names in Bassari society, to study the differences between these eight names and to examine the relation between names and the individuals who bear them.
Section 2 describes the eight names in detail.
Sections 3 and 4 examine the notion of “meaning” of names.
Section 5 analyzes the relation between names and the individual.
Section 6 describes the name-giving practice at the initiation ceremony and then argues that boys in Bassari society become adults through “pluralizing” their names.
This practice of pluralizing names seems now to be changing under the influence of the dominant ethnic groups in Senegal.
The final section attempts to analyze what this change is exactly and concludes that it is not solely a change in “social identity” but also a change in people’s “mode of existence.”
Since the 1970s, Islamic financial institutions have grown rapidly and spread widely, now numbering over 300, and operating in 50 countries. The contemporary Islamic financial system consists of both Islamic financial instruments in pre-modern era and innovative elements that conform with contemporary economic situations. As a result, controversial issues have arisen both in theory and in practice concerning how Islamic financial institutions construct and operate their financial services and activities. Contemporary Islamic financial studies focus on such issues by various analytical approaches, but such approaches don’t appear to grasp fully the diversity of the practices in Islamic financial institutions worldwide. This paper provides an analytical framework for contemporary Islamic financial studies in order to grasp such diversity. The framework involves analysis of three factors:
1.Conformity of theory and practice in each Islamic financial institution with Islamic law (fiqh).
2.Extent of achievement of economic rationality measured by both profitability and efficiency.
3.Characteristics of the region where an Islamic financial institution is operating.
By examining the process of co-ordination of these three factors in Islamic financial Institutions, I conclude that the analytical framework enables us to describe the diversity of the practices in Islamic financial institutions. Furthermore, I suggest that this analytical framework is a benchmark for exploring the peculiar concept of economy in Islam.