• SIE@FSU

First Post: Lucas

Updated: Oct 21, 2019

If you had told me I would be meeting a prince before this trip I would have assumed it would be some European guy too old to remember what he had for breakfast. The Balinese have a different approach to royalty. In a way, the “royal” family isn’t royal at all. On the night that we met with Prince Kris of Peliatan, he was in Ubud for the Ngusaba ceremony which takes place once a year. Talking to him over dinner I realized what a normal life he lives. He has a wife and daughter in Denpasar and spends his days at the restaurants he owns. He even rides Harley-Davidson Motorcycles for fun. Even though he has the title of a Prince, he made it clear that he doesn’t see himself as above anyone else. He explained that his mother made sure he didn’t feel entitled by making him scrub his own bathroom and work his way through college. This notion of an “average” prince has fascinated me and fits in with the narrative that the Balinese are humble and sincere. After dinner, we said our goodbyes to Kris and went outside to enjoy the Legong dance. This elaborate performance was put on by the Prince’s family; the yard was filled with people both tourists and locals. It is inspiring to see that a tradition is being upheld in a rapidly changing Bali. This site visit introduced me to a new way of looking at royalty. Instead of meeting with a prince in a castle, we met with an ordinary man in his home.