Traditional Subak

Traditional Subak Irrigation System in Bali – The cultural wealth possessed by Bali is recognized by many parties, including the world community. Proof of recognition is very much. One of them is the status as a UNESCO world heritage for the traditional subak irrigation system. This irrigation system is a pattern of irrigation management for rice fields in Bali. That has been going on since ancient times.

Traditional Subak
Traditional Subak

Subak irrigation system, arguably is a form of mutual cooperation. That has existed on the island of Bali and handed down by ancestors until now. It’s just that, the existence of the subak irrigation system in recent years began to experience disruption. The reason is quite classic. At present, many rice field owners choose to sell their fields and the land has been converted into a hotel.

Many people are worried about the threat of the subak system. Moreover, UNESCO has granted subak status as a world heritage in 2012. Therefore, it is important for the Balinese people in particular and Indonesians in general, to find out more about the existence of the subak system that cannot be separated from the richness of Balinese culture.

Subak Irrigation System Using the Tri Hita Karana Philosophy

The tri hita karana philosophy is an important principle held by the Balinese people. The principle of tri hita karana is a way carried out by the Balinese people in maintaining balance in everyday life. By using this principle, the Balinese can maintain a harmonious relationship between fellow humans, humans and God, as well as humans and their surroundings.

Then, how to apply the philosophy of tri hita karana in the subak irrigation system? What you need to know, in the traditional subak irrigation system in Bali, a paddy field cannot stand alone. All rice fields in an area, are in a single unit. Therefore, when one of the paddy fields experiences disruption or disturbance, the presence of other paddy fields is also disturbed.

Traditional Subak
Traditional Subak

Irrigation management is based on the subak system, using landscapes by utilizing natural water flows. Sources of water used are usually obtained from springs around the paddy field area, utilizing the river flow that arises because of the volcanic mountain flow. In its application, the Subak system is fully implemented by the community without government intervention.

Regarding how to manage the subak system, there are special officers known as kelian. The other task in the subak irrigation system is to distribute water so that farmers can get their water intake fairly. Not only that, kelian also has an important task in maintaining social relations between each rice field owner.

Paddy fields with Subak Traditional Irrigation System in Bali

Even though its existence is threatened by the progress of time, the subak system can still be found on the island of Bali. The existence of the subak system can often be suspected by the existence of temples or pelinggih which are intended as a form of worship to Dewi Sri.

There are several locations that you can visit if you are interested in seeing firsthand the subak system in Bali. These locations include paddy fields along the Pakerisan River in Gianyar, Caturangga Batukaru in Tabanan, areas around Lake Batur, and areas around Taman Ayun Temple.

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