The Ubud Writers & Readers Festival has hopped into the Year of the Rabbit and there’s a spring in our step and a heightened enthusiasm about this year’s event. Nandurin Karang Awak-Cultivate the Land Within, is our 2011 theme and is taken from the epic poem Gaguritan Salampah Laku by Ida Pedanda Made Sideman.
Ida Pedanda Made Sidemen is considered one of Bali’s greatest Kawi-Wiku, Poet-Priests, and throughout his lifetime penned several important literary works. Besides composing poems and officiating religious rituals, he was also a respected authority on traditional architecture. He passed away on September 10, 1984, at the age of 126. Developing the self in ways similar to cultivating rice fields, by sowing the seeds of truths, cutting down the stalks of desires, and carefully reaping a bountiful harvest for the finest grain, is an important philosophical concept in the spiritual landscape of Bali. Ida Pedanda Made Sidement’s statement reflects the optimism of the survivor, the person who possesses no land, due to choice, poverty or exile, but holds an unwavering personal conviction of his or her own potential and possibilities, the land within.
At a time in history when disputes over borders, sovereignty, resources, culture and economics are more acute than ever, we must remember that the greatest shared space in the world is in the mind and the heart. The 2011 Festival theme is devoted to redefining the boundaries of consciousness and connection with the vast, rich and mysterious territory within. More than eighty established and emerging authors will convene on Ubud, October 5 to 9, in a celebration of literature, commencing with a tribute to Ida Pedanda Made Sideman. Readings, panels, workshops, literary lunches, debates and performances will enliven the landscape of this picturesque town.
From Ubud’s legendary hotels to its charming cafes, restaurants and temples, the Festival will cultivate the glory of the written word, over four magical, unforgettable days. “My intention now, pursuing this life of simplicity, posessing no rice fields, is to cultivate the land within.” Ida Pedanda Made Sidemen