How Do the Balinese Cope With…

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By studying abroad in Bali, Indonesia, Olivia learned from the people she met on how to let certain things go and how to handle stress.

As I look back a year from now I am thankful and blessed. Without GOD I wouldn’t be here today. Just last year around this time I was preparing to start my group project to receive my final grades. Group projects always annoyed me due to my high school experience of always being assigned group work. Dr. Raghavan informed us that she wanted us to pick any of the topics we discussed in the last month and create a questionnaire based on the topics. After we came up with the questionnaire she wanted us to interview people and compares their point of views on the topics. I decided to choose Shirley as my partner and eventually Anelin was put in our group due to her not having a partner. We had a meeting that same night and decided to brainstorm about all the topics that stood out to us.  One lesson that I enjoyed learning about is when we touched upon Shapiro article about the Balinese using forgetfulness to cope with certain emotions such as grief, anger, and jealously. After reading the Shapiro article I decided to focus my survey question on the topic of using forgetfulness to cope with emotions. I decided to go up to Shirley room and discuss my ideas with her. She liked the topic because she felt it would open up different point of views. For the next three days, Shirley and I came up with the Research questions and 13 questions to go along with it. With the hard work me and Shirley put into we were able to come up with a great questionnaire. The most difficult part of this assignment was translating the questions into the native language. Thank God we had access to Google translator.

On the day of the presentation I was suffering from leg pain. I couldn’t move my right leg and I was so nervous and thought that the pain would interfere with my performance. I would’ve been able to get this presentation without God in my corner. As I discussed my part of the presentation I barely used the PowerPoint which I was depending on. Another reason God was to me was because while I presented the pain went away until my presentation was over. During my presentation most of the other students had a lot of questions due to our topic being interesting and also my professor mentioned how I was able to compare different areas in Bali and see how things such as religion play a role in how a community functions . If I had to do it all over I would even though one of my group members only did 15% of the work this was great experience. Overall, after listening to fifty percent of my interviewers say they got over a lot of things by forgetting it made me realize how different this was to my own culture. It opened my eyes to learning how to let things go, because that may lead to stress or bad health.

Below is the presentation

How do the Balinese control and cope with feelings of anger, grief, and jealousy?

Interview questions:
1. If you were subject to anger, grief, and jealousy, how do you cope with them?
2. Do these emotions ever come back to consciousness?

3. Have you ever felt jealous?
4. How do you react to jealousy?
5. Do you hide your emotions when death occurs? If not, what do you do?
6. If you cry, do you do it in private or public?
7. Does it differ with the relationship you have with the person, say family, neighbor?
8. Do the people around you deal with grief the same way you do? How does it differ?
9. As of now, when did you feel the most anger? What caused it?
10. How did you deal with it?
Closing questions
11. Have you ever gone into trance?
12. Do you know why people go into trance?
13. Have you or anyone you know gone into trance to deal with these emotions? If so, do you do it in private?  

This graft compares two religions within the questionnaire.

graph olivia crosby








Being that we had an advantage to visit another town called Lovina we decided to compare this town with Ubud , the town where were staying .  Along with this we decided to interview two 18 or older males and females, two 25 and older males and females and lastly a 30 year female and female.

After interviewing and comparing the Results were


  1. Look for a way to forget about it and move on.
  2. Both agree it comes back to consciousness.
  3. Various responses
  4. Most agree to let it go and move on.


  1. To cope with emotions, they Pray
  2. Both agree it comes back to consciousness.
  3. Various responses
  4. Took action and solved the issue.


2) It comes back to consciousness.

3) Yes, they have felt Jealous

4) Some way of forgetfulness, not thinking about it, moving on, doing other things

5) 50% said they hide their emotions, the other 50% said they didn’t in both Villages.

6) Most people cry in public.

  1. Most agree, it differs, depends who the person was and the relationship they had with them.

8) Yes, people cry in public.

11) Most people have not gone into trance.

12) Most don’t know people that go into Trance.

  1. Going into trance helps people deal with emotions and connect with the Gods.


The results

1). The Balinese were found to be the world-wide exception to the rule that death call forth tears.

– Most people cry in public, it is socially acceptable.

– People around the, cry in public.

2). Forgetfulness

– In Ubud, most agree to move on from something they can’t control. (10)

– People in Lovina agree to taking actions and solving the issue at hand. (10)

-When it comes to jealousy, most agree on some way of forgetfulness, not thinking about it,

moving on, doing other things. (4)

3). Remove full spectrum of emotions

-Inconsistent with Shapiro theory , In Ubud and as well as Lovina they feel different intensities of emotions.

4). for self-control, the Balinese avoid        unacceptable feelings such as jealousy.
            – The Balinese don’t avoid feelings of joyously; they accept that it is there. However they             prefer

To find a way to cope with them by forgetfulness, focusing their attention on something      else, looking for a distraction, etc.(3,4)

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