Among the 33 provinces of the Republic of Indonesia, Bali is said to be the largest archipelagic country around the world. The island is made up of 2,000,000 km2 of land with a group of islands stretching over 500,000 km from Sumatra to Papua. It covers territorial waters of more than 5,000,000 km2 among the 17,500 islands across the Indonesian archipelago.
Bali Island is located at 8 to 9 degrees southern part of the equator with the Java Sea to the North and the Indian Ocean to the south. It is situated between Java and Lombok. The island covers an area of 5,636 km2 or 0.29% of Indonesia which measures just 90km long to the northern-south axis and less than about 140km from west to east. The island is divided into three areas of water – the North Bali Sea which is about 3,168km2, the East about 3.350km2 and the West about 2,982km2.
The most popular of the island is its southern part Bali where most jobs are found. These jobs are mostly in the hotel or tourism industry and some major farming industry. There are also small scales of home or personal Bali businesses such as textile or garment, souvenirs and handicrafts. This type of business provides Bali economy with more than 200,000 jobs and exports have been increasing around 6.7% which valued at around US$ 380 million. It is reported that of the total foreign exchange earners, garments and textiles have contributed about 27.4% and wood products including furniture, statues and other handicrafts with 18.2%. While Silver work has been ranked third with 0.41% that consists of 4,500 workers employed. This sector is widely open on the US, Europe and Japan which keeps on growing steadily with target market.
Besides fruits, vegetable, coffee, copra, soy beans, vanilla and chilies, rice has become an important agricultural product. You can found most of the recent vineyards along the north coast line of the island. Some of its important commodities for foreign markets are fishing and seaweed farming. The people of Bali are very interesting to observe as their ability in coping the globalization era are acquired professionally.
In terms of trade, you will find goldsmiths, tailor and other merchants provide consumer goods in town. Most of the women in the village bring agricultural items to sell and return home with goods to peddle door to door or in small shops. Merchants go to the village to buy agricultural goods or sell items such as patent, medicines, cloth or medicines while most of the men sell cattle in the market.
You will see the traditional agricultural activities wherein men plow and prepare the fields. Women care for the pigs, keep the garden, and keep small snack stalls. Women are also responsible in taking care for the children and assisted by the husband or other family members. In Bali, there is a stricter distinction between men’s and women’s ritual of work. Men can replace each other in domestic and agricultural chores when necessary.