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Bali Immigrants in Celukan Bawang Harbor

People need new skills

Celukan Bawang is a village, located about 40 km to the west of Singaraja. Although it is a small area, but it is crowded with people due to the immigrants who live in this area. The people in this area are heterogenic because if it is compared to other area in Buleleng, this area has various kinds of people related to their religions and tribes. One explanation for this heterogenic population is because of the biggest harbor in northern part of Bali located in this area that is Celukan Bawang harbor. This area was chosen to be the biggest harbor in Buleleng because geographically, this area has all the things needed on a good loading harbor.

Celukan Bawang also has potential aspects in opening new employment and it also gives chances to uneducated and unskilled labors. They can work in informal sector working fields such as working as potters, food sellers, and also fishermen. That is why this place attracts newcomers from other islands to come to this harbor. They mostly came from Java and decided to settle around the harbor. These people hoped to get a better life in this new settlement since they didn’t get much in their native area. They brought their cultures and belief with them such as Madura, Bugis, and Java cultures. Most of them are Moslem people and they also built mosques around the harbor.

The coming of these people doesn’t create any problem with the local people because the immigrants give their contribution to the development of the harbor and the surrounding area. The head of the village say that there has been cooperation between the immigrants and local people in Celukan Bawang as long as the immigrants willing to respect and obey all the rules applied in the village. There also some mixed marriage happened between the local people and the immigrants. The marriages are strengthening the cooperation between them.

Celukan Bawang as a loading harbor attracts employees to come. Moreover, there is a pocketing Tonasa cement fabric in the harbor that makes many villagers working there. Some of them work as potter to load or unload the ship. There are not many villagers of Celukan Bawang working as farmers because the soil in the village is not fertile so it is not good to be developed as farming land. However, most of the immigrants are uneducated people and this is the reason why they do harsh works and given low payment.

There are some efforts done to help the immigrants and also the villagers in this area. The government had built a new harbor that is bigger than the first one. This new harbor is intended to be a cruise harbor in the future. It will help the villagers because there will be many cruise ships anchoring in this harbor. The passengers of the cruise ships will need some accommodation and this accommodation will be provided by the villagers.

In preparing for this condition in the future, the villagers, including the immigrants should increase their ability especially in the tourist industry. The need to master English and some other languages is the first thing that should be accomplished by them. They also have to learn other countries’ culture in order to avoid culture shock and miss understanding. The government can help them by opening professionals and high quality tourism schools in the village.

In short, the existence of immigrants in Celukan Bawang village should not be a hindrance to develop this harbor to be a cruise harbor. The immigrants should support the plan and they can do this by increasing their ability especially in the tourism matters.

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