Chinese place the first rank as the best contributor of the tourist coming in Bali. In 2019, it still in the same place but the number is decreasing, so a new Tourism Destination Area (TDA) is needed to boost it and TDA here is Pura Dalem Balingkang
which is an evidence of the fusion of Bali-Tionghoa culture.
Starting from the King of Bali’s marriage with Kang Cing Wie (a daughter of a chinese merchant) who was immediately appointed as Ratu Ayu Mas Subandar
(The head of syahbandar). Because of Kang Cing Wei’s service in marketing, so pelinggih Subandar is builded as a special worship place towards Ratu Ayu Mas Subandar.
It was conveyed by the Director of Bali International Polytechnic (BIP), Prof. Anastasia Sulistyawati, in a seminar at PIB, Tabanan, Bali. This article aims to find out 1) How is the architecture of kongco or palinggih Ratu Ayu Mas Subandar in Pura Dalem Balingkang and its symbolic meaning for Balinese and Chinese people? 2) What is the architectural potential of Pura Dalem Balingkang as one of the main attractions of tourists in the term of developing sustainable tourism in Bali? Research uses semiotics theory and diachronic history. Data collection techniques used in this study was through interviews and literature study.
The results showed that architecturally the architectural presence of Palinggih Ratu Ayu Mas Subandar in Pura Dalem Balingkang was not different from other architecture of traditional Balinese Palinggih, only the decoration which was more dominated by red color and was equipped with knick-knacks that were characteristic of Chinese culture.
Symbolically the functions of Palinggih Ratu Ayu Mas Subandar is as a symbol of the mother or pradhana. While its purusa is Palinggih Pajenengan Bhatara Dalem Balingkang in Jeroan Pura Dalem Balingkang. Both are symbols of Rwa Bhineda (two different or opposing elements but always in pairs). Balinese migrants both from Java and China with Bali Mula and Bali Aga become one in a harmonious acculturation as Balinese Hindu-Buddhist.
Therefore, Pura Dalem Balingkang has great potential to be used as one of the main attractions for Chinese tourists to visit Bali in order to develop sustainable tourism, as well as a means of cultural diplomacy between the two countries of China and Indonesia that are stronger in the future.
Bali Island is the most popular tourist destination in Indonesia. Bali is an exotic island with beautiful natural panorama, unique art and culture, and friendly people behavior. Bali is the belle of Indonesian tourism which is able to attract tourists from all corners of the world. No exception tourists from the People's Republic of China (PRC).
Bali in the eyes of the Chinese community in China occupies the first position as a tourist destination and until now tourists from Tiongkok (China) still dominate tourism visits in Bali.
From the data of the Central Statistics Agency (CSA) of Bali, the last five years (2014-2018) the number of tourist arrivals from China continues to grow. In 2014 there were 585,922 Chinese tourists, in 2015 the number increased to 688,469 tourists, followed in 2016 by 975,152, in 2017 there were 1,356,412, and in 2018 reaching 1,361,512 Chinese tourists. The increasing number of tourists seems to have stopped in 2018. Although it still survives, the number of tourists from the Bamboo Curtain country has decreased comparing with the previous year.
Chinese tourist arrivals to Pulau Dewata as in April 2019 were recorded at 94,202 people, this number decreased compared to April 2018 which recorded 121,840 people visiting or decreased by -22.68 percent (https://travel.detik.com/travel-news/d-4587421/turis-china-masih-dominasi-wisata-bali-tapi- ada-penurunan).
The latest data shows the total number of Chinese tourists in 2019 was 839,997 people, but cumulatively, the number decreased to 12.66% compared to the same period in 2018 (https://www.wartaekonomi.co.id/read 249499/china-dominasi-kunjungan-turis- ke-pulau-dewata.html).
That decreasing was also influenced by the closure of Chinese mafia shops that have been practicing illegal practices since the beginning of 2019 and the political situation (people power issue) in May 2019. Based on that the Deputy Governor of Bali, known as Cok Ace, has the idea to restore visits Chinese tourists to Bali. Cok Ace initiated the 'smelly' festival and is related to the acculturation of Balinese-Chinese culture, namely the First Festival of Balingkang Kintaman
i, 6 February 2019.
This is one way to build a new tourist destination that can improve people's lives in the new tourist destination. It does not rule out the possibility to hold other festivals in the area which can increase the visit of Chinese tourists and other foreigners. Kintamani Balingkang Festival was held to show the acculturation of Chinese-Balinese culture found in Pura Dalem Balingkang. [Prof. Anastasia Sulistyawati / to be continued]
Penulis : Ni Luh Putu Era Adnyayanti
Editor : Putra Setiawan