While it is widely documented that the island’s history covers the Paleolithic right down to the present, it is only during the 16th century that this diminutive island became marked by Western influence. However, it was only in 1846 that the Dutch seized it and ruled the island till 1949.
Bali was recognized for its dedication to art and culture throughout its history. With this in mind, while most invaders harmed the island’s art and culture grievously, they subsequently worked to safeguard it for future generations. The Dutch are the most well-known example of this change in thinking.
Most tourists wonder how it contains such a fantastical culture that is rich in tradition and steeped in mystery. This may be due to the influx of Hindu and Javanese cultures during the 11th century. Airlanggha, a Balinese prince, went eastwards to Java and appointed his brother, Anak Wungsu, as ruler of Bali. During this time, there was an understanding of political and artistic ideas.
When Airlanggha died in the 11th century, the island enjoyed a period of autonomy for a brief moment. In 1284, the Kertanegara from East Java conquered it. While in 1292 it liberated itself, the island was brought back under Javanese control in 1343. However, with Islam having made a deep impression in Java, many musicians, artists, and artisans fled to Bali. The Golden Age came after the 16th century when aristocracy, priests, artists, and artisans escaped to Bali. Subsequently, it grew in power and took control of Lombok and East Java.
In 1597, the first Dutch members set foot on the island, yet, only during the 1800s they took an interest in making it a colony. The Dutch, along with the Sasak people of Lombok, in 1894, defeated their rulers, who were Balinese. By 1911, the entire island came under the control of the Dutch. Only after World War, was real Indonesia stimulated into action, so in 1928, the national language known as Bahasa Indonesia was made official.
The Japanese, who occupied the island from 1942 to 1945, expelled the Dutch during World War II. On August 17, 1945, Indonesia moved to declare its independence. In 1949 that Indonesia was recognized as an independent nation. With so much bloodshed tainting its history, Bali has created a land with much to offer. With a unique history and culture, diverse communities, cuisine and tourist attractions. Unsurprisingly, Bali has been named the “Best Island in Asia Pacific 2009” by DestinAsian Magazine in Hong Kong.