Bali, Hi - 2007

SOCIAL SAFETY NETWORKS There is no social network to care for people in times of illness, unemployment, loss of spouse, other than the family. Balinese folks have no retirement plans or health insurance and certainly no unemployment insurance. The safety net is the family. Because much of the work in agriculture is so physically demanding, large families are a necessity if older people who can no longer work in the fields are to be cared for. We saw that grandmothers and widowed aunts are expected to care for the children while the younger family members earn the family’s bread and keep, either in the fields or in business. The grannies and aunties also are expected to prepare meals for the working members and keep up the housework activities—cleaning, laundry, and the like. The grandfathers and uncles also help tend the children and help to pass on the culture of the family and the country. For those who are able, small repairs on the housing blocks, the tools used in the work of the family, fencing and furniture as well as tending livestock in company with the children are waiting their attention. No family member is left without a task unless he/she is completely unable to perform any work or is too young to learn some of the easier tasks like feeding chickens and ducks. The family is a working unit, the same as is to be found in all societies dependent upon subsistence farming or small businesses. STONE QUARRYING


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