Eat Pray Bali

In reading Eat Pray Love, I thought Bali was a place rich with a religious, musical and traditional culture. What I didn’t know before reading the Harnish article was that these words are synonymous in the Balinese language and cannot be parsed apart. this is highly fascinating to me because of the way it conveys an idea about music- that music is of tradition, art and religion all at one time. Eat Pray Love addresses the religiosity of the culture but does not show the deep seated notion of all of these terms coming together to make up a whole.

The idea that cultural tourism was used to attract Western outsiders to come visit Bali is also interesting. The Balinese government used pictures of naked breasted women to show the “seduction and viability” of the Balinese. I think this can be applied to the book Eat Pray Love because the main character, Elizabeth goes to Bali to “discover herself” and to be more connected with her body. So it seems as though the culture has been transmitted to Westerners in a mostly accurate way but the question lies in whether the culture has changed its focus towards Westerners ideals of what Bali should be in order to promote tourism.


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