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Jo’s Blog : Chocolate and ‘Dangerous Women’ UWRF

9 October 2009

Yesterday was a day of indulgence. Auditory delights as poets read excerpts from their favorite pieces and authors paneled fascinating discussions about subjects such as ‘The Future of Compassion’ and ‘Translation as Suka Duka’.

Ubud Writer’s Festival is a veritable melting pot of cultures and life experiences. Listening to the outstanding author Wole Soyinka describe his interpretation of ‘compassion’ as “the ability to transpose oneself into the condition of another without losing one’s ethical core” was humbling to say the least. Wole not only forgave the man responsible for his resulting jail term but he continued a friendly relationship with him upon release.

Fellow discussion panelist Seno Gumira Ajidarma added that compassion often rises within conditions of violence, referring to the May 1998, after which the Reformasi period in Indonesia begun.

After a thought provoking start to the day lunch took on a lighter note. The literary luncheon entitled ‘Dangerous Women’ was held at the stunningly beautiful Alila Ubud Resort’. Entering the resort through an expansive emerald green rice field, I immediately exhaled. A panel of passionate female authors such as the hilariously funny Shamini Flint (launching her book ‘A Bali Conspiracy’ on Sunday) and Sushma Joshi made lunch side splittingly witty and a complete joy.

What constitutes a dangerous woman was the discussion opener, which afforded some fantastically funny input from the ladies. Shamini commented “ middle aged Indian women don’t have sex. Both my children were born by immaculate conception!”

Dessert was a triple chocolate delight which I then followed up with a extra helping at ‘Voices from the Chocolate Lands’ held at Rumah Rio; an eclectic mix of poetry readings whilst enjoying Javanese chocolate. An altogether heavenly day!

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