It has always amused me just how little Balinese know of their own history.
With the arrival of the Twentieth Century, Holland had control over all but the south of Bali, where rajas continued to resist foreign rule. The Dutch believed they could remove the last obstacle in the south with just one more major push. But, by this time, Europe had become horrified at reports of the puputans and the brutal and systematic cleansing of the island's population. Diplomatic pressure prevented the colonists from initiating any further action.
And so they waited.
Then, on one fateful day in 1904, the Sri Kumala, a Chinese schooner became wrecked off Sanur in Bali's south and the Dutch Administration in Batavia was delivered the perfect opportunity. Claiming the vessel had been sacked by the Balinese, the Dutch attacked with a force numbering thousands. The ensuing two-year invasion, recorded in history as the brutal Puputan Wars, was to change Bali and its culture forever. Entire kingdoms perished as wave upon wave of the island's inhabitants committed suicide, until there were very few left to resist.
This is the story of that generation and the one that followed.