Article: Nearly all villages on the island of Bali have culture and arts that are in some way unique.An outstanding example is the village of Bengkala in North Bali. The characteristic that makes it really different is the high proportion of deaf-mute people – the highest proportion of any village in Indonesia, and one of the highest incidences in the world. This has influenced the culture of the villagewhereby thedeaf mutes citizens are not discriminated againstnor excluded because of their physical limitations, but instead, they are highly appreciated and provide motivation to the rest of the village. Most of the citizens of Bengkalahave masteredthe sign language used by thedeaf-mutes and in this way the culture of the village has become inclusive. The headman of the village, Made Arpana said that he would like to see the tourism potential of Bengkala developed.

He can see that visitors would appreciate the special skills of the deaf-mute people like dance, and would like to see how the whole village has learnt the sign language and become inclusive. The deaf-mute people are referred to as kolok, and they are enthusiastic to develop their artistic skills. In 2007 the people of Bengkala opened a special-needs school which aimed to be inclusive. This provided for deaf-mute people of Bengkala but also was available to other people in North Bali who had special needs. In this way a wider group of people can get a good education.¬ As well as schools, the kolok community (citizens who aredeaf-mutes) will get assistance in the form of construction of the habitable housing, training for traditional weaving,and construction of sheds for chickens, cows and pigs.Then some land normally planted with saffron, will be replanted with other productive plants so it will provide additional revenue benefits for the kolok. Artisitic talents of the kolok will be developed. This includes Janger (a Bali female dance) which has been recognized by UNESCO as a significant cultural heritage for Bali. So JangerKolok can now be offered as a cultural feature in luxury hotels.

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