Mantjika, Jan

Jan Mantjika was a dancer working for The Dominion newspaper in Palmerston North, New Zealand, when she married a Balinese student studying agriculture and animal husbandry under the Colombo Plan in her home town. In 1964 they moved to Bali with their first child and he took up a post as a lecturer at Udayana University.

They were present in Bali during the aborted 30th September Movement, which triggered massacres nation-wide as Suharto came into power. Pregnant with her second child, Jan was eyewitness to the killings of 1965 and went hungry for months. In 1969, Jan and her husband opened one of Bali’s first Travel Agencies, Jan’s Tours.

Jan recounts her experiences during the early days of tourism in Bali, her love of the island, and her personal adventures of bringing up a large extended family in Bali, with both humour and anguish.

The trauma of 1965 and the years following made a painful yet inexpungible impression. Half a century later, Jan has been able to unlock long suppressed memories and face their shadows with confidence.

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