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Funny Bones

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With more than 64,000 Facebook followers, Punk Kwala Ngibur is constantly viral. Its comic strip, stories and bon mots are always being shared and commented at by its loyal Balinese followers. hellobali talks to the man behind the social media persona to learn more about his Buleleng sense of humour.

The name speaks for itself. Punk Kwala Ngibur has nothing to do with the loud aggressive music or its subculture. In Balinese, it simply means ‘just for laugh’ and that’s exactly what I Made Warnita wanted to create when he started writing on the Facebook page back in January 2016. The Singaraja-born travel guide has always loved writing and commenting on social issues that he experiences on daily basis. Despite having no background in illustrator, he learned to draw and got help from his friend to develop the characters in his comic strips. The characters are parodies of the modern Balinese men and women. There are Erni and Reni, two Balinese sisters who love to play damsels-in-distress to their unsuspecting boyfriends or husband. There is Basur, a naive man who often being bullied by his friends. Often, there are unnamed characters that are too real – it certainly will remind you of your friend, especially if you’re friend is speaking in a thick Balinese Buleleng accent.

“Buleleng or as I like to call it, Beleleng, has a special brand of humour. The other Balinese often consider our way of saying things are rude but I think it is honest. Our sense of humour is sarcastic, sharp and very to-the-point,” explains Warnita. That brand of humour often appears on his stories like a male character that contributed a large chunk amount of money to the temple and gave his full name complete with the titles so that his name would be loudly announced. Social media and the modern need to show off are often subjects of Warnita’s sharp observation. A wife gave a hint to her ignorant husband that she expected him to get her some flowers and a cake for her birthday. When the husband remained ignorant, she sulked and called him unromantic. Having given no choice, the poor guy got the gifts for her wife and much to his surprise; her wife wrote a flowery social media status complimenting her “romantic” husband. Sounds familiar?

“These stories are from my friends or my followers, so yes, they are inspired by real stories,” says Warnita who only hope to make people laugh at themselves and at the current social trend happening in Bali with Balinese language. “I am no saint and I don’t claim to be always right. I am encouraged by the positive responses from my followers who often mention their friends or recognised themselves in the story. There are also some followers who tried to make it as an argument but I usually do not respond to it. Why so serious? Life is already too serious, we might as well laugh about it,” adds Warnita.


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