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Residents of Denpasar know their city by its former name, Badung. Badung was colonized by the Dutch in the middle of the 1800’s—the local raja acquiescing in the hope that, through cooperation with incoming colonists, his district would be left relatively unhurt by Western imperialism; and this maneuver did suffice to keep Badung relatively independent for six decades.
However, in 1906, after a dispute between Balinese natives and Western capitalists, the Dutch prepared to take over administration of the region. Instead of submitting, the raja and his entire royal family committed mass suicide in the face of oncoming soldiers, who afterward proceeded to shoot and kill the remaining retinue and set fire to the palace.
This filial suicide was repeated in other parts of Indonesia in coming years, forcing international pressure on the Dutch to leave the islands, which they basically did around the outbreak of World War One.
In 1936, Badung changed its name to Denpasar.
Denpasar began to economically thrive after the Second World War, and the result has been an increase in people and, therefore, pollution. All the consequences stemming from this mixed blessing of prosperity and population have yet to be fully fall out.