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The Land
The People
The History
The village Community
The Religion
The Priest
The Cremation
The Mount Agung
The Cosmic Force and Spiritual Harmony
The Offerings
The Calendar
The Temple Ceremony
Nyepi and Galungan
The Dances
The Popular Tours
The Shoppings
The Balinese Food
The Books on Bali
The Future

INDONESIA
The land
The People
The Flora
The Fauna
The Food
The Public Holidays
The Tourist Areas
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Toothfiling

One ceremony which is becoming rare because of the pain it causes is toothfiling. It is usually performed by a Brahmain priest when a boy or girl reaches adolescence and is based on an animistic ritual designed to prevent the danger of having fangs like demons. To the Balinese, the demon represents every deplorable characteristic from lush to laziness and the ceremonial filing protects the individual against these evil tendencies. Unfortunately, it also spoils what are normally very fine teeth and its passing is a mark of beneficial modern influence at work.


Cockfighting

Cockfighting is still an important element of Balinese life, although it is not as widespread or as significant as it used to be.

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In days past, a great deal of money was spent in the hunt for good fighting cocks and even more on gambling at the fights. But cokfighting is more than just sport. To the Balinese, it has a ritual significant as well. A the annual two day ceremony known as Nyepi, held at spring equinox, when every community holds a vast general cleaning-out of devil, cockfighting has an essential part to play. On the first day of Nyepi, the government allows unrestricted gambling and cockfighting, because the spilling blood is believed to furify the earth.


On the morning of Nyepi, the crowds gather. Each man brings his favourite fighting cock in a satchel, its tail feathers sticking out to avoid damaging them. The birds are presented to the onlookers and the betting begins. Vicious steel blades are attached to the right foot of each cock in place of natural spur and the two protagonists are let loose to face each other.

Most fights are over in seconds in a flash of fury and flurry of feathers. If one bird runs away at the begining it is disqualified, but otherwise the fight is always to the death.

Although cockfighting might not appeal to some people as a tourist attraction, it is fascinating to watch the excitment and involvement of the audience.



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web mister Ohari  2003.

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