Saturday, 31 January 2009


Taken from ‘Bungklang Bungkling’, ‘Kaing’, in Bali Post, Sunday, 25 January, 2009,
a column by I Wayan Juniartha
Translated by Putu Semiada


Kajeng Kliwon day (a special day in Balinese calendar when Balinese make offerings for ground spirits) has not been scary anymore. Even the sisia leyak (woman who learn and practice ‘black magic) protest as no more dogs howl; when the sisia’ ‘ngereh’ (when the black magic people change themselves become certain creature), the dogs usually howl which create more spooky atmosphere.

Since the rabies epidemic, no more dogs howl. Because if they do, they will be busted immediately.

“It’s a very danger situation. It’s better for us to just keep quiet, and no howling please” says Grandpa Asu Selem (old black dog).

Grandpa is the leader among the local dogs. According to a story, it a black dog that followed Dharmawangsa when he left the world for heaven for moksha (free from reincarnation and unite one with the God). Grandpa speaks politely, knows a lot about religion, he was even appointed a priest once, but he didn’t want to. He doesn’t like any worldly title. “I am just a dog, and will never exceed human being,” he said once.

Nowadays, even when you think that you have said the good things to other people, they don’t always accept that, let alone you said the wrong things, says ‘Granpa’.

All the dogs agree.

“I think I agree with what you said. Since the rabies epidemic in Bali, countless local dogs have been killed,” says Asu Agung Blang Bungkem (a brown reddish dog which is usually used for sacrifice in Hindu ceremonies).

“Many have been killed due to rabies, but many also fined as they are local dogs but also as they are homeless. All the non-local dogs are safe.”

All the dogs there get very upset but no one dare to speak loudly let alone barking.

“The Balinese just dare to kill the local dogs, but they can’t do anything when they see the non-local ones. Only the dogs infected with rabies should have been killed,” says I Cicing Borosan (a hunting dog).

“By the way, how can you recognize a dog infected with rabies? I was having a workshop in the community meeting hall but I didn’t really listening it as I was being given vaccine,” I Cicing Belatin asks.

I Cicing Borosan explains that when a dog infected with rabies, its saliva will keep flowing, fierce and always want to bite people, afraid of water and paranoid.

“From what you have said, I note that it seems human being that more infected by rabies,” I Cicing Beletin (a stupid dog) says.

I am talking about our legislative members and politicians. When the legislative members discuss concerning ‘allowances’ their behaviour like dogs; it is similar to officials see a beautiful woman and find a promising project, and look at what the politicians and legislative member nominees are doing, they are busy talking and talking everywhere they go, look at also the rich people and the very rich officials who get nervous and scared if they are busted by the ‘KPK (a Commission for Corruption Watch).

  • Kajeng Kliwon: a special day in Balinese calendar when Balinese make offerings for ground spirits.
  • sisia leyak: people who learn and practice ‘black magic’
  • ‘sisia’ ‘ngereh’: when the black magic people change themselves become certain creature.
  • Grandpa Asu Selem: An old black dog
  • moksha: free from reincarnation and unite one with the God
  • Asu Agung Blang Bungkem: a brown reddish dog which is usually used for sacrifice in Hindu ceremonies.
  • I Cicing Borosan: a hunting dog
  • I Cicing Beletin: a stupid dog

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

MW on the Road: Malang, Tumpang, Blitar & Kediri

16 - 19 January, 2009

Yesterday at the exquisite, AYU, Shiwa-Bhairawa Candi Kidal in Tumpang, near Malang, I was reminded of the importance of flaming finials (that ‘screaming ayu’ touch that reached its apotheosis in Pura Beji, Sangsit) in the worship of Shiwa the terrible thru the ages; I am fearful that the new trend for blocky, andesite shrines and gates in Bali will lay waste to the ‘ayu’ look so important to a healthy Hindu temperament. The tendency of tropical Hindus to ego-centric excess—exemplified in the plethora of palace-style gates on serf homes over the past three decades—has always been tempered by Shiwa-Bhairawa rituals (the wild trances and general ‘controlled frenzy’). I am going to propose to the Governor of Bali, that the only way to address this architectural-theological imbalance is to redo all this month’s ghastly road-side ‘CALEG’ (election) posters so more freaky and ngejreng.












Patirtaan Candi Penataran, Blitar