Taken from ‘Bungklang Bungkling’, ‘Buron’, a column by I Wayan Juniartha, published in Bali Post, Sunday 9th December 2010.
Translated by Putu Semiada.
Are ‘status’ of human beings are higher than animal?
“It’s a very easy question. Of course human beings are. That’s why when one does bad things, people will say that his behavior is like an animal,” says I Made Darmawacana (I Made Preacher).
Everyone nods. It is understood as they are all human beings. It’s human that they are happy when they are said to have high status. They might not just nod but they would also clap their hands if one said that they had the highest ‘status’ in the universe.
“That’s why a stupid person is called calah kebo mabaling gong (lit: like a buffalo watching gamelan); one who looks confused, called cara siap sambuhin injin (lit: like chicken being feeding black rice); one who does not appreciate one’s kindness: nyicing singal (lit: an evil mind dog); profiteer: lintah darat (lit: leech); one who is ‘afraid’ of his wife: paid bangkung (lit: bitten by pig), “ adds I Made.
Everyone is amazed by I Made’s opinion.
“Animals’ names are used to swear too; cicing nani (lit: you are a dog); bojog pelung (lit: you are a monkey), which means that animal’s ‘status’ is lower than human being.”
Everyone nods. If they keep doing this, they ‘deserve’ to be legislative assembly members. The main ‘qualification’ to be Legislative Assembly members is to ‘keep nodding without having a headache and being dizzy.
“Wait a minute, do you think that human being’s status is higher than animal?” asks I Ketut Nyem Lalah (I Ketut Tasteless and Hot).
When an animal kill other animal, it is because it is hungry. When it is full, it will stop chasing others. Human is not like that. Even when one is already full, he will still want more. One even fights to have more fortune, fights against each other because of a woman, and fights to have more political power.
That’s why countless wars have been created by human beings, from wars during kingdom eras, World Wars, to Iraq-Iran and Afghanistan wars. Animals never make wars.
“Have you ever seen any animal burn its friend’s place, rape its friend’s female, fill up lake to be used as recreation spot for tourists or ruin forest for building villas. Have you?” ask I Ketut.
Nobody dares to answer. All of them shake their heads.
“Have you seen animals produced guns, canons, bombs and tanks to kill other animals, have they made atomic bombs, or nuclear bombs?”
Everyone shakes his head. Of course they’ve never seen a monkey carries an AK-47 or shoot a human being. What they know is that it was the USA who dropped bombs in Japan.
“Now, isn’t it clear for you who is good and who is bad, who is greedy, who often creates riots, animal or human being. Answer me,” says I Ketut emotionally.
Everybody is quiet. Their heads bend down. Nobody gives comments.