There are many unique traditional and religious customs that are still found in Bali in this modern day and age. These unique customs are very characteristic of daily Balinese life on the Island. The Balinese people have protected and maintained their heritage for thousands of years. And, today the customs are still highly regarded by the community and the Balinese are very dedicated to their religious beliefs, customs and practices.
One of the traditional customsis referred to as a“Tooth filing”ceremony or called Metatah/Mepandes by the Balinese people.One wonders about the Tooth Filing ceremony” –doesn’t that hurt? But for the Balinese this is ritual ceremony is performed torid the person of un-natural desires (animal desires) and the six negative spirits. The six negative spirits attempt to enter the body at the start of the menstruation or puberty phase of life (this called theSadRipu) and this is when the ceremony is performed.
The six negative spirits within a humanare :Kama(lust /desire), Loba(greed), Krodha(anger), Mada(selfish pride), Moha(confusion), and Matsarya(envy). These six negative spirits are believed to be able to plunge peop leinto the pit of “Non Perfection”.
The ceremony is required for both men and women starting at the age of 15 years old. And, there are six teeth that must be filed; two canines and the four upper incisors.
This ritual is mandatory for the Balinese people. Even if there is someone who dies before performing a tooth filing ceremony, his or her family must perform the tooth filling ceremony before the body can be cremated.
Very unique is it not? This is only one of many Balinese customs, there are so many more.