Culture is something that defines a people’s behavior, beliefs and social, ethnic or age group character traits. During the age before society’s fully embraced development and modernity, observation of cultural practices and beliefs was inevitable to all within a specified society. In this modern age however, these cultural practices have been done away with, but there are a few that still remain and attract the attention of many. The Balinese tooth filing ceremony is one of them.
Who are the Balinese?
The Balinese are found on the Island of Bali in Indonesia. The Balinese form around 1.25% of the population in Indonesia and they are actually known for their cultural observations that entail etiquette in terms of having a great sense of harmony, a sense of welcome, a sense of togetherness where all are seen as family and as a community. It is in reality a place where visitors are made to feel at home and Bali Nusa Dua belongs to one the famous tourist attraction regions.
Balinese cultural ceremonies
The Balinese tooth filing ceremony is believed to be one of the most harmonious cultural practices that still persist today. The tooth filing process is just like one of the many traditional or cultural practices commonly referred to as the rite of passage. Different cultures had different ways of initiating the transition of their people from childhood to adulthood. In Bali, the tooth filing ceremony marks the transition and was mandatory as a symbol of adulthood. It is done during adolescence period.
Importance of the ceremony
The tooth filing ceremony being a cultural practice and a rite of passage is very important to Balinese. That is why, even those who did not want to have their teeth filed, had to be taken through alternative practices to mark the transition. Since it marked adulthood, a Balinese cannot get married unless the tooth filing process is done. The process entails filing the sharp edges of the canine teeth. Of importance is that, Balinese believe that tooth filing helps get rid of drunkenness, greed, lust and some human moods such as anger and hostility so as to be able to live in harmony with others. The Balinese tooth filing ceremony prominently contributes in making Bali the ‘Island of the Gods’ as some people like to call it. It creates that conducive, beautiful; and adventurous place to be in and you should visit at least once in a life time.
The Balinese tooth filing ceremony makes what the people in Bali are. It is a culture, a tradition and a belief that has brought the people together and made them live in harmony with the large influx of people from all over the world who visit Bali for their holiday. Something that is worth celebrating!