Oct 25, 2006

Heart To Heart Conversation with Animal and Plant


Do you talk to your cat or to your dog? What do you say to them? Do you say” Cat, I had a bad day at work today...” ?

Balinese don’t really talk to their pets. I must say, most of us, don’t talk to animal in that fashion. The Balinese only say, “Sit, Go Out, or Eat, or Scram,” to their dogs or cats. But we have different attitude to cattle. There is even a holy day for them. This special day takes place every 210 days. The day is called Tumpek Kandang.

On Tumpek Kandang day, the Balinese make offerings (I will talk more about offering in later post) to animal, especially their cattle, chicken, cows, or buffaloes. This is day when we say to the animal or hope for them to grow well or stay healthy. In a sense, this is not really talking to animal, rather it is a prayer to the God for the well being of animal.

Nowadays, many Balinese has become aware so that they care for their pets and treat them as their friend. Many Balinese men like to have birds as pets. Yes, they talk to their birds to persuade the birds to sing.

Roosters are also favourites pet for many Balinese men. This is because they like cock fighting (traditional gambling). But from last year, people don’t do cock fighting any more now because soon they will get busted by the police and will be put behind bars.

On a different holy day, called Tumpek Uduh, Balinese make offerings to plants, especially the fruits, flowers, or rice plant. What do we say to the plant? Basically, we say,” excuse me, grandfather and grand mother, please grow well and have many fruits or flowers.” (No, we don’t talk to weeds.) So, why do we address the plant as our grand parents? Well, it is to show our respect to the plants. We assume the plant as older than us so we have to respect them.

NOTE: If you have been to Bali, you probably have seen that there are many dogs wandering in the street. Especially in the village roads. Most of them are pets which belong to people. But these dogs can wander around as they like only to go home to their owners at the end of the day. Nevertheless, some of the dogs are stray dog and they can be sick. (Not rabies). There is a foundation that takes care of the Bali dogs. It is somewhere in Denpasar, on Tukad Balian street. They are doing such a great work saving Bali dogs.

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