Travel Report Bali, Ubud-Abangan

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Travel Report Bali | Ubud - Abangan

Death of our Balinese fighting - cock

3 days cockfighting in Abangan / Ubud / Bali
from 28-30 May 2009



Kind of travel: Travelling alone
Year of this voyage: 2009
Author's age: 45-60 years

Actually, a cock fight in Bali is a Hindu - religious ceremony, which is celebrated at various temple festivals as a kind of blood sacrifice to the gods.But you can use such an event also for other purposes like in Abangan. For a new big temple, the fourth temple (Pura Pucak Nataran) in this small, 120 small families Banjar, (village) still had to find a lot of financial resources to finish this building. Yes, much has been donated, and several grants from various institutions and companies went to the cashier, also a bazaar was held to reduce slightly the shortfall by large participation and collaboration. Then the idea came on the table to establish a large 3-day cock fight, to bring a more genuine relief to the financial shortage.

Said - done. In the Banjar (village) was built a quite simple but useful arena, seating and standing arrangements have been installed, all covered with huge tarpaulins, everything was so well prepared to conduct a "major event" the best one can make.In order not to stand quite apart from this experience and even more to experience, my decision was quickly taken,.. a fighting cock of the "Villa-Orchid-Bali" has to start also. The case was decided, and quickly sealed.

 The responsibility is heavy


"Herkules" - Preparation for the fight

Our Ketut drove excitedly to Denpasar looking for an Ayam Jago (cock), because there on the Pasar Satria (animal market)), you can buy the strongest and hardest fighters. Good humored and proud, he showed us the next morning the cock he purchased. I am inexperienced to judge this bird but I thought it is extremely handsome, gorgeous and beautifully shaped with its big feather tail. In my humble, but certainly not professional opinion, this rooter was a highly attractive and a desirable sweet temptation and sin for hens of all ages and colors. Well, it has been also expensive, nearly 350.000.00 Rupiah (25 Euro), Ketut said to me - an he added later - to take part of the fight later, we have to offer at least another 300.000.00 Rupiah (21 Euro) to find an adequate opponent for him. That was all the more manageable and the participation should be the first and the last unique experience for me.

Travel Destination | Villa Orchid Bali
Dream in Bali surrounded by tropical orchids and rice fields
villa-orchid-bali .com


Cockfighting makes hungry

As a passive spectator and a tourist, one is probably exited by the fanatical Call of tscha-tascha-tscha-tscha, accompanied by the raging waving, outstretched arms of the Balinese spectators to increase the desire of the cocks to attack their opponents. But this sensational feeling, and the expectant tension is far exceeded, when the own chicken bird in the arena is fighting for his life, and also to win the bet and the money back. The people of Abangan had set up signposts which led the way to the cock fight and masses of people flocked to the battle place, which is on these days not only at all a cockfight. There will be baked, boiled and grilled, and suckling pigs so crispy brown and shiny like polished are on display. This wonderful and delicious smell, together with nasi goreng, (baked rice) Lawar, (traditional Balinese meal) sate-kambing, Gule kambing, Soto Ayam (chicken soup) and Bakso (soup with meatballs) filled the air around the place.

 The two opponents getting known to each other


"Herkules" ready to fight

Children nibbled steamed chili-hot corn or palm sugar sweetened fried bananas (pisang goring, baked bananas) with excitement and track and skipped the hustle and bustle. They pushed between the farmers who are sitting in a circle around a quack with a white beard. Curiously they listen, to this quack. Lively, with imaginative and rich gestures, he offers all kind of medicine for everything, and especially to overcome the death. Middle of the circle of his listeners, he had displayed mysterious bones, skulls and animal carcasses to make his speech and his theatrical presentations more mysterious and mystical.

Onlookers and curious farmers sitting around with red-hot heads watching a colorfully painted plastic tarpaulin with mysterious images on it, which is slowly filled with bet money. A large bucket dice cups sealed either a kind fate or a curse of the evil demons.

Travel Destination | Villa Orchid Bali
Dream in Bali surrounded by tropical orchids and rice fields
villa-orchid-bali .com


Faith heals, the gods help, the Guru makes money !

The clamor becomes slowly frantic proportions. Ketut is marching proudly in Balinese costume, with the animal on his arms into the arena, followed by the comrades of this ritual. A special unit inside the battle space examined the individual birds, now slowly removed from their baskets, and they bring cocks with the suitable and the right size and weight together.Immense clamor of the cocks is approaching the fight. And in this heated atmosphere of the traditional custom, the assessment and evaluation of the two opponents through the judges is starting now. If there would be an agreement now and the bet would be accepted and confirmed through a handshake from the two counterparts, the fight of the both elect cocks could take place.

I sat with Yuni with increased tense and nervous on wooden planks, surrounded by our neighbors Seri Pak, Pak Patre, the young Kasnu Wayan and petanis (farmers) to all of us know well and we are now watched as Exotics and Greenhorns. Friendly, jovial and sympathetic they all smiled on us kindly and benevolently. Most of the animals have been locked in the baskets and put down on a waiting spot for later action and struggle. At the moment the farmers had some time to observe the crowd and to assess the chances of their own cocks.

Travel Destination | Villa Orchid Bali
Dream in Bali surrounded by tropical orchids and rice fields
villa-orchid-bali .com


This deadly weapon can kill in seconds


Gerhard Waldner
Gerhard Waldner

Born in Ludwigshafen at the River Rhine (Germany), Gerhard was fascinated to discover foreign countries since his early schooldays. Mostly by bicycle and motorcycle he travelled through more than 60 countries. During a his life he found enough time to travel to faraway regions, he was interested in.

Since 2006 he is living mostly in his house in Bali with his Balinesse wife Yuni. He always felt drawn to the island of Bali, with its people, culture, religion and its countryside. More than 17.500 islands of the Indonesian archipelago are lying now in front of his doorstep, waiting to be discovered.

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The first battles started were loudly accompanied with the usual rituals. Removing the sharp knife of the dead cocks. The sharp knifes can cut deep into the flanks of the enemy. Often, such fights last only a few seconds, others several minutes. But most of the fights end deadly and the animals get prepared right away for the cooking pot. Please continue reading

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Travel Report Bali, Ubud - Abangan