People on Bawean Island, East Java, wait for harvest time by making bulls fight each other.
The island, located about 120 kilometers east of Gresik, is famous for its bulls . The bull fighting tradition dates back generations, but nobody knows exactly when it first started.
The locals call it “tok tok”, from the sound of clashing horns.
Apart from being free entertainment for Bawean’s residents, bull fighting also builds solidarity among the islanders.
The tradition has long been considered controversial, especially among clerics. They see bull fighting as improper from a religious perspective, as well as exploiting the animals and endangering spectators.
However, the locals still see “tok tok” as a cultural tradition and even have an organization dedicated to the event.
The bull fighting takes place in an open field, watched by spectators from all over the island.
Unlike organized bullfighting, these bulls are not bred to fight. Only an “umpire” is tasked with monitoring the fight. The winning bull’s worth will rocket, sometimes reaching a selling price in the hundreds of millions of rupiah – far from the normal price of about Rp 18 million (US$1,400). [yan]