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Jakarta Post

Ritualistic battle honors the ancestors

  • Anton Muhajir

    Contributor

Jakarta   /   Thu, June 18 2009   /  01:19 pm

With a tiny safety pin, 13-year-old Kadek Juliantara picked the sharp thorns out of the scratches carved into the shoulder of his best friend, 12-year-old Kadek Anjasmara. He did it with carefully, gently, so as not to cause any pain. Yet these same wounds were inflicted by none other than Juliantara himself during the Perang Pandan battle held earlier in the morning. As always, best friends Juliantara and Anjasmara took opposite sides in the annual event. As Juliantara carefully cleaned Anjasmara's wounds, the other Tenganan youths gathered nearby amused themselves by teasing 8-year-old Bagus Saptana. Saptana looked a bit nervous: It would be his first time participating in the fight, known locally as mageret pandan or makare-kare. Naturally, the prospect of hurting his opponent or being hurt had shaken the boy up a little bit. And the older kids weren't going to miss a ...