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Jakarta Post

A battle with no hurt feelings

  • Ni Komang Erviani


Karangasem, Bali   /   Thu, June 14 2012   /  11:06 am

Precious moments: Photographers surround the site where Tenganan girls play on traditional swings as part of Ngusaba Sambah, a major religious festival for the village. The ritualistic battle is part of this festival.Twenty-one-year-old Komang Satya displayed his bravery as he stroked a bundle of pandanus leaves along with his enemy in a centuries-old pandanus battle ritual, locally known as Mekare-kare, during a special ceremony of the Tenganan Pegringsingan indigenous community in Karangasem, East Bali, last Friday.

Armed with a long and thorny pandanus leaf in his right hand and a rattan shield in his left, Satya looked fearless despite apparent wounds on his neck and back.  

“I’m not afraid. This battle is only a game,” said the Japanese Language major at Saraswati University in Denpasar, who started battling when he was 12 years old.

“The wounds are...