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A Balinese Way in Expressing Love to the Parents  

by on Friday, 26 September 2008One Comment | 1,051 views

Each culture in the world has its own way on showing one’s love to his parents, and Balinese of course have some unique way to express their love to their parents, one of them is acquiring the Toya Penembak (also called Toya Pangembak in some areas).


Toya Penembak is holy water that is used in cremation ceremony. Toya Penembak is taken from confluence of two rivers in the midnight by the son of the deceased. The son of the deceased usually acquires the toya penembak alone, without any companion and without using any light-emitting tool such as flashlight, torch, storm lamp, etc. He acquires the toya penembak alone in the darkness. (in some areas in Bali, especially in urban areas, toya penembak is acquired by a group of sons and nephews of the deceased and accompanied by a priest with the help of flashlight or storm-lamp).

Why the toya penembak have to be acquired in the midnight by the son alone and without using any light? The darkness that accompanies the journey to acquire the toya penembak is a symbol of Sapta Timira (seven darkness in human mind, e.g. intoxicated or proud of one own beauty, wealth, social status, intellectuality, victory, youth, and liquor ) and none other than the son, can purified the soul of the deceased parent from these seven darkness.

Acquiring toya penembak is not just way of expressing filial love of the son to the parents but also a test of his dedication to the parents. The son of the deceased sometimes also used this occasion to show his courage (he does not afraid to get the toya penembak alone in the darkness despite of the frightening story of leak (witches), and evil spirits which inhabited the bank of the river).

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